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February 7, 2022

Credit Suisse to face charges in Swiss trial of Bulgarian drug traffickers

Credit Suisse will face charges in a Swiss court in connection with its alleged failure to prevent Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang from laundering money, reported Reuters. 

Swiss prosecutors said that the scandal-ridden investment bank and its previous relationship managers did not take all required steps to stop the alleged drug traffickers from hiding and laundering millions of euros during the period between 2004 and 2008.

According to the report, prosecutors are demanding around CHF42.4m in compensation from the Zurich-headquartered bank.

Credit Suisse, however, has rejected the allegations and said it would ‘defend itself vigorously in court’.

The bank said in a statement to the new agency: “Credit Suisse unreservedly rejects as meritless all allegations in this legacy matter raised against it and is convinced that its former employee is innocent.”

The indictment, which spans over 500 pages, is said to focus on the relationships that ex-Credit Suisse ex-employee had with former Bulgarian wrestler Evelin Banev and several associates.

While Banev is not facing charges in Switzerland, two of his associates are charged in the case for various instances of misappropriation, fraud and forgery of documents in the Swiss federal court.

Banev was first sentenced for drug trafficking in Italy in 2017. In 2018, he was convicted in Bulgaria for his links to a criminal organisation involved in cocaine trafficking from Latin America.

A former Julius Baer relationship manager is charged in another indictment in the case for facilitating money laundering.

Julius Baer, which will not be facing charges in the case, did not comment on the news.

Last month, US financial regulator penalised Credit Suisse Securities for various operational failures, such as not revealing conflicts of interest in research reports.

The same month, António Horta-Osório, the company’s former chairman, resigned from his role following an internal investigation into his personal conduct including violations of Covid-19 quarantine rules.

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