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Secret U.S. government documents reveal that global banks have defied money laundering crackdowns by moving staggering sums of illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks that have spread chaos and undermined democracy in Africa and around the world. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) says records show that five global banks – JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon – kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players even after U.S. authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money. The documents, called “suspicious activity reports”, were obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with ICIJ and 108 media partners as part of the FinCEN Files investigation. Several African countries have been named in the investigation.

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