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Credit Suisse was declared guilty by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court of deficient measures against money laundering intended by a Bulgaria-based cocaine trafficking group
In the country’s first criminal trial of one of its major financial institutions, Credit Suisse was convicted of failing to identify a Bulgarian gang that was charged with money laundering and drug trafficking. Switzerland’s top criminal court found Credit Suisse guilty of lacking preventive measures that allowed the trafficker to launder millions.
On Monday, the jury returned the verdict which was guilty, marking the first-ever criminal conviction of a significant Swiss lender in the history of the nation. The decision was made by the Switzerland Federal Criminal Court. In the proceedings, a former relationship manager at the bank was also found guilty of money laundering.
Credit Suisse is facing a fine of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) and a claim for 19 million francs, which is equal to the amount the bank permitted to be laundered, while the lady, former manager, was handed a 20-month suspended prison sentence.
The verdict is yet another setback for Credit Suisse, whose reputation has already taken a hit due to its argument that the crimes took place when compliance rules were less severe.
It has been dealing with a string of scandals that have driven its shares to almost record lows, and later this year it may be indicted again in a separate case.
The bank stated that it will appeal the decision, the bank said: “Credit Suisse is continuously testing its anti-money laundering framework and has been strengthening it over time, in accordance with evolving regulatory standards,”
The case was criticized by Credit Suisse for raising the charges many years after the events occurred. The bank expressed its “astonishment” in late 2020 when it was charged with money laundering offences by the Swiss prosecutor. The bank mentioned the alleged crimes took place between 2004 to 2008.
The former manager of Credit Suisse was named E. under the restrictions of the Swiss reporting. The lawyer E. stated that they will appeal the decision made on Monday. According to a lawyer, “This judgment places the responsibility for money laundering on people without any serious training or experience,” Grégoire Mangeat, E.’s lawyer, said. “It, therefore, raises a number of legal issues, which is why our client has decided to fight and to defend her position with the utmost vigour.”