Investigative Report Says Credit Suisse Harbored Dirty Money From Former Soviet Republics, Balkans
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An international journalistic investigation claims that Switzerland's second-largest bank, Credit Suisse, has for decades administered billions of dollars in hidden wealth belonging to dictators, human rights abusers, and individuals suspected of corruption and other criminal activity -- some of them from former Soviet republics and Balkan states.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a nonprofit journalism consortium that partners with dozens of media outlets, on February 20 issued the conclusions of the investigation based on a massive data leak.
Credit Suisse has officially rejected the accusations, calling them "allegations and insinuations," saying in a statement that part of the information was old, dating back more than seven decades.
The OCCRP said the leak, the largest ever involving a Swiss bank, included more than 18,000 bank accounts, many of which "remained open well into the 2010s."
According to the OCCRP report, which is based on the analysis of Credit Suisse accounts worth some $100 billion at their peak, more than $8 billion belonged to corrupt officials, dictators and their relatives, criminals and others suspected of criminal activity, and human rights abusers, among others.
Some 48 media outlets worldwide took part in the investigation, including The New York Times, Le Monde, and The Guardian.
Among those who hold or held the accounts in question are the following individuals from former Soviet republics and the Balkans:
Armenia: former President Armen Sarkisian.
Azerbaijan: Rza and Seymur Talibov, two sons of former Azerbaijani official Vasif Talibov; Azerbaijani businessman Vugar Abbasov, a close associate of Vagif Talibov; Anar Mahmudov, a son of the former National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov; Eldar Azizov, the mayor of Baku.
Belarus: Alyaksey Aleksin, a Belarusian tycoon close to authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.