Calabrian mafia kingpin Rocco Arico used millions of dollars in mortgages provided by Commonwealth Bank loan officers to launder cash from his drug and extortion empire and amass a luxury property portfolio.
Employees at three of the big four banks, who were either very compliant or possibly corrupt, provided the funds to Arico, who is now serving a 14-year jail sentence for extortion, drug trafficking, violence and weapons offences.
After the publication TheAge “asked questions” about CBA’s involvement, the institution fired two employees who are the subject of a transcript of an interview with Rocco, in which he signaled they would engage in corrupt activities for his benefit.
This same bank has banned its customers from buying bitcoin on credit cards back in February after the recent plunge in the cryptocurrency’s value, saying such purchases are no longer “appropriate.”
Due to the unregulated and highly volatile nature of virtual currencies, customers will no longer be able to use their Commbank credit cards to buy virtual currencies,”
“We have made this decision because we believe virtual currencies do not meet minimum standard of regulation, reliability, and reputation when compared to currencies that we offer to our customers.
CBA is the largest Australian listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange and the biggest bank in the southern hemisphere.
CBA is not the only one
The irony of the bank’s practices, which are brought up at a time various legacy institutions criticize bitcoin and other cryptocoins for its apparent lack of legality, echoes that of the Netherlands’ Rabobank just months ago.
As Bitcoinist reported, even as Rabobank barred Bitcoin for being “too risky,” its Californian arm was being taken to court and fined $369 million for being complicit in Mexican drug money laundering. What’s more, Rabobank later announced plans to open up its own custodial cryptocurrency wallet called Rabobit.