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Swiss Court Closes Firm In Money Laundering Probe

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

10 October 2002


Dow Jones Newswires reported on Tuesday that a Swiss court has ordered the Zurich-based Sovereign Finance Group to close following alleged money laundering activities in Russia and the Caribbean.

The news agency revealed that the Swiss Federal Banking Commission ruled at the end of September that the group should be shut down. However, it was a police search of the the Zurich offices of Sovereign (Forex) Ltd., Sovereign Capital Management AG, Sovereign Finance Group AG and the Zurich branch of Sovereign Bank Corp. Ltd on Monday which finally prompted the court's closure order.

In addition to the money laundering allegations, the company was ordered to close as it does not have a banking license, according to Dow Jones.

Also reporting on the closure, the Moscow Times revealed that although the Sovereign Finance Group was a frequent advertiser in some of the country's top business publications, little was known in the Russian business community of its actual activities, although an unnamed bank executive told the newspaper that the group had been 'quite active' in moving Russian money out of the country of recent years.

The Moscow Times also refuted the Sovereign Finance Group's claim to be the only foreign brokerage company officially registered in Russia.


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