Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR

PRESS RELEASE


For immediate circulation
For more information, call: Gretchen Small
Tel.: (703) 777-9451, ext. 272

Some of the Banks Raided in Argentina
Have Links to Drug Money Laundering

Buenos Aires, Jan. 19, 2002 (EIRNS)—In a telephone interview granted to this news service, the director for Ibero-American affairs of Executive Intelligence Review, Dennis Small, confirmed that some of the banks which have been the targets of raids in Buenos Aires recently, have also been investigated in other countries for their participation in money laundering, including drug money.

"It wouldn't surprise us that banks like HSBC (HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), Citibank and others, end up accused of facilitating and orchestrating capital flight in Argentina, as a result of investigations ongoing in that country," said Small. "Those banks represent the dominant international financial interests, whose world system is disintegrating, precisely as EIR founder and current U.S. presidential precandidate Lyndon LaRouche forecast. The desperation of that financial Establishment is reflected in the fury with which they are looting entire nations—like Argentina—to try to keep their financial system afloat."

Small has been the author of various articles and investigations on this question, which have been published in the magazine Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) and its Spanish-language version, Resumen Ejecutivo de EIR.

In an article written by Small, published in EIR of Sept. 1997 and entitled "British banks establish death grip over Ibero-America," the long history of HSBC is presented. HSBC, "the fifth largest bank in the world, is the flagship bank of the global drug trafficking enterprise properly known as 'Dope, Inc.,' with branches all over the world.... HSBC was founded in the middle of the nineteenth century to serve as the backbone of the financial network of the British East India Company. It financed London's Opium Wars against China, in which the modern narcotics trade actually began. Since that time, it has served as a kind of rediscounting facility for laundering dirty money from the drug, gold, and diamonds trade."

In the same article, Small writes about the origin of the bank known today as BBVA, the largest international stockholder of the Banco Frances of Buenos Aires. "According to accounts published in Germany, a June 20, 1986 document of the West German Federal Criminal Bureau reports that 'Al-Kassar holds 51% of the capital of this bank,' referring to the Banco de Bilbao (which two years later merged with the Banco de Vizcaya to form BBV). The document adds that Syrian General Duba, Syrian dictator Hafez-al-Assad, and his brother and heroin kingpin Rifaat al-Assad, all maintained multimillion dollar accounts at the Banco de Bilbao, which were used to launder all his drug- and weapons-trafficking proceeds."

With regard to the Banco Rio de Buenos Aires, controlled by the Spanish BSCH (Banco Santander Central Hispano), EIR in July 1996, in its report, "Britain's Dope, Inc. grows to a $521 billion business," reports on the statements of Rachel Ehrenfeld in her book "Evil Money," that the Banco Santander is one of the banks "which the members of the Medellin drug cartel use (to launder money)." Ehrenfeld also mentions Lloyds Bank, headquartered in the Bahamas, in the same context.

Of another bank recently raided by the Argentine authorities, the Citibank, EIR published the following in late 1995: "The Mexicans learned this week that it was no less than the U.S. bank Citibank which facilitated the transfer of Raul Salinas de Gortari's dirty money, under a false name. It was reported that Citibank knew that it was dealing with a false identity for the president's brother.... It was the same Citibank which provided Paula Castanon, Salinas' wife who is currently under arrest in Switzerland, the letter authorizing her to withdraw $84 million from her husband's Geneva bank account, also under a false name."