Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court Monday fined Credit Suisse two million Swiss francs for failing to stop an employee who allowed a criminal organization to launder money through the bank. It also confiscated 12 million francs from Credit Suisse accounts linked to money laundering.
The court says that between July 2007 and December 2008 a customer relations employee allowed a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking organization to launder more than 19 million francs through the bank. The employee carried out transfers for the traffickers despite evidence that the money was obtained through criminal means. The court imposed on the employee a 20-month suspended sentence and a fine for her role in the money laundering.
The court fined Credit Suisse after finding that the bank did not properly apply its anti-money laundering policies when dealing with the traffickers. Under Swiss law, if a company negligently allows one or more of its employees to launder money, it is subject to a fine.
The court also convicted two Bulgarians of belonging to a criminal organization and money laundering in the same case.
This is not the first time that Credit Suisse has been scrutinized for criminal use of its banking services. In February, a German newspaper leaked details of Credit Suisse accounts linked to criminal activity including torture, corruption, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. In late 2021, Credit Suisse and British and US authorities settled for USD 700 million over the bank’s loans to Mozambique state-owned security companies, which Swiss regulators claimed violated anti-money laundering rules. Credit Suisse was also fined by the US Department of Justice in 2014 for enabling tax evasion.
Credit Suisse said in a press release that it will appeal the Monday decision.