A leading Hong Kong bank is facing a criminal investigation after it was revealed to have been used in a multibillion-dollar money-laundering scam. The unnamed bank was criticised by the UK's Financial Service Authority (FSA) during an investigation into accounts linked to former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha. It was one of 15 banks cited for 'significant control weaknesses' during the wide-ranging inquiry that followed Swiss revelations that billions of dollars had been siphoned into UK-based banks. The authority's inquiry revealed that many of the banks had failed to alert UK police to suspicions of money laundering, in clear contravention of UK law. The City of London police force is poised to launch its own criminal investigation into the revelations and has indicated that other police forces may be involved. It is the latest blow to the prestige of Hong Kong financial institutions after police revealed earlier this month that $450 million had been laundered through local banks by a people-smuggling gang. The Sunday Morning Post revealed earlier this month that Hong Kong police were investigating allegations that one of Australia's most notorious drugs runners had also laundered money in the SAR. Duncan Lam Sak-cheung, originally from Hong Kong, controlled a syndicate believed to have imported billions of dollars worth of heroin into Australia. Last week he was jailed in Sydney for 12 years after being found guilty of trying to distribute heroin worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Financial Investigations Group (FIG), which deals with money-laundering inquiries in the SAR, refused to confirm whether it was investigating the latest allegations. However, a City of London police spokeswoman said: 'We will be working with the FSA to review the material collected by the investigators. It won't be clear until the review is completed whether it will be relevant to the City of London police. 'However, we anticipate a police investigation will ensue in due course.' Both the City of London police and Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) have refused to confirm whether they had been in contact with Hong Kong law-enforcement agencies. But when asked to deny their interest in the case, an FIG detective said: 'I won't deny it. We can't disclose any information about this one.' The FSA report, much of which remains secret, represented the latest twist in the search for the whereabouts of more than $34 billion looted from Nigeria's public funds. Abacha, one of Africa's most brutal despots, died in 1998. It was only with his death and the emergence of a democratic government that the full extent of his plundering unfolded. The Nigerian Government, in an effort to recover some of the money, appointed a special ambassador to find Abacha's hidden accounts. Such was the scale of theft and embarrassment to Swiss banks involved, that Swiss authorities froze $4.6 billion in 'dirty money'. The FSA then launched its own investigation after the Swiss Federal Banking Commission revealed that large amounts of money had been moved on to the UK. Its three-month inquiry focused on 23 banks, all unnamed, and uncovered 42 accounts amounting to $10.1 billion. It found 98 per cent of this money went through the 15 banks with 'significant control weaknesses'. Although eight banks had subsequently rectified the weaknesses, the other seven were now faced with further scrutiny of their safeguards against money laundering. The authority refused to reveal how many of the banks had failed to inform the NCIS, preferring to state that a 'number' had reported suspicions. Philip Thorpe, managing director of the FSA, said: 'The extent of the weaknesses identified is frankly disappointing. 'Potential breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations are also being discussed with the appropriate law-enforcement authorities.' The trail of money is still being followed after the FSA inquiry revealed that some accounts had been moved to Jersey, one of Britain's offshore banking centres. This revelation has forced Jersey banking regulators to launch their own probe.