Saturday, February 12, 2022

Credit Suisse faces criminal charges for helping drug dealers use "smurfing" to launder money


A former Credit Suisse employee testified on Thursday that she kept the bank's management fully informed of outflows from Bulgarian customers' accounts after authorities in Sofia asked Switzerland for judicial assistance.

In the first criminal trial of a major bank in Switzerland, Credit Suisse and the former employee face charges of allowing an alleged Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang to launder millions of euros, some of it stuffed into suitcases.

More Reuters:

The customer, who was later shot dead as he left a restaurant with his wife in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2005, had begun placing suitcases full of cash in a safe deposit box at Credit Suisse, the indictment says.

Prosecutors allege the gang used a practice known as smurfing, whereby a large sum of money is broken down into smaller amounts that are below the anti-money laundering alert threshold, to launder money, putting millions of euros in small-value bills into safety deposit boxes and later transferring them into accounts.