Friday, May 27, 2016

Dictator Najis illicit wealth confiscated by Swiss

ZURICH • Switzerland will implement a new law in July to help seize and repatriate illicit wealth parked in its banks by foreign dictators, the government has said.

This issue was in the news again this week when the Monetary Authority of Singapore ordered the closure of Swiss private bank BSI's operations locally, and Swiss prosecutors began criminal proceedings against BSI in the biggest international crackdown on financial entities dealing with a scandal-hit Malaysian government fund.

The Swiss Cabinet agreed to implement from July 1 a law that lets the authorities seize and return funds that foreign leaders looted, even in cases that cannot be resolved through standard international requests for mutual legal assistance.

Switzerland has tightened money-laundering laws in recent years and requires financial institutions to enforce "know your customer" rules. 

These also cover "politically exposed persons" encompassing leaders, ministers and military brass.

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