Credit Suisse under fire as clients hunted for tax evasion

This Oct. 21, 2015 file photo shows the logo of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, in Zurich, Switzerland. (AP)
Updated 02 April 2017
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Credit Suisse under fire as clients hunted for tax evasion

AMSTERDAM/ZURICH: Swiss bank Credit Suisse has been dragged into yet more tax evasion and money laundering investigations, after a tip-off to Dutch prosecutors about tens of thousands of suspect accounts triggered raids in five countries.
Coordinated raids began on Thursday in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, France and Australia, the Dutch office for financial crimes prosecution (FIOD) said on Friday, with two arrests confirmed so far.
The Dutch are “investigating dozens of people who are suspected of tax fraud and money laundering,” the prosecutors said, adding that suspects had deposited money in a Swiss bank without disclosing that to authorities.
British tax authorities said they had opened a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering by “a global financial institution” and would be focusing initially on “senior employees,” along with an unspecified number of customers.
Prosecutors in the German city of Cologne said they were also working with the Dutch. “We have launched an investigation against clients of a bank,” a spokesman said.
None of the authorities disclosed the name of the bank involved. However, Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, said local authorities had visited its offices in Amsterdam, London and Paris “concerning client tax matters” and it was cooperating.
It said later it had launched an internal probe. “The investigation will be executed by compliance, it will not be executed by the business,” Iqbal Khan, who is responsible for Credit Suisse’s private banking operations outside Switzerland and Asia Pacific, told Reuters.
“If any individuals are implicated or have violated against these processes or procedures or policies that are in place then we will identify that very quickly.”
The Dutch FIOD seized administrative records as well as the contents of bank accounts, real estate, jewelry, a luxury car, expensive paintings and a gold bar from houses in four Dutch towns and cities. The FIOD tweeted a photo of some of the seized assets.


Dubai regulators move against Abraaj Capital

Updated 17 August 2018
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Dubai regulators move against Abraaj Capital

  • Dubai regulators have implemented a winding up order against Abraaj Capital stopping it from doing any new business in the emirate’s financial center
  • The DFSA said it has also stopped Abraaj Capital from moving funds to other parts of the group

DUBAI: Dubai regulators have moved against Abraaj Capital, the UAE arm of the beleaguered private equity group, implementing a winding up order against it and stopping it doing any new business in the emirate’s financial center.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority, the regulatory arm of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), announced the moves after the DIFC Courts earlier this month received a petition to wind up the troubled firm under UAE insolvency laws.

The court has appointed two liquidators from the accounting firm Deloitte to oversee the winding up order.

“The DFSA will continue to take all necessary actions within its remit to protect the interests of investors and the DIFC,” the regulator said in a statement.

 

The DFSA also said it has stopped Abraaj Capital from moving funds to other parts of the group.


The DFSA has been monitoring events at the company since the scandal at Abraaj broke in February, involving redirection of investment funds to purposes for which they were not intended.

Only a relatively small part of Abraaj’s operations fall under the remit of the DFSA. Most of its business and assets are located in the Cayman Islands, the domicile for its ultimate holding company Abraaj Holdings Limited (AHL) and its main operation business Abraaj Investment Management. The Cayman entities are also going through liquidation procedures.

The DFSA said: “Given the onset of financial difficulties of the wider Abraaj Group, the DFSA has been closely monitoring the activities of its regulated entity ACL. The DFSA has taken regulatory actions over the past few months in order to safeguard the interests of investors and the DIFC.

“Given such actions and the current matters surrounding the Abraaj Group, the DFSA continues to monitor the limited financial services activities currently being undertaken by ACL,” it added.

ACL was authorized to conduct various financial services from DIFC, including managing assets and fund administration, but restricted to funds established by the firm or members of its group.

It could also advise on financial products, arranging deals in investments, and arranging and advising on credit.

It is unprecedented for the DFSA to comment on a case while it is still under investigation, but the application in the DIFC Courts on Aug. 1 presented an opportunity to address investors and DIFC members who were concerned about the scandal, which some observers believe has been damaging for Dubai’s reputation as a regional financial hub.

FACTOID

The Dubai Financial Services Authority has been monitoring events at Abraaj since a scandal emerged involving redirection of investment funds to purposes for which they were not intended.