The Strategist

Swiss Prosecutor's Office Identified More than 100 Suspicious Banking Transactions Related to FIFA

06/17/2015 - 15:02

The investigation team of Prosecutor of Switzerland collected data on 104 bank transactions that aroused suspicion during the investigation of cases of money laundering in the vote for the host country of the World Championships 2018 and 2022.

Ricardo Stuckert/ABr - Agência Brasil
Ricardo Stuckert/ABr - Agência Brasil
- Our investigation is very difficult and quite large. For example, the Swiss prosecutor's office seized 9 terabytes of data. In addition, the investigation team collected data on 104 bank transactions, given that several accounts have participated in each of them, altogether 9 terabytes of data were seized - said a statement of the office issued on the site.

The Attorney General of Switzerland called on the public to remain calm. "The football world has to be patient. The investigation will take longer than the legendary 90 minutes," - said the site of the Swiss prosecutor's office.

The Prosecutor General of Switzerland Prosecutors also noted the positive experience of cooperation with the Swiss banks, which noticed "suspicious activity" around the accounts of the International Football Federation (FIFA).

According to a Canadian broadcaster CTV News, the banks noted 53 incidents that may be related to money laundering and investigation procedures for selecting host countries for World Cups 2018 and 2022, which resulted in the right to host the World Cup went to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Attorney General Michael Lauber of Switzerland spoke with journalists for the first time during three weeks of the investigation. He said that his department continues to analyze "a huge amount of data" in connection with corruption in FIFA activities. The Attorney General did not rule out that the president of the federation Joseph Blatter would be questioned in the investigation.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that the major international banks may be drawn into FIFA scandal. American prosecutors’ data indicate that the transfer of funds within the corruption schemes used accounts in JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and HSBC. Among other banks mentioned in the indictment prepared by the prosecutor's office, - Bank of America, UBS and the Swiss Julius Baer.
US prosecutors said they are going to investigate the possibility of financial companies participation in FIFA corruption schemes. According to the Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kelly Currie, authorities have yet to find out whether banks knew that their customers are using their accounts for money laundering. "It is too early to say whether there was misconduct on the part of banks, but the matter will be investigated," - said the prosecutor.

According to the indictment, the amount of each bank transfer, contemplated under the cases of corruption in FIFA, accounts to a minimum of $ 1 million.

The FIFA corruption scandal broke out resulting with several officials of the organization suspended from the activities. May 27 in Zurich, seven high-ranking FIFA officials had been detained on suspicion of corruption, after which began a large-scale international investigation. In addition to the Swiss police, US Federal Bureau of Investigation is working on the investigation of corruption in the organization too. According to the US Ministry of Justice, corruption in FIFA covers at least two continents and lasts from 1991.
Most of those arrested are charged in taking bribes in a large scale when selecting the hosts of the world championships. Blatter, re-elected for a fifth term, aired the decision to leave the occupied post against on the ground of the scandal. Under the rules of the organization, he will serve as president of the federation until the next election, which will take place between December 2015 and February 2016.