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New course opens to fight white-collar crime

Billions are laundered through global financial markets every year Keystone Archive

Switzerland has taken the fight against white-collar criminals to a new level with the introduction of a post-graduate diploma in combating financial crime.

This content was published on April 30, 2001 - 16:11

The course, to be run by the University of Applied Science in Lucerne, kicks off in June and will focus on ways to combat money laundering, abuse of banking secrecy and embezzlement.

The director of the Institute of Business Informatics at the university, Markus Wyss, told swissinfo that the course will create more of a level the playing field between criminals and their pursuers.

"On the whole, people who are committing white collar crime are well educated. We therefore have to train those who are fighting it to equal levels."

The course is the latest in a number of strategies that Switzerland has implemented in a bid to counter criticism that it is a soft on financial crime.

Wyss said students will be taught how to tackle financial crime on all levels, including "the day-to-day crime in international and small-sized firms".

Courses will be taught by academics as well as professionals, covering four main areas to best equip students with the skills and know-how to spot and deal with white-collar crime.

Over the one-and-a-half years, students will attend courses covering criminality, the justice system, business studies, and information technology under the tutelage of academics and professionals.

So far, more than 100 people have enrolled on the first course, but Wyss believes that its popularity will soon spread beyond Switzerland.

"Two police commanders from Austria and Germany came to Monday's opening session to see if the course would be useful to them too," he said.

The University of Neuchatel will also host part of the courses, while the University of Lausanne will provide some of its legal expertise.

swissinfo

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