Massive Data Leak Reveals Credit Suisse Served Clients Tied to Criminal Activity, Human Rights Abuses

A massive data leak from Credit Suisse has revealed that the bank managed hundreds of millions of dollars of clients involved in criminal activity.

The data leaked on Feb. 20 contained over 18,000 bank accounts, holding over 100 billion Swiss francs ($108 billion) and linked to 30,000 Credit Suisse clients around the world, some of which were involved in money laundering, corruption, human rights abuses, and other serious crimes.

Some of the leaked accounts were opened as far back as the 1940s and more than two-thirds were opened since 2000.

The New York Times reported that the account holders include King Abdullah II of Jordan, two sons of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, and the sons of a Pakistani intelligence chief who helped smuggle billions of dollars from several countries to Islamic guerrillas in Afghanistan and corrupt Venezuelan officials.

The Guardian reported that account holders also include a human trafficker in the Philippines, a Hong Kong stock exchange boss imprisoned for bribery, and corrupt politicians from Ukraine.

An anonymous whistleblower leaked the data to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“I believe that Swiss banking secrecy laws are immoral. The pretext of protecting financial privacy is merely a fig leaf covering the shameful role of Swiss banks as collaborators of tax evaders, the whistleblower said.

Nearly 50 media organizations spent months using the data as part of “Suisse Secrets,” a global investigation coordinated by the German newspaper and nonprofit organization Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Holding a Swiss account is not illegal and the leak also contained data of legitimate clients who had done nothing wrong.

In a nearly 400-word statement, Credit Suisse, one of the biggest private banks in the world, “strongly” denied the allegations, which it claimed were largely historical.

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