Bank of Credit and Commerce International

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The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was an international bank formed by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani in 1972. It conducted business in 78 countries with over 400 branches. Start up capital for the creation of BCCI came from several sources, some including Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, Bank of America, and supposedly the CIA. BCCI was chartered in Luxemburg. The Cayman Islands and London served as headquarters for the majority of the BCCI's operations, such as treasury management. During the 1970s, BCCI experienced rapid growth. The company branched out and formed several different holdings companies. They also acquired banks and numerous Cayman based companies. The BCCI is frequently called the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals International). The BCCI from its' very inception was set up to evade centralized regulatory examination. They were also known to take part in other illegal activities, some including money laundering, financing the trafficking of arms, illegal immigration, the sale of nuclear technologies, and collaborating with terrorist groups. Some of their clients included the KGB, CIA, Osama Bin Laden, and Manuel Noriega. The BCCI was able to conceal many of their criminal activities by taking advantage of their bank confidentiality, through bribes, threatening witnesses, and keeping high ranking officials in their pockets. In 1991 the BCCI faced the most notorious financial scandal, later known as "$20-billion-plus heist" (Beaty & Gwynne 1993). Regulators from the United States and the United Kingdom conducted the investigation against BCCI. They found evidence proving that the BCCI was in fact involved in a long list of criminal activities. On July 5, 1991, the Bank of England closed BCCI; the regulators found the bank to be valueless. Many depositors and investors lost all their money, but were able to recover some of their money through various settlements.
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