Credit Suisse surveillance of former executive deemed too sweeping

The spying affair became public creating a scandal in the discreet world of Swiss banking. Keystone / Walter Bieri

Privacy of third parties was not respected by the detective agency carrying out surveillance on former wealth manager Iqbal Khan.

This content was published on January 12, 2020 - 15:04

The bank’s Chief Operating Officer, who later resigned, ordered Khan to be followed last September after he announced that he was leaving the company for rival UBS. Khan noticed he was being tailed and confronted the detective. The affair became public creating a scandal in the discreet world of Swiss banking.

According to the Le Matin Dimanche paper, which managed to get hold of the 17-page surveillance report, the detectives took photos and recorded movements of third parties. The images of non-bankers – such as family members, gardeners and restaurant owners – were not blurred nor were their identities protected in the report. Car licence plates of those who came in contact with Khan were also recorded. Zurich’s chief data protection officer told Le Matin Dimanche that the inclusion of details of ‘innocent’ third parties violated privacy regulations.

The Zurich prosecutor had launched criminal proceedings based on Khan’s complaint. An employee of the detective firm that carried out the surveillance has also filed a criminal complaint against Khan and his wife to the prosecutor’s office handling the criminal proceedings.

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