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June 28, 2022

Swiss court fines Credit Suisse for facilitating money laundering

A Swiss court has penalised Credit Suisse more than $2m over its failure to prevent a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang from laundering money.

The court also ordered the confiscation of the equivalent of over $12m worth of assets held in accounts linked to the criminal group at the Swiss bank.

Credit Suisse is also facing a compensatory claim of $19m. The amount is linked to the assets corresponding to assets that could not be confiscated due to the bank’s internal deficiencies, which the court said had facilitated money laundering.

According to the court, a former Credit Suisse employee helped to execute transactions for the Bulgarian criminal gang between July 2007 and December 2008. These transactions were processed despite the presence of concrete indications of the criminal origin of the funds.

This helped the organisation to evade more than CHF19m from the state.

Meanwhile, the Swiss bank denied the charges and said it would appeal the verdict.

Credit Suisse said in a statement: “Credit Suisse Group has taken note of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court’s decision to impose a fine of CHF2m against Credit Suisse for certain historical organisational inadequacies (article 102 of the Swiss Criminal Code) for the period between July 2007 and December 2008.

“The investigation dates back more than 14 years. The bank will appeal the decision.”

The bank also added that it is “continuously testing its anti-money laundering framework and has been strengthening it over time, in accordance with evolving regulatory standards.”

Last week, the Swiss bank rejected a claim by Russian oligarch Vitaly Malkin for $515.62m (CHF500m) linked to a former client adviser at the bank who was sacked for fraud.

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