A criminal case trial against Credit Suisse for cocaine trafficking has begun in Switzerland. Despite strong indications that the funds were of criminal origin, a former Credit Suisse official carried out conducting transactions for the ring.
On Monday, a Swiss criminal court began hearings against Credit Suisse, charging the bank of neglecting to do enough to prevent money laundering connected to narcotics trafficking by a Bulgarian crime syndicate. According to the Associated Press, the group used a wrestler who formerly transported millions of dollars to Switzerland by automobile.
To safeguard the defendants’ confidentiality, their identities have not yet been publicly disclosed, although Swiss prosecutors named Credit Suisse by name in an indictment issued in December 2020, reports Russia Today.
The lawsuit, which involves a former Swiss bank manager and two crime network members, comes after a years-long probe into claims of wrongdoing that allegedly occurred between 2004 and 2008.
Credit Suisse reportedly refuted any misconduct, claiming during Monday’s hearing that it “unreservedly rejects as meritless all allegations in this legacy matter raised against it and is convinced that its former employee is innocent.” The bank added that it “will defend itself vigorously in court.”
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Following the collapse of communism, pro athletes in Bulgaria “turned towards other sources of income, and numerous wrestlers received approaches from mafia clans,” according to the Swiss attorney general’s office. As a result, one anonymous wrestler planned to benefit by smuggling tons of cocaine from South America to Europe through air and water, then laundering the earnings.
The earnings from the drug transactions were deposited into Swiss bank accounts between 2004 and at least 2007, according to court documents, and were used to purchase real estate in Bulgaria and Switzerland in particular.
Prosecutors said that the wrestler’s “main offense was committed in February 2006, when he transported the equivalent of more than four million Swiss francs (over $4 million) in small denomination notes hidden in his car from Barcelona to Switzerland.”
They further claimed that despite “strong indications that the funds were of criminal origin,” a former Credit Suisse official in charge of business connections with the criminal organization carried out conducting transactions for the ring.
The executive is alleged of obstructing the investigation into the origins of the payments, which totaled upwards of 140 million Swiss francs (about $150 million).
Credit Suisse has repeatedly denied the charges, stating that the court might mandate “profit disgorgement” and a potential penalty of $5 million.