The Dictator's Dirty Millions

Switzerland's banking regulator has an effective weapon to enforce the many new regulations it has put in place over the past decade: public embarrassment. Take the case of former Nigerian President Sani Abacha. At the end of 1999, the Swiss government froze all assets identified as being linked to Abacha, about $660 million, and the Swiss Federal Banking Commission began a full-scale inquiry into how and why the money had come to Switzerland. The regulators report, issued in August 2000, was damningto banks. While five institutions had behaved according to Swiss money-laundering laws and procedures, six were sharply criticized for "serious...

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