Background

Money laundering Charges on CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA? (2024)

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In 1975, the CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA—commonly referred to as CBH Bank—was established as a brokerage firm specializing in stocks and commodities. In 1991, it was granted a complete banking license in Switzerland. The organization employs roughly 260 people at the moment. Currently serving as general manager is Philippe Cordonier. The bank is located in Geneva, Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, and focuses on asset management and private banking.

The bank is owned by the Benhamou family, who prioritize developing banking relationships with their UHNW customers, who are primarily located in LATAM, Venezuela, Russia, Asia, and Israel. Since 2009, the assets under the administration of CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, a tiny family-owned bank in Switzerland, have more than tripled, from $2 billion to $11.4 billion. The bank’s financial filings indicate that 19% of its business last year came from assets owned by clients in Latin America and the Caribbean. – WSJ

Corporate name, legal form, and head office

The parent company of the Group is called CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA. The Bank is a company that engages in all activities that are the responsibility of an asset management bank that is also registered as a securities trader. The bank has a branch in Zurich, representative offices in St. Moritz and Israel, and operates through many entities with locations in the Bahamas, England, Hong Kong, and Brazil. Together, these groups comprise CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, a corporate company. 

Controversies and Media

Eliminalia “cleans up” your reputation.

CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA paid Eliminalia, a Spanish reputation manager, just under 229,000 euros to erase content linking it to money laundering and offshore firms after engaging ReputationUp.

U.S. Venezuela corruption investigation

CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA is linked to Venezuelan corruption claims, while evidence is lacking. Even though CBH was the victim of the plan’s crime, US authorities believe that Venezuelans are using CBH Bank to launder fraud and embezzlement proceeds after gaining bank records. CBH maintained they follow all procedures and have no money laundering knowledge.

Switzerland’s financial watchdog chastised CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA for failing to prevent money laundering while serving wealthy Venezuelan offshore clients. Swiss National Councillor Prisca Birrer-Heimo condemned CBH Bank’s risk management and sought immediate legal reforms.

Examining Kazakhstan’s corruption situation

A report alleging potential money laundering was received by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority Finma in response to payments made by Kazakh billionaires. Sonntagszeitung claims that this is not the first time a private bank with its headquarters in Geneva has made headlines. In this case, there are extremely questionable financial transactions linked to the Akhmetzhan Yessimov clan in Kazakhstan.

An article on CBH about Aliya Nazarbayeva, the youngest daughter of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan, appears in The Telegraph. The narrative uses statements made by Alya Nazarbayeva during a high court hearing in London, where she is suing her former personal financial advisor for misconduct.

Among her other allegations was that she had given him the advice to investigate acquiring a 51 percent stake in the CBH Bank. The $108 million that was supposed to be invested in a controlling stake in CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA was stolen, Ms. Nazarbayeva discovered in 2016. 

Florian, Homm

Before it collapsed in 2007, the hedge fund Absolute Capital Management (ACM), led by Florian Homm, managed assets worth up to $3 billion. 200 million US dollars were lost by investors, sources state. Accused of financial fraud in the United States, he disappeared in 2007. After his resignation, Florian Homm was accused of overvaluing some corporate assets by the surviving management of his company. From CBH Bank accounts, his spouse removed money.

Bahamas CBH

The Bahamas Supreme Court declared that CBH’s “serious error and negligence” permitted fraudsters to empty one of its clients’ accounts of almost $2 million. Judge Ian Winder blasted CBH Bahamas in a May 12, 2022 ruling for “failing to exercise the requisite due care and skill expected” when it overlooked indicators that it was communicating with criminals.

The story behind Venezuela’s gold ingots

In an article published on August 3, 2020, by the Associated Press, about a Venezuelan official purportedly buying gold to hide unexplained income, certain financial information of the Banco CBH was falsely disclosed. Assets under management for clients in Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 19% of the bank’s operations last year. The AP corrected the story and stated that Banco CBH had nothing to do with what was misreported. 

OFFSHORE LEAKS DATABASE

Banca Zarattini & Co. and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA have been subjected to regulatory actions as a result of recent investigations conducted by Swiss authorities. These investigations have found that both companies failed to prevent money laundering against wealthy Venezuelan offshore clients.

Eliminalia, a Spanish corporation that manages reputations, has been called into question for its problematic methods that are intended to erase the pasts of its clients from the internet. This occurrence is another progression. By posing as media organizations and submitting bogus copyright complaints, the corporation, which operates in many different cities like Barcelona and Kyiv, adopts deceptive strategies to remove content that is not wanted.

Individuals and businesses who are looking to erase embarrassing or harmful information from the internet, as well as convicted criminals, are among Eliminalia’s clientele, according to a cache of 50,000 internal papers that were obtained by The Guardian. This cache throws light on the operations of Eliminalia. Despite assertions that Eliminalia is employing the “right to be forgotten” rule of the European Union, the company’s practices raise ethical problems and have spurred international investigations concerning the dissemination of false material.

The company Eliminalia was established in 2013 by Diego “Didac” Sanchez. Between the years 2015 and 2021, the company has worked with more than 1,500 clients all around the world, with costs that can reach up to €100,000. Some clients have defended Eliminalia’s services, including persons who have been charged with major offenses such as money laundering. At the same time, the legal counsel for the company has dismissed inquiries as being prejudiced.

In general, the examples of Banca Zarattini & Co., CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, and Eliminalia shed light on the difficulties and ethical conundrums that are associated with financial institutions and reputation management organizations that are engaging in suspicious behaviors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, regulatory actions against financial institutions such as Banca Zarattini & Co. and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA for their inability to prevent money laundering when interacting with wealthy Venezuelan offshore clients have been unearthed by recent investigations conducted by Swiss authorities. These results highlight the difficulties that financial institutions such as CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA have in preserving regulatory compliance and stopping money laundering.

Furthermore, there are grave doubts regarding the institution’s ethics and integrity given that CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA is connected to people who are accused of financial malfeasance and has been implicated in accusations of corruption in Kazakhstan and Venezuela.

Furthermore, the disclosures about Eliminalia’s dubious reputation management techniques—which included removing unwanted content from the internet using dishonest means—highlight the moral conundrums these businesses face as well as the effect they have on accountability and transparency in the online space.

Regulatory bodies must hold financial institutions such as CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA accountable for any violations of anti-money laundering rules and regulations by conducting in-depth investigations into their operations in light of these findings. To make sure that reputation management companies like Eliminalia follow moral guidelines and respect people’s rights to information and privacy, there must also be more openness and oversight.

About the author

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