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How does Switzerland benefit from international corruption – Switzerland –

How does Switzerland benefit from international corruption – Switzerland –


More than 400 million euros have flowed into the Swiss treasury in just four years.

The Swiss judiciary received a total of 437 million francs from international corruption cases for the national budget between 2018 and 2022. This amount, which was recovered through criminal proceedings and mutual legal assistance procedures, is a great example of how Switzerland benefits from global illicit financial flows. This is what he mentions “Tagesanziger”.

Corruption on the global scene

Switzerland, a country known for its neutrality and strict banking secrecy, now finds itself in an unusual position. If corrupt officials around the world illegally obtain money and deposit it in Swiss bank accounts, the Swiss judiciary can confiscate this money. Interestingly, this money is not always returned to the country of origin, but sometimes flows directly into the Swiss national budget.

70 million francs

According to the Tagesanzeiger newspaper, a glaring example of this is the corruption issue in Malaysia, where billions were stolen from the sovereign wealth fund, of which 70 million francs flowed into the Swiss treasury. Switzerland also benefits from the illegal activities of local companies abroad. For example, if a Swiss company is convicted of corruption, the resulting penalties and profit taxes contribute to strengthening the Swiss fiscal balance.

  • Last year, Swiss federal prosecutors fined Sicpa, a security technology company, for its involvement in corruption cases in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. The resulting damage claim amounting to 81 million francs flowed into the Swiss treasury. A similar situation occurred with Geneva-based Gunvor, a company active in the oil sector. Gunvor was ordered to pay 94 million francs in 2019 after the company was involved in corruption activities in the Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast. Switzerland has also benefited from these funds.
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The cantons and the federal government benefit

The distribution of these funds affects not only the federal level, but also the cantons. From 2018 to 2022, the canton of Zurich generated an income of approximately 32 million francs from these measures. These financial benefits raise questions about how Switzerland and its cantons benefit from illicit international financial flows.

Change direction in politics?

However, there is increasing pressure to change the legal framework to facilitate the return of this money. The Council of States had previously called on the Federal Council to submit proposals to facilitate the return of confiscated funds abroad. A report on this will be published in the coming months. This could mean a change in current practice and the opening of a new chapter in Swiss fiscal policy. (Vol.AT)