Why would a CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank executive travel from the Bahamas to New York to personally pick up a US$250,000 cheque?
Why not just wire the funds? Why not send the cheque via courier?
The answer appears to be that the US$250,000 was being money-laundered by one of FIFA’s top officials, Chuck Blazer. After picking up the cheque in New York, the banking executive returned to the Bahamas and deposited the cheque into Blazer’s personal offshore account.
I didn’t really catch onto this at first. I thought it was a situation where the CIBC had been unknowningly duped or had a client misuse the bank. But that isn’t what happened according to the articles in the press – the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank was directly and knowingly involved in money-laundering.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Anyone who has seen the award-winning documentary about the 2008 meltdown – Inside Job – knows that the banks are rotten to the core, and in conjunction with bribed elected and appointed officials ensure that the motto of the inside crowd remains “Profits are private. Losses are public.”
Closer to home just look at Clico and the Barbados DLP government.
But for you and me though, just miss a mortgage payment or don’t pay taxes and see what happens. Wuhloss!
FIFA scandal exacerbates Canadian banks’ Caribbean troubles
An eyebrow-raising disclosure in the U.S. indictment of FIFA officials is that a representative of a Caribbean bank made it easy for one allegedly illegal transaction to be done by flying to New York to personally collect a check and then returned to deposit it in an account in the Bahamas.
This unusual courier service, which reduced the electronic trail on a $250,000 payment to former FIFA official Chuck Blazer in May 2011, was provided by an unnamed officer of Barbados-based CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, the indictment shows. CIBC FirstCaribbean is a subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s fifth-largest bank.
That cheque, U.S. prosecutors allege, was part of a $10 million bribe paid in return for the votes of then FIFA vice president Jack Warner, Blazer and another FIFA official in support of South Africa being granted the rights to host the 2010 World Cup.
Blazer has pleaded guilty to a series of financial crimes, including money laundering, wire fraud and tax evasion, and is cooperating with authorities. Trinidad and Tobago-based Warner, who has been charged with bribery, wire fraud and money laundering offences, has consistently denied wrongdoing.
… continue reading the Financial Post
FirstCaribbean Bank among institutions named in FIFA controversy
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (CMC) – CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank says it is carrying out an ongoing review of all its policies and processes associated with money laundering and fraud after being named among several regional financial institutions in investigations into fraud at the world football governing body, FIFA.
According to allegations, one of the bank’s Bahamas-based executives travelled to New York to pick up a $250,000 cheque from one of FIFA’s top officials, Chuck Blazer, and returned to Nassau to deposit the funds into Blazer’s CIBC FirstCaribbean account.
Authorities investigating financial wrongdoing at FIFA claim the transaction was part of a $10-million bribe to influence which country would host the 2010 World Cup.
Blazer has pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion and failing to declare ownership of the CIBC FirstCaribbean Bahamas account to US tax authorities.
Blazer, the former general secretary of CONCACAF, the football governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, has also entered into a plea deal with US federal authorities investigating FIFA.
… continue reading this article at the Jamaica Observer