Middle East

Suisse Secrets show how the international financial industry enables theft and corruption

New Delhi: The “Suisse Secrets” project investigates bank account information leaked from Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest creditor. The leak included over 18,000 accounts that had over $ 100 billion at peak times. This is the only information known to have leaked customer data from a major Swiss bank to journalists.

Switzerland is a well-known destination for money from all over the world, thanks in part to the Bank Secrecy Act. There is nothing inherently bad about having a Swiss bank account. However, banks are supposed to avoid clients who make illegal money or get involved in crime. Reporters have identified dozens of corrupt government officials, criminals, and alleged human rights violations among Credit Suisse account holders, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) said. In the report.

Credit Suisse has maintained relationships with some of these clients for years, despite the notoriety revealed by a quick Google search, but some accounts are law enforcement. It may have been ordered by the enforcement agency to be frozen.

The Suisse Secrets project investigates these account holders, where misuse of Swiss bank secrets is a prime example of how the international financial industry allows theft and corruption.

The data for Suisse Secrets was provided to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source over a year ago. Nothing is known about the identity of the source.

However, the source provided a statement explaining his or her motives.

Partly written as follows: “I believe the Swiss Bank Secrecy Act is immoral. The excuse to protect financial privacy is just a leaf of a fig that covers the shameful role of Swiss banks as a collaborator for tax evaders. ¿½ This situation allows corruption and starves the coveted tax revenues of developing countries.

“I would like to emphasize the fact that the responsibility for this situation lies not with the Swiss bank, but with the Swiss legal system. Banks are simply good capitalists by maximizing profits within the legal framework they operate. Simply put, Swiss lawyers are responsible for enabling financial crimes, and thanks to direct democracy, the Swiss people have the power to do something about it. “

These publication-worthy cases involved clients known to be at high risk: politically connected people, or those accused or convicted of serious crimes. According to OCCRP, dozens of Credit Suisse accounts belonged to prominent figures, alongside scandals, criminal investigations, or prominent political events in which they were involved.

One example is Rodoljub Radulovic, one of the largest cocaine smuggling cartels in Eastern Europe, led by the infamous Serbian drug tycoon Darko Salic. Radulovic was able to open a Credit Suisse account despite its long history of being involved in financial scandals in the United States. According to a Serbian prosecutor, he used it to wash more than € 3 million in drug funds.

The other was Eduard Seidel, a former CEO of German telecommunications giant Siemens in Nigeria, whose account contained tens of millions of Swiss francs. Two of them remained open for almost a decade after the allegations of his involvement in a large-scale bribery scandal in Nigeria were first broken.

Then there’s Muller Conrad Rautenbach, a mining mogul licensed by the United States and the EU, openly bragging about the willingness to bribe the way to the top. He opened a large account in Credit Suisse even after warning that the United Nations oversees corrupt mining transactions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The bigger story that integrates these cases is the story of a major financial institution that allowed clients to hide their laundered or stolen assets. According to OCCRP, almost all articles rely on publicly available information, and Credit Suisse’s due diligence department should have had access to this information as well.

Graham Burrow, a specialist in financial crime, said:

“What you shouldn’t be able to do is use the banking system to introduce and justify the fraudulently acquired wealth.”

https://www.siasat.com/suisse-secrets-shows-how-international-financial-industry-enables-theft-corruption-2279940/ Suisse Secrets show how the international financial industry enables theft and corruption

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