Geneva police raid HSBC Suisse
Authorities in Geneva have launched an inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering at HSBC Private Bank Suisse.
In 2007 former employee Hervé Falciani stole client data from the bank - it constituted a list of account details of several thousand clients. The list was subsequently seized by the French government and distributed by the then Finance Minister to several foreign tax authorities.
It is reported that the Swiss authorities have had the list for nearly five years and now appear to have received additional information to the effect that certain of the accounts have been used to launder the proceeds of crime: this is the basis of the money laundering investigation.
The inquiry began yesterday with a search of two of the bank's offices in Geneva, aimed at securing information on the suspect client accounts. Both the bank itself and individual clients and employees are potential targets of the criminal investigation although no person has been identified as a suspect.
HSBC said it had 'cooperated continuously with the Swiss authorities since first becoming aware of the data theft in 2008 and we continue to cooperate'.
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