Home Dating asia The “Swissleaks” investigation targets the bank Credit Suisse

The “Swissleaks” investigation targets the bank Credit Suisse

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PARIS: Credit Suisse bank, still reeling after losing billions of dollars last year, faced a new challenge on Sunday February 20: allegations from an international investigation that it handled money dirty for decades.

A cross-border media investigation erupted on Sunday claiming Switzerland’s second-biggest bank held tens of billions of dollars in ill-gotten funds, allegations based on an insider’s massive data leak.

Credit Suisse dismissed the “allegations and insinuations” in a statement on Sunday, saying many of the issues raised were historical, with some dating back to the 1940s.

The investigation, coordinated by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), brings together 47 different media around the world, including Le Monde in France and The Guardian in Great Britain.

This latest project, dubbed “SwissLeaks” by OCCRP, was born out of a data leak to German newspapers Suddeutsche Zeitung a little over a year ago.

Le Monde newspaper said the investigation showed Credit Suisse flouted international banking rules by holding funds linked to crime and corruption for several decades.

The leak included information on more than 18,000 bank accounts dating from the 1940s through the 2010s belonging to 37,000 individuals or businesses, OCCRP said.

This is the largest leak ever by a major Swiss bank, he added.

“TENTENTIOUS INTERPRETATIONS”

The bank, in its statement on Sunday, said: “Credit Suisse strongly rejects the allegations and insinuations regarding the bank’s alleged business practices.

“The cases presented are primarily historical, in some cases dating as far back as the 1940s, and the accounts of these cases are based on partial, inaccurate, or selective information taken out of context, resulting in biased interpretations of the conduct of the affairs of the Bank. “

About 90% of the accounts reviewed were closed – or were in the process of being closed – before the press approached the bank, he added. And more than 60% of them had been closed before 2015.

OCCRP, in a statement posted on its website, said: “We believe the dozens of examples we have cited raise serious questions about Credit Suisse’s effectiveness and commitment to accountability.”

He said the investigation had found dozens of “questionable characters” in the data.

Among them were a Yemeni spy chief implicated in torture, the sons of an Azerbaijani strongman, a Serbian drug baron and bureaucrats accused of plundering Venezuela’s oil wealth.

The sums identified in the leaked accounts amount to more than $100 billion, Le Monde said.

They mainly concern developing countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Only 1% of accounts were with customers based in Western Europe.

A SERIES OF RECOGNITIONS

The international investigation is the latest in a series of setbacks that Credit Suisse has suffered recently.

In March 2021, the bank was affected by the collapse of Greensill Capital in which it had committed around S$10 billion through four funds. The implosion of the American fund Archegos cost it more than 5 billion dollars.

And in Switzerland, a former Credit Suisse employee is among the defendants in a major corruption trial that just opened, involving allegations of money laundering and organized crime in Bulgaria. The bank said it “will vigorously defend itself in court.”

Media outlets involved in the SwissLeaks investigation include The New York Times, La Stampa in Italy, Africa Uncensored in Kenya and La Nacion in Argentina.