Yes, this was to go around sanctions. Standard Chartered is not the only bank.
Standard Chartered is the latest in a series of global banks to be accused of facilitating illegal flows of money from outside the United States. In July, a Senate panel issued a report that accused HSBC of being used by Mexican drug cartels to funnel cash back into the United States, by Saudi Arabian banks with terrorist ties that needed access to dollars and by Iranians who wanted to circumvent United States sanctions.
Using its New York-based operations, a major British bank schemed with the Iranian government for nearly a decade to launder $250 billion, leaving the United States financial system vulnerable to terrorists and corrupt regimes, New York’s top banking regulator charged on Monday.
The New York State Department of Financial Services accused Standard Chartered, which the agency called a “rogue institution,” of masking more than 60,000 transactions for Iranian banks and corporations, motivated by the millions of dollars it reaped in fees.
Here are JUST a couple of articles on this from IPT:
* November 13, 2009 Assa Corporation is owned by Assa Company Limited, a UK entity which is wholly owned and operated by Iranian citizens who represent the interests of Bank Melli.
* Aug 18, 2010 While we frequently highlight the ongoing attempts to punish state sponsors of terrorism through international sanctions, it is important to remember that sanctions by themselves are useless unless they are actually enforced. Underscoring this point is the news this week that Barclays would pay $298 million to settle criminal charges that it had violated economic sanctions.
After today’s news Standard Chartered plunged 7% to HK$174.9, its lowest level since Nov. 27, 2009, after its London-listed shares dropped 6% late Monday. The New York State Department of Financial Services on Monday threatened to revoke the license of Standard Chartered Bank, a U.S. unit of the U.K. bank located in midtown Manhattan, as it accused the bank of hiding more than $250 billion in illegal transactions for nearly a decade.