Standard Chartered Bank, UK accused of funding terrorists and Iran

According to a New York filing, whistleblowers claim Standard Chartered allegedly conducted billions of dollars in previously undetected transactions on behalf of Iran-linked entities or terrorist organizations.

Last week, two whistleblowers, including a former executive of the British bank, filed an application to set aside an earlier judgment dismissing a lawsuit they had filed in an effort to revive their efforts

In court documents, the two men who ran Brutus Trading – a company formed to pursue this claim – said that their lawsuit would be reinstated if they could “decloak”, or “uncover”, information “hidden deeply in the bank’s electronic spreadsheets.

Whistleblowers claim that the data provided to US authorities by Brutus in 2012 and 2013, shows “countless illegal activities” by the bank. Standard Chartered denies these allegations.

Court documents state that the whistleblowers – Julian Knight, a former head of the global foreign exchange transaction banking at Standard Chartered who left the company in 2011 – and Robert Marcellus – a currency trader – were assisted by forensic investigator David Scantling who examined the data and helped them uncover “transactions which were hidden”.

The men claimed that by February 2024 they would have “identified more than 3.3m previously unreported transactional records of which 500,000 unique transactions from 2008 to 2013.

Documents filed in court stated that the data revealed 20,000 foreign exchange transaction related to Iran between 2008 and 2013, with a notional total value of $100bn.

The court papers filed last week by two whistleblowers in New York’s Southern District Court allege that “the decloaked…data definitely shows” that despite the fact that the bank supposedly ceased its Iranian operations in 2007,, SCB [Standard Chartered Bank] facilitated billions of dollars worth of banking transactions on behalf Iran, numerous terror groups around the world and front companies for these groups.

Scantling, in a declaration filed with the court, states that he has “further identified 906 Iranian-related transaction” between January 2008 to March 2012. The transactions totaled $9.6bn, and they involved “entities or individuals subjected to international sanctions”.

He said the newly extracted data contained numerous Standard Chartered transactions with and on behalf Iranian banks, Iranian firms and Middle Eastern money-exchanges that, according to the US Government, “finance designated terrorist organizations” such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

The two whistleblowers claim that the US government also committed “colossal fraudulent” against the court by failing to provide evidence in support of enforcement actions against the bank because it violated global sanctions.

Standard Chartered issued a statement in which it said: “This filing represents another attempt by the bank to use fabricated allegations against them, following unsuccessful previous attempts.

The false allegations that underlie it have been thoroughly discredited. US authorities conducted a thorough investigation and found them to be’meritless,’ and they did not demonstrate any violation of US sanctions. We are confident that the courts will reject this claim, as they already have done.

In 2012, when the scandal was first revealed, the UK government intervened on behalf of the bank with the US government. The bank has admitted to violating sanctions against Iran, and other countries. It paid $1.7bn in fines in both 2012 and 2019 .

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