The government of Andorra has taken control of private bank Banca Privada D’Andorra (BPA) after the bank was named by the US Treasury Department in a money laundering warning.

US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said: "BPA’s corrupt high-level managers and weak anti-money laundering controls have made BPA an easy vehicle for third-party money launderers to funnel proceeds of organized crime, corruption, and human trafficking through the U.S. financial system."

The FinCEN allegations include activities involving the proceeds of organised criminals in Russia and China, US$2 billion in laundered funds from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, foreign corruption, and other criminal activity.

Following the events at BPA, Bank of Spain has agreed to intervene in Banco de Madrid, BPA’s wholly-owned Spanish unit, to ensure the lender’s continuity.

Andorra has assured that the private bank will function normally with BPA immediately opening an internal investigation while co-operating with the authorities.

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