Banking A Trail of Coffee and Cash

The dubious deals of a Jordanian bean merchant illuminate the workings of the corrupt B.C.C.I. empire

When times were golden for Florida coffee importer Munther Ismael Bilbeisi, he would tell friends his business was so important that the Bank of Credit & Commerce International set up a special branch in Boca Raton just to handle his accounts and those of a few other high rollers. His boast was not unfounded. During the 1980s his Coffee Inc. sold millions of pounds of Central American beans to American buyers. A Mercedes, a Porsche and a Rolls-Royce sat in the driveway of the expatriate Jordanian's $1.8 million home.

Today Bilbeisi's relationship with the shadowy $30 billion bank is no longer...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!