BCCI was awaiting final approval for a restructuring plan in which it would have re-emerged as the "Oasis Bank". However, after the Sandstorm report, regulators concluded BCCI was so fraught with problems that it had to be seized. It had already been ordered to shut down its American operations in March for its illegal control of First American.
On 5 July 1991, regulators persuaded a court in Luxembourg to order BCCI liquidated on the grounds that it was hopelessly insolvent. According to the court order, BCCI had lost more than its entire capital and reserves the year before. At 1 pm London time that day (8 am in New York City), regulators in five countries marched into BCCI's offices and shut them down. Around a million depositors were immediately affected by this action.
On 7 July 1991, Hong Kong Office of the Commissioner of Banking (forerunner of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority) ordered BCCI to shut down its business in Hong Kong on the grounds that BCCI had problem loans and the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi, the major shareholder of BCCI, refused to provide funds to the Hong Kong BCCI. Hong Kong BCCI was liquidated on 17 July 1991.
In 2002, Denis Robert and Ernest Backes, former number three of financial clearing house Clearstream, discovered that BCCI had continued to maintain its activities after its official closure, with microfiches of Clearstream's illegal unpublished accounts.
A few weeks after the seizure, on 29 July, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced that a Manhattan grand jury had indicted BCCI, Abedi and Naqvi on twelve counts of fraud, money laundering and larceny. Morgenthau, who had been investigating BCCI for over two years, claimed jurisdiction because millions of dollars laundered by the bank flowed through Manhattan. Also, Morgenthau cited BCCI's secret ownership of First American, which operated a subsidiary in New York City. Morgenthau said that all of BCCI's deposits had been fraudulently collected because...
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