For the longest time, the argument by critics that bitcoin is often used by criminals to facilitate large-scale money laundering has largely undermined the growth of the asset class.
However, several recent money laundering cases have revealed that money launderers are not using as much bitcoin as the media and bitcoin critics portray. Rather, top financial institutions have been exposed to carry out this activity on a much larger scale.
Credit Suisse Aids Criminals Launder Over $109B
A whistleblower has recently exposed the role of one of the largest private banks in the world, Credit Suisse, in helping criminals launder funds gotten from illicit activities.
The huge trove of banking data leaked by the whistleblower contained the details of over 30,000 clients of the Swiss-based bank, unmasking their identities. The accounts held a whopping 100 billion Swiss francs (approximately $109 billion)
Per the confidential data, Credit Suisse had opened and maintained multiple accounts for a shocking number of high-risk clients from different parts of the world.
The list had contained clients deeply involved in corruption, terrorist financing, drug, and human trafficking, and several other serious criminal activities.
In a statement, the whistleblower said, “I believe that Swiss banking secrecy laws are immoral… The pretext of protecting financial privacy is merely a fig leaf covering the shameful role of Swiss banks as collaborators of tax evaders.”
Credit Suisse Denies the Allegations
Following the flurry of charges brought against the bank, Credit Suisse has denied all of the charges, stating that the charges have been brought up to discredit the bank and the Swiss financial marketplace.
“Credit Suisse strongly rejects the allegations and inferences about the bank’s purported business practices… Furthermore, the accounts of these matters are based on partial, selective information taken out of context, resulting in tendentious interpretations of the bank’s business conduct.”
The bank also claimed that most of the allegations were historical, dating back to a time when “laws, practices, and expectations of financial institutions were very different from where they are now”.
Not the First Time
This recent development comes just a few months after the Swiss bank was mandated to pay a hefty fine of $400 million for its role in the loan scandal in the East African country, Mozambique.
This latest money laundering case involving Credit Suisse is just one of the many examples of such illegal practices currently going on in several traditional financial institutions.
Sadly, since bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous and decentralized, bitcoin is often tagged as the culprit, hindering its mainstream adoption. But, is bitcoin the culprit in this new Credit Suisse scandal?
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