Lausanne bank defends employee against police

The Lausanne branch of the Portuguese Espirito Santo bank has come out in defence of one of its employees accused of assisting in a SFr1.5 billion Mafia heist.

This content was published on October 11, 2000 - 21:52

The bank's management has vehemently rejected any suggestion that the man helped to launder money stolen from the European Union via the Internet. A statement from the bank said it had confidence in the employee, who is under investigation by canton Vaud's police force.

"There are no indications whatsoever to suggest that he was involved in money laundering," the bank said. They added that they had carried out an internal inquiry to establish this.

The man, suspected of helping the Sicilian Mafia to siphon off EU subsidies destined for southern Italy, is a fund manager.

The Italian press had reported that around SFr1.5 billion had been diverted in an Internet scam, whereby the Cosa Nostra had created a phoney web page identical to the one used by the Bank of Sicily.

The Swiss financial police raided the premises of the Espirito Santo bank at the weekend along with the apartment of the fund manager.

The banker under suspicion is reportedly on a holiday abroad.

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.