Saturday, October 31, 2020

Ex-Bankers of Private Bank Coutts International Fined for Roles in 1MDB Money Laundering Scheme

-

Coutts International isn’t the biggest Swiss bank in the 1MDB scandal – but the British bank’s overseas unit was heavily sanctioned two years ago for its dealings with Jho Low. American officials believe Low was at the nexus of a $4.5 billion Malaysia graft scheme.

Two former top executives at Coutts didn’t do enough to prevent Low from using the bank for wrong-doing, according to a Swiss federal sanction reported by Swiss daily «Tages-Anzeiger».

Appealing Sanction

The men, whose names or current professional status weren’t disclosed, were sanctioned by Switzerland’s finance ministry and fined, the outlet reported, citing a 50-page government report. The former anti-money laundering expert at Coutts International was given an undisclosed fine, which he is appealing.

- Advertisement -

The executive’s boss, whose role isn’t clarified in the Swiss report, was also fined, to the tune of 13,000 Swiss francs ($13,000). Emails between the two bankers from 2009, when Low opened an account with Coutts International, and 2013, when he closed out his accounts, show how the Swiss-based went back and forth on dealing with him, as finews.com previously reported.

Zurich vs Singapore

Low deposited $700 million at Coutts’ Zurich office soon after opening accounts. In parallel, the Malaysian businessman had already sparked an alarm at the bank’s Singapore offices, where he also maintained ties. A banker there said he was alarmed about Low’s propensity to splash out on gambling and for jewelry.

A curious exchange between bankers in Zurich, who argued that Swiss banks «better understood» the Asian client mentality than local firms, and in Singapore, which continued to raise alarm, ensued.

- Advertisement -

Spendacious Malaysian

When Low began appearing in U.S. society pages as a mysterious Malaysian known for voracious spending at New York parties, bankers at Coutts in Singapore escalated the matter to Zurich. The outlet reported that the then-CEO of Coutts International decreed that the bank would be more cautious with transactions relating to Low’s personal spending in Singapore.

The outlet reports that Low’s rental of private jets, yachts, and gambling in Macau and Las Vegas were financed out of money held by Coutts. He financed the purchase of a private jet with money that passed through Coutts on its way to an undisclosed U.S. law firm, «Tages-Anzeiger» reported.

Swiss Banks Hit

The assets and clients of Coutts International were acquired by Union Bancaire Privee in 2015. Swiss banks including Falcon, UBS, and Credit Suisse were hit by the scandal. Banca della Svizzera Italiana, now part of EFG International, was effectively wiped out by it.

1MDB isn’t the only huge money laundering scandal to hit Switzerland’s wealth management industry recently, but it is one of the worst. Swiss regulator Finma has parsed the sins of private banks in unusually frank detail, often quoting verbatim from internal emails.

Source: finews

MUST READ

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Operators of fake theology school accused of stealing $12 million in student aid

Six people from three states are charged with defrauding $12 million from federal student aid programs by allegedly enrolling students into a theology school...

Malta’s regulator fines Lombard Bank $397,000 over money laundering breaches

Lombard Bank has been fined €340,058 for breaching anti-money laundering obligations by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. The breaches were identified by the FIAU in...

Taiwan’s UMC fined $60m for theft of trade secret to help Chinese chipmaker

Taiwan’s UMC has pleaded guilty to trade secret theft in the United States and will pay a $60 million fine in a case where...

Former Columbus mayor Eisenga charged with bank fraud

A former Columbus mayor and businessman who was once at the center of a controversial bill aimed at reducing child support payments for wealthy...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks