Court convicted Credit Suisse for promoting money laundering tied to cocaine rings

Swiss bank Credit Suisse said on June 27 that Switzerland was unable to prevent money laundering by cocaine trafficking gangsters in Bulgaria in its first such criminal trial against one of the major banks. Convicted by the Federal Criminal Court.

The incident involved millions of euros in bank deposits made by the trafficking ring to Credit Suisse between 2004 and 2008. Deposits were the result of drug sales activities and were eventually used to buy real estate in Switzerland and Bulgaria.

According to the prosecution, a former banker has established an informal financial relationship with Bulgarian wrestler Evelyn Banef, a key figure in the cocaine smuggling ring.

Former Bulgarian tennis player Elena Pampolowa-Bergomi is said to have regularly collected “cash-filled” bags from people associated with former wrestlers. BBC..

“The court found a flaw in the bank regarding the management of customer relationships with criminal organizations,” the court said in a statement, the BBC reported. “These flaws have made it possible to withdraw the assets of criminal organizations.”

According to Reuters, Credit Suisse could have prevented the infringement if it had fulfilled its organizational obligations, the presiding judge said, handing down the ruling. The judge also accused Credit Suisse’s Pampolowa Bergomi’s boss of being “passive.”

The court fined Credit Suisse for CHF 2 million ($ 2.1 million) and ordered the confiscation of more than CHF 12 million ($ 12.5 million) held by the trafficking ring at Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse was also ordered to abandon more than CHF19 million ($ 19.8 million). This is the amount that could not be confiscated due to the bank’s internal bankruptcy. As for Pampoulova-Bergomi, the court sentenced her to a suspended sentence of 20 months and at the same time fined her about $ 2 million.

Influential decisions

This is the first time a Swiss bank has been the subject of such a criminal proceeding, and therefore the court’s decision could be significant. Credit Suisse is the second largest bank in Switzerland after UBS.

“Swiss law allows us to hold the company to explain fraud, but there were few court convictions. This case is serious and a strong signal to other Swiss banks. “We will send you,” said Mark Herkenlas, Deputy Director of Transparency International in Switzerland. Reuters..

According to Swiss law, businesses may be held liable if they do not take the necessary steps to prevent the occurrence of a crime. Following the crackdown on international regulations aimed at preventing money laundering, Swiss private banks have adopted stricter money laundering prevention checks.

and statementCredit Suisse said banks are “continuously testing the money laundering prevention framework” and are strengthening it over time in accordance with regulatory standards. Banks reported a loss of approximately $ 2.2 billion in the fourth quarter.

The Epoch Times contacted Credit Suisse for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Naveen Athrappully


Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter on business and global events in The Epoch Times.