Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank rocked by a string of scandals, was fined $2 million on Monday in a money laundering case linked to a Bulgarian cocaine network.
The Swiss Federal Criminal Court found that the bank had taken no steps to prevent money laundering by the criminal organization and found it guilty of breaching its corporate responsibility.
Credit Suisse was fined two million Swiss francs ($2.1 million). Zurich Bank wants to appeal.
It has been blamed for the failure of its hierarchy and its legal and compliance departments to oversee the “banking relationships” linked to the criminal gang and to ensure their “compliance with anti-money laundering regulations”.
A former employee was found guilty of aggravated money laundering in a series of transactions she conducted or ordered between July 2007 and December 2008, despite clear indications the funds were of criminal origin.
Their actions allowed the criminal gang to hide more than 19 million Swiss francs out of the reach of authorities.
She was sentenced to 20 months in prison and a fine, both of which were suspended.
In a brief statement, Credit Suisse said it had taken note of the court decision and intended to appeal.
Two Bulgarians were also found guilty of involvement in a criminal organization and aggravated money laundering.
The court also ordered the confiscation of funds from the criminal organization from Credit Suisse, valued at over CHF 12 million.
In addition, the bank must compensate the more than 19 million Swiss francs in assets belonging to the criminal organization, “which could not be confiscated due to internal bank failures,” according to the court statement.
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