HSBC Sued by US Citizens for Allowing Mexican Drug Cartels Operate
Feb 11, 2016 12:22 AM EST
HSBC has been sued by US citizens whose families were murdered by drug gangs in Mexico. The plaintiffs claim that the London-based bank allowed cartels launder billions of dollars for them to operate their day-to-day business. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday at a federal court in Brownsville, Texas.
According to Reuters, the court documents state that HSBC has knowingly contributed directly to the drug and trafficking trade in an international scale. This includes the “brutal acts” which occurred from 2010 to 2011. To this end, the lawsuit alleges that HSBC participated in the money laundering scheme of the involved drug cartels.
"The Mexican drug cartels are terrorists who routinely commit horrific acts of violence to intimidate, coerce, and control the civilian population and the government,” said Richard Elias, a representative of the families, in a report from Bloomberg.
He also said that the bank was involved in laundering billions of dollars for the cartels, and that they should be held accountable under the Anti-Terrorism act.
At present, the London-based bank is already being monitored for its involvement in money laundering. In December 2012, it had paid nearly $2 billion in legal penalties to resolve charges. The said charges claim that they failed to cease hundreds of millions of dollars of drug money from flowing through Mexican banks.
In a report from Fortune, HSBC said that they intend to defend the case “vigorously”.
“We are committed to combating financial crime and have taken strict steps to help keep bad actors out of the global financial system,” they said in a statement.
The US government has appointed former New York City prosecutor Michael Cherkasky to take charge of the monitoring of HSBC’s compliance remediation efforts.
This latest case against HSBC recounts a series of killings which happened in 2010 and 2011. The lawsuit argues that the bank should be liable for them under the US Anti-Terrorism Act.