Friday, April 8 2016 19:48 EEST
Switzerland starts investigation over Panama Papers
Panama, offshore, firms, money, Europe, world, Switzerland, law, BCGG, bank, terms, credit, Geneva, Foncseca,

The papers include several Swiss companies and banks, which can be linked to offshore firms. Geneva prosecutor's office launched an investigation over Panama Papers, the chief prosecutor said on April 7. According to the Tribune de Geneve newspaper, the documents, which were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), include several Swiss companies and banks, which can be linked to offshore firms.

In particular, some accounts of offshore companies belong to such Swiss branches as HSBC, UBS, and Credit Suisse as well as Geneva branch of Deutsche Bank, the newspaper writes. According to the source, Banque Cantonale Generale de Geneve (BCGG) opened an account that belonged to the company, which was connected with the former Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili.

BCGG stated that the bank had never helped its clients in tax evasion or in creation of offshore companies and had never broken the laws of Switzerland.

Earlier, Swiss financial regulator FINMA has announced its intention to start checking the banks of the country in terms of their relations with the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. On April 7, the head of FINMA Mark Branson urged Swiss banks to fight against money laundering.

"Banks should actively provide information as soon as they detect suspicious specific moments and not just when the media has reported on the scandal," Branson said. According to his words, Switzerland has started an investigation against 20 banks in the country that can be involved in corruption scandals in relation to Brazilian state oil company Petrobras and Malaysian fund 1MDB.

On April 3, Süddeutsche Zeitung and ICIJ released results of their investigations, revealing numerous offshore companies, which had been used by various politicians, celebrities and famous athletes. The investigations are based on 2.6 terabytes of leaked information, including 11.5 million papers of the Panama-based firm Mossack Fonseca.

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