Investigation exposes Credit Suisse, state of press freedom in Switzerland – EURACTIV.com

Swiss bank Credit Suisse served dodgy clients, helping them store illegally acquired wealth in Swiss bank accounts, an international journalistic investigation called ‘Swiss Secrets’ has revealed.

According to the investigation, some of Credit Suisse’s clients appear to include a former Filipino dictator, a Yemeni spy chief, convicted felons and corrupt politicians. Officials from Nigeria, Venezuela and other countries were also among them.

the investigation led by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, backed by 46 other media organizations, was triggered by a whistleblower who worked for Credit Suisse and provided data on 18,000 bank accounts and 30,000 clients of the Swiss credit.

The origins of some accounts dated back to the 1940s, while others were open well into the past decade, according to the survey.

In one declaration, Credit Suisse pointed out that “the issues presented are mainly historical”, arguing that the laws, practices and expectations of banks were different at the time.

The Coalition of Investigative Journalists did not include all Swiss media partners, as a 2015 Swiss law increased Swiss banking secrecy, exposing journalists to the risk of criminal prosecution and imprisonment if they published information about Swiss bank customers.

Reacting to the survey via Twitter, Swiss Social Democrat MP Samira Marti announcement that the social democrats would propose a modification of the law during the next session of the Swiss parliament.

(Janos Ammann | EURACTIV.com)

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