Brazil charges Swiss bank manager with laundering bribe money

Spanish banker David Muino Suarez is escorted by federal police officers as he arrives to the Institute of Forensic Science in Curitiba, Brazil, November 28, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 20 December 2017

Brazil charges Swiss bank manager with laundering bribe money

BRASILIA: Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Spanish-Swiss banker with laundering $21.7 million in graft money for Brazilian clients involved in the country’s largest corruption scandal, including jailed former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.
David Muino Suarez, a relationship manager of Zurich-based BSI bank, was arrested at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport as he got off a flight from Switzerland on Nov. 27 and is being held in Curitiba, the center of the so-called Car Wash investigation.
The federal prosecutors’ office in Curitiba said in a statement that Suarez, who has dual Swiss-Spanish nationality, knew the money came from bribes paid to Cunha and Pedro Bastos, a former executive at state-run oil company Petrobras, from an oil field acquisition in the African nation of Benin in 2011.
They said Suarez concealed the illegal financial operation with false information given to the bank’s compliance office.
It was not immediately known how the banker responded to the charges as his representatives could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutor Diogo Castor de Mattos said the almost four-year Car Wash probe had uncovered several cases of managers of international banks who helped Brazilian politicians, financial intermediaries and former Petrobras executives hide illegal money in offshore accounts.
Cunha is the highest profile politician convicted of graft and sentenced to 15 years in jail for his role in the corruption scheme, in which engineering companies paid billions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from contracts with Petrobras and other state-run companies.


Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in climate change fight

Updated 28 January 2021

Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in climate change fight

  • Kingdom’s efforts will outpace West by 2030, energy minister tells FII

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia will be doing more than many Western countries to tackle climate change by the end of the decade, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the Kingdom’s energy minister, told a panel of energy leaders at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum in Riyadh.

“Whatever we will do in the Kingdom will support emissions reduction, and we are doing it willingly because the economic benefits (from new energy technologies) are clear,” he said.

“We will enjoy being looked at as a reasonable and responsible international citizen because we will be doing more than most European countries by 2030 (to combat climate change),” he said.

Saudi Arabia had “set the pace” in tackling the global energy crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prince Abdul Aziz said.

“When the going got tough, the tough got going,” the prince said, paying tribute to the efforts and optimism of the Kingdom’s youth during the pandemic recession.

“The energy minister has been energized by the energy of youth,” he added.

The panel discussed how the global energy sector can power the post-pandemic recovery, which Prince Abdul Aziz said will depend on the rollout of vaccines around the world.

“We have to maintain our hands on the situation until we’re more comfortable that people are using the vaccines and lockdowns are coming down,” he said.

Prince Abdul Aziz highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to combat climate change via the framework of the Circular Carbon Economy, the strategy developed by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by G20 leaders.

The Paris Agreement on climate was an economic opportunity for Saudi Arabia, which has developed innovative techniques of producing and using clean energy, as well as a way of mitigating climate change.

“We are long believers in the Paris Agreement and are doing everything in our power to achieve it,” Prince Abdul Aziz added.

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of French energy company Total, said that he was looking for low-cost energy resources in the Middle East.