May 28, 2015 / 9:17 AM / 2 years ago

Hong Kong eyeing implications for banks of FIFA corruption probe

A Swiss and two FIFA flags are reflected in the window of the Renaissance hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, May 27, 2015. Seven of the most powerful figures in global soccer faced extradition to the United States on corruption charges after their arrest on Wednesday in Switzerland, where authorities also announced a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two World Cups. The word "renaissance" can be as "rebirth" in English. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s de-facto central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), said on Thursday it was aware of bribery and corruption charges against officials from football’s world governing body FIFA, and was monitoring the implications for banks.

More than a dozen banks were named in a U.S. Department of Justice indictment of nine FIFA officials and five sports media and promotion executives involving more than $150 million in bribes..

The indictment specifically mentioned $1.2 million being wired to an unnamed bank account at HSBC in Hong Kong. Later, $1 million was transferred from the HSBC account through Standard Chartered Bank in New York to a bank in the Cayman Islands.

The HKMA declined to discuss individual cases.

It said it was “conscious of the threat that there could be attempts by money launderers to abuse the efficient banking systems in an international financial centre.”

Reporting by Denny Thomas and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

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