Swiss banker arrested in France

A top Geneva private banker has been arrested in the French city of Marseilles suspected of money laundering.

This content was published on December 4, 2007 - 14:47

The Banque de Patrimoines Privés (BPP) de Genève said François Rouge had resigned as its chairman after his arrest at the weekend.

The bank said in a statement on Tuesday that it was "astonished" to hear of Rouge's arrest, but stressed that the affair was of a personal nature and not linked to the bank.

Rouge allegedly financed a casino and two clubs which are at the centre of a conflict between rival mafia gangs from Nice and Corsica, according to the French authorities.

The banker reportedly believed he was making a good investment but the gangs were apparently using the establishments in their fight for control of the region.

He was arrested last week while the authorities attempted to clarify his alleged role in the affair. He has been in prison in Marseilles since Saturday.

The BPP has around 40 employees in Geneva and four in Zurich. It also has a branch in the Bahamas.

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