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Lugano-based business investigated for money laundering

The Swiss press has accused Nada Management of handling funds from Osama bin Laden

(Keystone Archive)

A Lugano-based financial organisation has been told by the Money Laundering Control Authority to present information about its dealings within 20 days. The move follows press allegations that Nada Management is linked with funds belonging to suspected terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

The company, previously known as Al Taqwa Management, has refuted all accusations of harbouring links with the Saudi-born militant.

However, a spokesman for the Federal Department of Finance, Dieter Leutwyler, said the company was being investigated primarily to see if it is carrying out financial transactions without a permit. This type of investigation comes under money laundering legislation, he explained.

"Whenever a company is openly accused, we have to move to investigate it," Leutwyler told swissinfo. "But this is not directly a money laundering investigation."

If the company were to be suspected of money laundering, the case would be referred to the Federal Department of Justice and Police, says Leutwyler.

The company was last year investigated by the Federal Banking Commission, which did not find evidence of irregularities or illegal transactions taking place.

The Commission however recommended that it change its name from Al Taqwa Management to avoid confusion with a Bahamas-based bank.

swissinfo with agencies

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