Credit Suisse accused of helping cocaine traffickers launder millions of euros

Credit Suisse faced charges in a Swiss court today of allowing a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang to clean millions of euros of dirty money, adding to the long list of scandals that have ensnared the Swiss lender.

Swiss prosecutors are seeking to secure 42.4m Swiss francs (£33.8m) in damages from Credit Suisse.

Prosecutors have accused Credit Suisse of weak internal money laundering controls that failed to prevent dirty cash flowing through the bank between 2004 and 2008.

A former Credit Suisse relationship manager has also been accused of failing to take steps to prevent the drug traffickers laundering cash.

Some of the illicit money was stuffed into suitcases by the criminal gang.

Credit Suisse denies any wrongdoing.

A spokesperson for the lender told Reuters: “Credit Suisse unreservedly rejects as meritless all allegations in this legacy matter raised against it and is convinced that its former employee is innocent,”

It intends to “defend itself vigorously in court,” the spokesperson added.

The indictment, which is more than 500 pages long, is the latest in a series of scandals that have engulfed Credit Suisse.

Last month, its chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio quit after an internal probe found he had broken Covid-19 quarantine rules in Switzerland and the UK to attend the Wimbledon tennis and Euro 2020 finals in July 2021.

Former CEO Tidjane Thiam also left the lender in February 2020 after it emerged Credit Suisse had hired undercover agents to spy on its former head of wealth management Iqbal Khan.

Last October, Credit Suisse was slapped with a £350m fine for its role in the “tuna bond” scandal, which saw a proportion of loans arranged for the Republic of Mozambique designed to be channeled into government-backed investments were funnelled back to the Swiss lender.