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French Authorities Investigate Alleged Money Laundering in Transfers Linked to Cypriot Brokerage Firm and BNP Paribas

French authorities have initiated an investigation into suspected "aggravated money laundering" linked to financial transactions carried out by the Cypriot brokerage firm TCR International Limited in collaboration with BNP Paribas’ custodian unit. The preliminary inquiry is centered around transfers totaling several hundreds of millions of euros and dollars made by TCR International Limited between 2019 and 2021, as reported by Le Monde.

French Authorities Investigate Alleged Money Laundering in Transfers Linked to Cypriot Brokerage Firm and BNP Paribas

The Paris Prosecutor's office confirmed the commencement of the investigation on Tuesday, following an alert issued by the French finance ministry’s anti-money laundering unit, TRACFIN, in May. The focus of the French authorities on TCR International Limited was triggered by a separate investigation by U.S. authorities into the activities of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the former chief of the Wagner mercenary group, who tragically died in a plane crash in August.


While the prosecutor's office did not publicly comment on any potential connection between Prigozhin and the transfers made by TCR International Limited, it stated that the transfers in question were of "possibly dubious origin and/or flows with no explicit economic logic." Notably, the prosecutor's office did not mention BNP Paribas in its statement.

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Aggravated money laundering is a serious offense in France, punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of €750,000 or half the value of the assets laundered. TCR International Limited had collaborated with BNP Paribas Security Services from 2019 to 2022, according to reports from French daily Le Monde.


In response to inquiries about the investigation, BNP Paribas refrained from providing specific comments on the matter, citing its obligations. The bank emphasized its commitment to maintaining a comprehensive global compliance system and ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements.


TCR International Limited has yet to respond to requests for comments regarding the investigation. The unfolding probe underscores the heightened scrutiny on financial transactions and potential money laundering activities, with implications for both the implicated brokerage firm and its former collaboration with BNP Paribas.

By fLEXI tEAM

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