Saturday, August 15, 2015


The disturbing news from China today, to the effect that some enterprising soul had opened a totally bogus, and unauthorized, branch of China Construction Bank, and trusting individuals had deposited their savings into it, only to learn later that they could not make withdrawals from genuine branches of CCB, merely illustrates the nature of a country where counterfeit hermes Birkin handbags are turned out, and exported abroad, and the counterfeiters allowed to operate with impunity.

We've all heard the stories of the bogus Apple store that opened in China, or the Ikea "store" carrying only locally made furniture. Such events should make all compliance officers at international banks, whose clientele includes affluent mainland Chinese, to accept, but verify, every piece of identification and due diligence material that you receive on your customers. Is he truly a wealthy factory owner, or really a general officer who is diverting military purchasing funds to his own use ? Is she a professional, or just a corrupt PEP, whose father is a government official sending her money to pay bogus invoices disguised as services rendered by her firm, but which, in truth and in fact, are phantom billings ?

In short, given the propensity for Chinese criminals to knock off legitimate global brands, and the country's PEPs to steal billions each year, of government funds, and to accept bribes & kickbacks, all due diligence, and enhanced due diligence information, that you collect on Chinese nationals must be independently verified, through trusted ( not local Chinese) sources. To do anything less is to be banking criminal proceeds. Remember well that China is today looking to arrest some 10,000 of its nationals, who have taken the money, and run off to the United States, with dirty money. Don't bank any dirty Chinese PEPs, or career criminals operating in China.

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