Banks investigated for money-laundering

24th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 21, 2006 (AFP) - Senior managers from four major banks will go on trial charged in connection with a multi-billion-EUR money-laundering scheme between France and Israel, sources said on Friday.

PARIS, July 21, 2006 (AFP) - Senior managers from four major banks will go on trial charged in connection with a multi-billion-EUR money-laundering scheme between France and Israel, sources said on Friday.

The French banks Société Générale, Barclays-France and Société Marseillaise de Crédit, and the National Bank of Pakistan were referred to a judge by the financial examining magistrate in Paris, Xaviere Simeoni, a source close to the case said.

The case relates to the laundering of money via cheques between France and Israel, which was discovered in an investigation of alleged fraud involving companies in the Sentier, the garment-making district of Paris.

As well as the banks ordered to appear as corporate defendants, the magistrate referred for trial several managers including Société Générale's Chief Executive Daniel Bouton, in the case dating from 1997 to the end of 2001.

Six rabbis, two of whom are on the run, are among the 138 individuals charged in the case.

Also on the list of names is Jean-Louis Voirain, a French former public prosecutor who was jailed in 2003 but later had his sentence revoked.

Simeoni earlier this month dismissed money-laundering charges against four other banks: American Express Bank France, BRED, Leumi-France and the Lebanese bank Saradar, which were first referred to trial with the other banks in 2003.

Altogether in the investigation, 198 people have been indicted, including 32 bank managers and directors, on charges including influence peddling, serious money-laundering and corruption.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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