Chinese State Broadcaster Accuses Bank of China of Money Laundering
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Update: Bank of China denied on Wednesday late afternoon CCTV’s allegations. It issued a statement saying You Huitong is a legal investment programme permitted under a wider pilot project testing the opening of China’s tight capital account. BOC said CCTV’s story based on the undercover investigation “contain discrepancies with and misunderstanding of the facts.”
Despite Beijing’s strict currency controls, money always finds its way out of China. Now the state broadcaster CCTV is going after those who helped to transfer the cash. Its first target is the Bank of China Bank of China. one of the biggest five state-owned commercial banks in the country.
CCTV accuses BOC of “ money laundering” via its money-transferring scheme called You Huitong, which helps wealthy Chinese send an unlimited amount of funds beyond the borders after they apply for immigrant investor programs. The state broadcaster
alleges that BOC and Chinese immigration agencies sometimes work together to disguise the origin of the funds after its reporters visited the bank’s Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou branches.
“You Huitong is a shadowy business,” CCTV says. “It is unbelievable that such a big bank is violating the law to fill its own pockets.”
Bank Of China Tower (Photo credit: stan)
The total amount transferred via this channel remains unclear, but CCTV says one branch in the coastal Guangdong province sent as much as 6 billion yuan [$ 970 million] overseas so far this year. Chinese individuals aren’t allowed to move more than $50,000 per year out of the country.
A BOC customer representative says BOC’s Beijing branch doesn’t offer You Huitong services. A woman with the bank’s public relations office says she has no knowledge of the matter.