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UBS official arrested on suspicion of embezzlement

UBS says it will cover any losses to clients Keystone Archive

An official at a branch of the Swiss bank, UBS, has been arrested on suspicion of embezzling SFr20 million ($11.9 million).

On Saturday, prosecuting authorities in the Swiss city of Basel confirmed the arrest of a UBS branch vice director, but would not release the name of the official under investigation.

Markus Melzl, spokesman for Basel’s prosecuting office, confirmed that a French client of the Swiss banker was also under arrest.

“The bank discovered during an internal investigation that funds had been lifted from the accounts of a number of clients and transferred to an account belonging to a French client,” Melzl said.

Christoph Meier, spokesman for UBS, said the branch official was arrested on December 21 after the bank filed a criminal complaint against him.

Meier said the 35-year-old staff member was believed to have embezzled the money from other clients and paid it to the 72-year-old French client, who used the funds to purchase paintings and sculptures.

UBS has said it will cover any losses to affected clients.

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