The office of the attorney general of Switzerland (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against the Falcon Private Bank Ltd.
The decision to open proceedings is based on information revealed by the investigations in the 1MDB case and on issues raised in the decision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Finma, from early October 2016.
The OAG suspects deficiencies in the internal organisation of the Falcon Private Bank Ltd. It is believed that due to these deficiencies, the bank was unable to prevent the commission of the offences currently under investigation in the criminal proceedings relating to 1MDB.
Swiss law (Art. 102 para. 2 of the Swiss Criminal Code, SCC) allows the prosecution of a legal entity that is suspected of not taking all the reasonable organisational measures that are required to prevent natural persons from committing offences, in particular money laundering or corruption offences.
Like the criminal proceedings opened against the BSI Bank SA on 23 May 2016, the opening of the criminal proceedings on 12 October 2016 against the Falcon Private Bank Ltd is based on information revealed by the investigations relating to 1MDB and on issues raised in the enforcement decision made by Finma from early October 2016.
The information suggests that the offences of money laundering (Art 305bis SCC) currently under investigation in the 1MDB case could have been prevented had the Falcon Private Bank Ltd been adequately organised.
For further information relating to the OAG’s criminal proceedings in the 1MDB case, the previous press releases issued on 29 January 2016, 12 April 2016, 24 May 2016 and 05 October 2016 are still available on the OAG website.
As in the case of natural persons, the presumption of innocence also applies to legal entities.