The leaked data shows that until recently, the Swiss bank Credit Suisse had accounts worth more than $ 100 billion for sanctioned individuals and heads of state accused of money laundering.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that more than 18,000 bank accounts were affected by the data breach. The data goes back to accounts that were opened from the 1940s to the 2000s, but not to current transactions.
Account holders with “millions of dollars in Credit Suisse” included King Abdullah II of Jordan and former Venezuelan Deputy Energy Minister Nerves Villalobos.
King Abdullah II was accused of embezzling financial assistance for personal gain, and Villalobos pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2018. Other sanctioned individuals also had accounts with Credit Suisse, as the New York Times wrote:
Other account holders included the children of a Pakistani intelligence chief who helped draw billions of dollars from the United States and other countries to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Banteg, chief developer of Yearn.finance, a decentralized financial income platform, tweeted on Sunday: “Credit Suisse AML Bank is happy to host traffickers, murderers and corrupt officials.” Commentators pointed to HSBC, another major international bank that pays huge fines for helping dangerous international criminals.
Although there are laws that prevent Swiss banks from accepting deposits from known criminals, the country’s infamous banking secrecy laws make it easy to evade, if they are enforced at all. This seems to have made Switzerland an attractive destination for criminals to conduct their international banking operations. The New York Times wrote:
“The leak shows that Credit Suisse opened accounts and continued to offer its services not only to the wealthy, but to people whose troubled past was obvious to anyone who ran their name through a search engine.”
The irony of helping a large traditional financial institution help large criminals has not gone unnoticed by the crypto community, which has been fighting accusations of inciting criminals for years. The $ 100 billion deposits that were uncovered in the data breach dwarf the $ 25 billion that Chainalysis estimates will be held by criminal cryptocurrencies from 2021 onwards.
Related topics: Multichain returns $ 2.6 million in stolen funds to compensate for loss of condition
The bank denies criminal guilt, but the centralized secrecy with which Credit Suisse operates is in contrast to the completely transparent blockchain technology. This openness can also mean that investigators and law enforcement can spy on individuals and authorities trying to avoid real-time financial sanctions.