BCCI — Four Years On

Publication Date01 February 1995
Date01 February 1995
AuthorDavid Whitby
SubjectAccounting & finance
Journal of Financial Crime Vol. 3 No. 1 Banking
BCCI Four Years On
David Whitby
Nearly four years have passed since the Bank of
England closed down the London offices of the
Bank of Credit and Commerce International (SA)
along with the majority of the BCC branches and
affiliates in over 70 foreign jurisdictions. The exer-
cise has been only partially successful, and details
of the liquidation process remain shrouded in a
'conspiracy of silence'.
Criminal investigation into the full circumstan-
ces of the BCCI fraud
and the resultant
prosecution of its main offenders, has been seri-
ously hampered by banking secrecy and political
interference. The authorities, not least the Bank of
England, have sought to protect the vested inter-
ests of the City of London. Without the crusading
endeavours of the New York District Attorney's
Office, and the explicit Kerry Report, it is doubtful
that any of the principal participants in the fraud
would ever have been successfully indicted, or
indeed, criminal and civil penalty fines levied, that
will eventually bring some benefit to the victims of
the 'biggest banking fraud in history'.
The American practice of imposing massive
fines, or otherwise enforcing the confiscation of
upon BCCI shareholder conspirators plead-
ing guilty to minor criminal charges, demonstrates
a fundamental weakness in the present British
judicial process, which is wholly unsuited for pros-
ecuting complex high-profile fraud cases. While
civil actions for negligence are still pending against
the Bank of England and BCCI's auditors, docu-
ments have been withheld from defence counsel
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