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Credit Suisse called to account for Abacha dealings

Switzerland's second largest bank, Credit Suisse, is to be hauled before a supervisory commission to account for its dealings with the former Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha.

The federal banking commission on Wednesday confirmed that it had filed a formal complaint against Credit Suisse for accepting millions of dollars in deposits belonging to Abacha and his family and associates.

It said the case had been referred to the supervisory body of the Swiss Bankers Association, which enforces self-regulation in the banking industry. It added that Credit Suisse could face fines of up to SFr10 million ($5.8 million).

The commission accuses Credit Suisse of “serious violations and shortcomings” for failing to detect and refuse assets connected to Abacha. Nigeria accuses the late dictator of robbing the federal coffers and salting away the money in overseas banks.

The commission’s complaint against Credit Suisse follows a statement last September, in which it criticised the bank, and three others, for failing to take sufficient care over the Abacha money.

It said Credit Suisse Private Banking had not exercised proper diligence in accepting deposits worth $214 million from Abacha’s two sons.

Credit Suisse says it has since tightened up its monitoring procedures, and that all personnel involved in dealings with Abacha’s regime had since left the bank.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR