In France, the prosecutor’s office is currently investigating alleged aggravated money laundering related to financial transfers made by a Cypriot brokerage company that interacted with the custodial unit BNP Paribas.
French media note that this investigation is preliminary. The attention of the prosecutor’s office staff is drawn to financial operations for the transfer of money for several hundred million dollars and euros. These transactions were made by TCR International Limited between 2019 and 2021.
The Paris Prosecutor’s Office, in response to a media request, confirmed information about the suspicious actions of the TCR. Unit of the French Ministry of Finance to combat money laundering TRACFIN in May issued an alert about this.
The prosecutor’s office noted in its statement that the money transfers may have a dubious origin. It was also noted that in this case there are signs of financial flows that do not have an explicit economic logic. It is worth noting that the statement of the prosecutor’s office did not mention BNP Paribas. However, the French media found out that TCR collaborated with the security services of the specified financial institution between 2019 and 2022.
BNP Paribas, in response to a media request regarding the investigation, stated that the bank does not comment on its obligations. The financial institution also noted that it has a global compliance system. In this context, attention was focused on the fact that the bank is committed to fulfilling its regulatory obligations.
Between 2019 and 2022, TCR carried out investment transactions on behalf of its clients with BNP Paribas Securities Services. The media reports that the total amount of money transferred from the account to the account within the framework of suspicious transactions that caused the investigation is more than 220 million euros.
It is also known that as part of the legal proceedings, actions are being taken to study the financial activity of TCR clients. This company interacts with firms and wealthy individuals. TCR sells investment advisory services in the financial market and manages funds internationally.
This is not the first time BNP Paribas has been mentioned by the media in the context of the investigation. In March this year, it became known that French prosecutors had raided the Paris offices of BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and several other large financial institutions. These actions were carried out as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion related to the payment of dividends.
The French Financial Prosecutor’s Office said the searches were conducted in the context of proceedings that began in 2021 on the alleged involvement of banks in money laundering and fraud. In March, the media, citing insiders, published information about attempts by the tax authorities to fine creditors for a total amount of more than 1 billion euros.
The investigations that led to the March searches of the Paris offices of banks are focused on so-called cumulative deals. Such deals are used by financial institutions to obtain tax benefits related to the payment of dividends.
Similar investigations have been conducted in Germany. In this country, law enforcement officials have claimed that the government was deceived by banks to reimburse taxes on dividends that were never initially paid. As part of this trial, on behalf of German investigators, searches were conducted at the offices of banks located in the UK.
As we have reported earlier, BNP Paribas and 321founded Present Payment Management Tool.