The BCCI Affair, a report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United
States Senate, prepared by Senator John Kerry and
Senator Hank Brown on
The chapter on BCCI's early history
describes in detail the early history of Abu Dhabi and BCCI, which
is recapitulated in summary form here.
1. BCCI-Abu Dhabi Relationship
Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi, installed in 1966 as head of the newly
wealthy oil state through a British-led coup against his brother
in 1966, soon after developed a relationship with Agha Hasan Abedi,
head of the United Bank of Pakistan. Six years later, when Abedi
decided to form BCCI, he did so after receiving the blessing of
Sheikh Zayed, and a commitment of support.
Early Years of BCCI Abedi created the UAE. He planted
the idea of the UAE as a federation to Sheikh Zayed. These people
had no standing anywhere in the world. They were smugglers and
tribesmen. When Sheik Zayed would come for months in Pakistan, not
even a policeman would give him any attention. Yet two months
after meeting Abedi, Sheikh Zayed finally gets a state visit to
Islamabad and meets the President of Pakistan which then became
the first country to give him any status. The first embassy of UAE
was opened in Pakistan and the second in London, and both were
staffed by Abedi's appointments.
Bribery Activities Bribery was a key component of BCCI's
strategy for asset growth worldwide, from the earliest days of the
bank. In some case, the recipients of funding from BCCI may not
have considered the payments to be "bribes," but simply a
mechanism by which BCCI obtained what it wanted from an official,
and in return the official helped BCCI, such as BCCI's payments to
two of the Gulf emirs in return for the use of their names as
nominees for the purchase of First American.
Involvement in Prostitution The BCCI's involvement in
prostitution arose out of its creation of its special protocol
department in Pakistan to service the personal requirements of the
Al-Nahyan family of Abu Dhabi, and on an as-needed basis, other
BCCI VIPs, including the families of other Middle Eastern rulers.
Support of Terrorism and Arms Trafficking BCCI's support of
terrorism and arms trafficking developed out of several factors.
First, as a principal financial institution for a number of Gulf
sheikhdoms, with branches all over the world, it was a logical
choice for terrorist organizations.
FAS Note: (The
FAS - The FAS Federation of American Scientists - is endorsed by 67 Nobel Laureates in
chemistry, economics, medicine and physics as sponsors). This December
1992 document is the penultimate draft of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee report on the BCCI Affair. After it was released by the
Committee, Sen. Hank Brown, reportedly acting at the behest of Henry
Kissinger, pressed for the deletion of a few passages, particularly in
Chapter 20 on "BCCI and Kissinger Associates." As a result, the final
hardcopy version of the report, as published by the Government Printing
Office, differs slightly from the Committee's softcopy version presented