According to the indictment, VIP clients were “advised” at the bank to expatriate, manage and repatriate money that could not be legally justified
Justice set billionaire embargoes for the French and Argentine defendants for 19 BNP Paribas money laundering maneuvers from the 2001 crisis to 2008.
The former managers and employees of Paribas are being prosecuted as alleged members of an illicit association that committed money laundering and fraud for $ 33,295,570 million.
Among them is the French citizen Alexis Nicolás Quirot de Poligny, former head of the Bank office where the financial “cave” would have been installed.
Poligny was seized for 525,687,106,945 million pesos, an amount that has just been ratified by the Federal Court of Cassation.
“Money laundering is an organized, transnational and complex crime,” said Judge Gustavo Hornos, of Chamber IV of the country’s highest criminal court. Given this, “the terrible impact that organized crime and the inflow and movement of funds and assets derived from crime have at the national and international levels, the affectation of the economic, financial order, internal public order, governance and stability itself cannot be ignored. of a State. “
With these arguments, the embargoes were guaranteed to the French defendant and also to former Argentine financial advisers to BNP Paribás, in their cases for 450,588,948.81 million pesos.
If they are sentenced in a future oral trial and when the verdict is final, the embargoes can be executed.
The Argentine Criminal Procedure Code provides for this measure for the property of civil defendants or defendants and seeks to guarantee the pecuniary penalty, but also the payment of civil compensation and costs of the trial – justice rate, attorneys’ fees, experts and everything that arises. There are also “assumed international commitments” that oblige to guarantee the recovery of the assets derived from this crime. For this reason, embargoes must be established that guarantee all items.
The federal judge María Eugenia Capuchetti partially sent the case to trial and the debate is in preparation by the Federal Oral Court 6.
All those involved are accused of alleged illicit association and money laundering aggravated by their habituality.
The investigation takes more than a decade, it began in times when the federal court 5 of Comodoro Py was in charge of the now retired former judge Norberto Oyarbide.
The case included money laundering maneuvers in an office attached to the Bank committed between 2000 and 2008.
For the Argentine Justice a criminal organization was formed that “facilitated the illegal circulation of clandestine assets”.
The amount of the embargoes had several twists and turns in different judicial instances because it was a witness case when defining the calculation basis and at what dollar value should it be taken. Finally, the base loss was set at 33,295,570 million dollars.
To determine the amount of money laundered, the dollar price at the time of the events was used, 3.47 pesos: 115,535,627.90 million.
That sum was multiplied by five, in protection of the fine that could be fixed in the future. The scale is foreseen between two and ten times the amount of the illegal operation. This yielded a total of 577,678,139.50 pesos, to which 30 percent was added, which is calculated to be the expenses of the trial and possible civil liabilities.
On this total, 750,981,581.35 million pesos, the embargoes were calculated.
The staggering of the amounts was set based on the “roles and hierarchies” of the accused in the organization, the time in which they carried out their tasks at the Bank and their contribution to crime.
Also attached are former French managers of Paribás at that time, Armand Agustin Abeillon and Phillipe Yves Henri Joannier, for 750,981,581.35 pesos and Marie Francois Giradou and Michel Basciano for 600,785,265.08.
Judges Hornos, Mariano Borinsky and Javier Carbajo understood the “preventive embargo” that was established to guarantee the eventual recovery of the amounts subject to money laundering plus interest “reasonable”.
The alleged clandestine office operated on the 25th floor of the Bank’s headquarters at 855 Alem Avenue, in the heart of Buenos Aires.
The Central Bank is a plaintiff in the criminal case.
According to the indictment, certain VIP clients were “advised” in that office on the way to expatriate, manage and repatriate money that could not be justified or enter the financial market legally.
The office was called “International Private Clients”, recruited clients with undeclared money to the treasury and offered the “placement and administration of these funds abroad” through “foreign companies that officiated as pass-through accounts so that the money culminated in the branches that BNP has in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Miami, Panama and the Bahamas, “according to the indictment.
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