Swiss banks report record number of suspicious transactions

6 April 2009

Switzerland's Money Laundering Reporting Office (MLRO) received a record number of suspicious activity reports related to money laundering from the country's banking sector last year, according to reports.

The federal department of justice and police (FDJP) said the combined value of assets covered by the reports also hit a record high, doubling from 2007 to hit $1.65 billion.

In total, the MLRO received 851 suspicious activity reports during 2008, up from 795 the year before.

The banking sector accounted for 67 per cent of the warnings, the FDJP noted.

Fraud and in particular investment fraud accounted for the majority of reports, with 38.5 per cent of the total, while another 9.5 per cent of suspicious activity was linked to bribery.

The FDJP said that in most of these cases, the corruption was taking place abroad, with money then deposited into Swiss accounts.
Switzerland was recently included on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's 'grey list' of territories that do not comply with international standards on sharing tax information.

The country denies being a tax haven.

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