The Italian financial police have arrested an ex-Swiss banker near Milan over charges of money laundering. The man is believed to have helped Italian clients launder at least €800 million (CHF830 million) through his Lugano-based firm.
Arrested by the Italian financial police a few days ago, the accused worked for the Lugano bank Cornèr from 1996 to 2012. With the assistance of a Milanese accountant – who was arrested in March 2013 under the same investigation – the ex-banker helped clients in the creation of holding companies in Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the Italian authorities stated on Monday.
The money laundering activities were allegedly carried out by the accused through an intermediary company established in Lugano, that also had a branch in Milan. The authorities believe that the scale of transaction could be higher than the €800 million detected so far. They estimate that the total amount could add up to several billion euros given that the illegal transactions were carried out over 40 years.
The accused was a member of the Cornèr bank’s board from June 1996 to March 2012. As of the end of 2014, his family held 25.2% of the bank’s shares.
swissinfo.ch and agencies