The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI

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9780679413844: The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI

Two journalists with Time magazine provide a behind-the-scenes look at the BCCI scandal, describing a complex web of intrigue, kickbacks, corruption, and coverup and their cloak-and-dagger investigation into the case. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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From the Back Cover:

The Outlaw Bank goes straight to the corrupt heart of the most spectacular financial scandal in history: the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. A riveting mix of Dr. No and All the President's Men, The Outlaw Bank tells the story of the collapse of the BCCI in a unique, revealing - and unforgettable - way. Time correspondents Jonathan Beaty and S. C. Gwynne didn't just report on the BCCI story; from the first tip, they became players in a game of journalistic three-dimensional chess - full of murky leads and shady sources who often were not what they seemed. Through their fastpaced, firsthand account, we are there as Beaty and Gwynne arrange back-channel rendezvous; find a way around government stonewalling; and slowly begin to trace the web of kickbacks, corruption, and cover-ups that spanned three U.S. administrations and ensnared politicians and business figures around the world. The Outlaw Bank shows how the BCCI was more than a bank with a portfolio of bad loans and nasty clients like Manuel Noriega and the Medellin cartel. With offices and agents in every corner of the world, the BCCI had become a clearinghouse for almost anything: political bribes, untraceable cash, guns, tanks - even nuclear weapons. Beaty and Gwynne tell the real BCCI story with all of its amazing detail and mysterious characters. They go inside the mind of Agha Hasan Abedi, BCCI's messianic founder, whose vision of a Third World bank became twisted into a financial evil empire that moved effortlessly across national borders. They show how Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and others mounted a massive inquiry - in the face of opposition from the U.S. Justice Department - thateventually led to the indictment of both the bank and former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford. They reveal how they unraveled the BCCI's labyrinth of connections in Africa, Europe, and the United States, and with the CIA - and how their investigation broke through the Washington cover-up that had protected the BCCI for so long. The authors explain why top White House figures in the last two administrations knew about the BCCI's criminal activities yet remained silent as the bank built an empire to service drug dealers. The Outlaw Bank is also the first book to go inside the BCCI's "Black Network", a shadowy organization that handled the bank's most sensitive transactions, including arms sales to Iraq, Syria, and other bellicose nations; stolen military secrets; drug deals; and even terrorism. Beaty and Gwynne show dramatically how the BCCI used the Black Network to export its special brand of corruption to the most powerful circles in countries around the world. Brilliantly detailed and wonderfully readable, The Outlaw Bank is the most authoritative account of one of the largest and most disturbing criminal conspiracies in history. It is also a detective story crammed with spies, mercenaries, and crooked bankers.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An unconventional but thorough audit of the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International, by a pair of Time correspondents whose coverage of the stateless institution's scandalous collapse earned them a slew of journalism awards. Beaty and Gwynne (Selling Money, 1986) offer a four-part rundown on BCCI, the financial establishment of choice for arms dealers, drug traffickers, intelligence operatives, terrorists, Third World strongmen, and other scofflaws. The authors first recount how confidential sources tipped them on the biggest story of their professional lives. They then provide a concise, third- person briefing on the Arab-owned, Pakistani-run bank's origins and off-the-books operating procedures. Chartered in backwater venues like the Cayman Islands to evade oversight by regulatory authorities, BCCI (founded in 1972) resorted to money laundering, Ponzi schemes, secret ledgers, tax evasion, and allied misdeeds in catering to its criminal clientele. An accounting commissioned by the Bank of England finally exposed the extent of BCCI's deficits and offenses, impelling the bank's closing. Resuming the narrative as it unfolded from their points of view, the authors cover how they learned that BCCI was something larger and more sinister than a transnational depository institution. In conclusion, they address the failure of governments everywhere to clamp down on BCCI despite abundant evidence of its corruption. Throughout, Beaty and Gwynne make clear that the bank's capacity to suborn or use pillars of the political community played a crucial role in its success. The ranks of those tarnished include the prominent likes of Lord Callaghan, Jimmy Carter, Clark Clifford, and Bert Lance, while the much shorter list of good guys features Jack Blum (a former Senate investigator) and Gotham's D.A., Robert Morgenthau. The ringside format takes some getting used to, but it ultimately affords as vividly clear an explanation of the BCCI conspiracy as we're apt to get anytime soon. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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