Swiss money laundering cases at record high

Published on April 30, 2015 01:51:23 AM
Long considered a safe haven for suspected black money, Switzerland has reported a sharp rise in the 'suspicious activity reports' received by its Money Laundering Reporting Office to a record high level of 1,753. The quantum of the funds involved in these cases has also risen by 12 per cent to more than 3.3 billion Swiss francs.

According to the latest annual data released by the MROS (Money Laundering Reporting Office of Switzerland), the number of Suspected Activity Reports (SARs) received by it during 2014 rose by 24 per cent to 1,753, while over 85 per cent of reports came from the banks. This has exceeded the previous record of 1,625 SARs received in 2011.

The reporting volume from the banking sector rose from 1,123 SARs in 2013 to 1,495 SARs in 2014, an increase of 33 per cent. However, the number of SARs from other financial sectors declined, most notably from fiduciaries and asset managers.

Swiss banks have been at the centre of a global clampdown against black money, including by the Indian authorities. Switzerland has committed to help in India's fight against the black money menace, including by way of providing information in cases where the Indian authorities provide evidence of suspected wrongdoings.

One SAR involved assets of more than CHF 200 million, while six other SARs involved assets of over CHF 75 million. Together these seven SARs made up approximately one third of total asset value.