Due to its role in money laundering connected to a narcotics network in Bulgaria, Credit Suisse has been found guilty and punished.
The bank did not take sufficient steps to stop members of the crime syndicate from making money off the trafficking of cocaine into Europe, according to Switzerland’s criminal court.
It was hit with a £1.7 million punishment and forced to reimburse the Swiss government £15 million.
The bank asserts its innocence and announced it will challenge the judgment in court.
The highest criminal court in Switzerland convicted former Bulgarian tennis star Elena Pampoulova-Bergomi guilty of money laundering and sentenced her to 20 months in jail with a suspended sentence. Her £1.7 million fine was suspended as well.
The bank’s participation in receiving millions of Euros in bank deposits between 2004 and 2008 was the subject of testimony before the court, which it said was replete with warning signs. According to the prosecution, Pampoulova-Bergomi developed an unofficial financial connection with former Bulgarian wrestler Evelin Banev, who was a key player in a European cocaine smuggling network. According to testimony given in court, the former tennis player frequently obtained bags “full of cash” from acquaintances of the wrestler, some of which totaled the equivalent of £400,000.
“The bank’s handling of customer contacts with the criminal organization was determined to have flaws by the court.
The court stated in a statement that “these shortcomings facilitated the removal of the criminal organization’s assets.”
Additionally, testimony on the drug trafficking gang’s criminal acts, including murder, was presented before the Swiss court.
The second-largest bank in Switzerland is Credit Suisse, which denies any wrongdoing. It is the first time that a Swiss bank has been the target of such legal action.
The bank stated that it has been “strengthening its anti-money laundering structure over time, in conformity with growing regulatory standards.”
Monday’s afternoon trading saw a 0.7 percent decline in Credit Suisse stock, but the day closed with a 0.4 percent gain.