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Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) Chief Executive Mark Branson (R) and FINMA Chairman Thomas Bauer arrive for a news conference in Bern, Switzerland April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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BERN (Reuters) - Swiss financial watchdog FINMA investigated more than twice as many breaches of anti-money laundering rules in 2016 as it did a year earlier, the supervisory body said on Tuesday.

The number of investigations rose to 22 from 9 in 2015 "particularly in connection with international corruption offences", the Bern-based organisation said in a statement.

In 2016, Swiss banks were central players in the scandal surrounding Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, one of the world's biggest ongoing white-collar crime cases.

BSI Bank and Falcon Private Bank were sanctioned by FINMA for their dealings with 1MDB.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields)

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