A recent leak reveals that Credit Suisse held more than $100 billion in accounts for sanctioned individuals and heads of state suspected of money laundering.
Over 18,000 bank accounts were included in the data leak, according to the New York Times. This data covers accounts that have been open since the 1940s through the 2010s but do not include current operations.
In addition to King Abdullah II of Jordan, the former vice-minister of energy of Venezuela, Nervis Villalobos, held "millions of dollars in Credit Suisse."
King Abdullah II allegedly misappropriated financial aid for his own benefit, while Villalobos admitted to money laundering in 2018. In addition to these sanctioned individuals, Credit Suisse also held accounts with the following individuals:
In the 1980s, the U.S and other governments donated billions of dollars to the (Mujahideen) in Afghanistan through the accounts of the sons of a Pakistani intelligence chief.
Even though Swiss banks are prohibited from accepting deposits from known criminals, the country's famous bank secrecy laws make it easy to evade them. Due to this, Switzerland may have become an attractive place for criminals to conduct international banking. According to the New York Times, "The leak demonstrates that Credit Suisse opened accounts for and served not only ultrawealthy clients but also those whose problematic backgrounds would have been readily apparent to anyone who ran their names through a search engine."
Coincidentally, the cryptocurrencies community, which has faced accusations of abetting criminals for years, took note of the irony of major traditional financial institutions aiding high criminals.
Based on Chainalysis, there were 4,068 criminal whales holding more than $25 billion in cryptocurrency, dwarfing those revealed by the data leak.
According to the report, "criminal whales account for 3.7% of all crypto whales, that is, private wallets containing over $1 million in cryptocurrency."
Despite Credit Suisse's denials of wrongdoing, its centralized and clandestine approach contrasts sharply with blockchain technology, which is completely transparent.
By enhancing transparency, investigators and law enforcement may be able to monitor those who attempt to evade sanctions in real-time