Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Ukrainian billionaire faces US money laundering probe

A federal grand jury in Cleveland is examining whether Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through the US property market, reports BuzzFeed.

The investigation concerns whether Kolomoisky bought properties with money he allegedly embezzled. Ukrainian authorities are reportedly investigating whether Kolomoisky misapropriated millions of dollars from Ukrainian bank PrivatBank.

Kolomoisky said he is unaware of the US investigation and has denied wrongdoing.

NCA recovers $8 million following Commerzbank tip-off

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) says it has recovered $8 million from a Commerzbank account that the agency believes was “part of a fund operated for the purpose of tax evasion, money laundering, bribery and corruption.” 

The NCA said the bank account was set up using fake identities and was designed to look like it was owned by a legitimate Liberian shipping company.

Frankfurt-based Commerzbank raised its suspicions about the money with the NCA after spotting unusual activity in the account.

The director of the NCA’s National Economic Crime Centre, Sarah Pritchard, said: “This is a fantastic example of how public and private sectors can work together to detect and disrupt economic crime – denying criminals of their illicit funds.”

FINMA demands Credit Suisse executives’ mobile phone data in spying probe

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has demanded data from the mobile phones of Credit Suisse managers and supervisory board directors as part of an investigation into the bank’s spying on two former executives, Reuters reported, citing three individuals familiar with the matter.

Reuters did not identify the individuals targeted by FINMA.

Reuters reported in January that FINMA opened an investigation into whether the Swiss bank’s board failed in its duties over the spying scandal, in which the bank hired private investigators to spy on an executive board member to see if he was attempting to poach clients before leaving for rival UBS.

The bank’s reasons for spying on the other executive have not been made public. 

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