CCTV has broadcast a report accusing the Bank of China of engaging in money laundering to aid wealthy Chinese citizens emigrate abroad, reports the SCMP.
The money laundering is allegedly being done through a money transferring system at the Bank of China called You Huitonghe. Through the system, wealthy Chinese are able to send an unlimited amount of funds overseas after applying for immigrant investor programs.
The total amount involved is unknown, but one Guangdong branch has reportedly sent 6 billion yuan (US$970 million) overseas. By law, a Chinese citizen isn’t allowed to move more than US$50 thousand out of the country per year.
The CCTV report went undercover at an emigration information conference at a five-star hotel in Beijing’s Central Business District. There, an employee from the Shuguang Xili branch of the Bank of China was supposedly caught on video saying:
What we help you do is exchange large sums of money into foreign currency. You can do it all in one step.
The Bank of China employee was to have brazenly said:
We don’t care where your money comes from, or how you made it. In any situation, we can help you take care of it and move it outside the country.
The Bank of China employee further described the process of laundering the money:
The Renminbi is first transferred to a Guangdong branch, then the currency is exchanged (into another currency). This high exchange rate is accomplished with the cooperation between us and the immigration intermediaries. We won’t tell anyone else. It’s only when the client himself comes asking questions that we’ll finally start talking.
Immigration intermediaries are said to have conspired with the Bank of China in order to obfuscate the source of the funds. An immigration intermediary summed up Bank of China’s role:
If you want to apply in an investor program, you will have to put your money through the Bank of China. To stay over there and prosper, if you have the need, then just go to them directly.
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