Top Swiss Bank ‘Credit Suisse’ fined over drugs gang money laundering

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A $2 million punishment was levied on Credit Suisse on Monday in a money laundering case connected to a Bulgarian cocaine network. Credit Suisse is the second-largest bank in Switzerland and has been rocked by a number of scandals.

The bank was found guilty of violating its corporate duty by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court for failing to take action to stop the criminal organisation from laundering money.

Two million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) in fines were imposed on Credit Suisse. The bank, based in Zurich, plans to appeal.

It was blamed for failing to oversee “financial relations” connected to the criminal gang and to assure their “compliance with anti-money laundering rules” up through its hierarchy and by its legal and compliance divisions.

Watch | Swiss consider amending Banking Secrecy laws

Despite clear indicators that the money had illegal origins, a former employee was found guilty of aggravated money laundering for a number of transactions she carried out or directed to be done between July 2007 and December 2008.

Her activities enabled the criminal organisation to conceal more than 19 million Swiss francs from law enforcement.

She received a fine and a 20-month prison sentence that were both suspended.

Credit Suisse issued a succinct statement in which it noted the court’s ruling and declared its intention to appeal.

Additionally, two Bulgarians were convicted of aggravated money laundering and involvement in a criminal organisation.

The court also ordered the confiscation of a sum equivalent to more than 12 million francs concerning funds deposited with Credit Suisse by the criminal organisation.

Furthermore, the bank will have to compensate the more than 19 million francs in assets belonging to the criminal organisation “which could not be confiscated due to the bank’s internal failures”, the court statement said.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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