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BNP Paribas, and Cypriot firm, TCR International Limited, named in money laundering probe


BNP Paribas, a global banking giant, is in the midst of a money laundering probe involving a Cypriot firm, TCR International Limited.

The French and American judiciary are working to investigate several dubious financial transactions routed via TCR International between 2019 and 2021.

It is worth noting that during this period, BNP Paribas Securities Services, a subsidiary of the French bank, offered custody services to TCR International. This role involved securing shares and bonds for institutional clients in specialised cash or securities accounts.

The Investigation’s Scope

The French National Jurisdiction for the Fight Against Organized Crime (Junalco) and the Financial Judicial Investigations Service spearhead the investigation. The probe aims to trace the source and destination of funds exceeding 220 million euros, which are speculated to be of questionable origin or lack a clear economic rationale.

US Federal Investigation Sparks Inquiry

The inquiry was set in motion after a wider U.S. federal investigation into the financial networks employed by the Wagner Group and its erstwhile head, Evgueni Prigozhin. Prigozhin met a tragic end in a private jet crash in August. The ongoing investigation endeavours to pinpoint financial intermediaries involved in transactions with the Wagner Group, a task made complex by the potential utilisation of shell companies.

BNP Paribas in the Crosshairs

The French judiciary has launched a preliminary investigation into the ‘aggravated money laundering’ allegations. The probe targets suspicious financial transactions between 2019 and 2021 through TCR International Limited, with BNP Paribas Securities Services as its banking partner.

The sum involved surpasses 220 million euros, and the investigation is centred on the origin and destination of the funds. The investigation was sparked by the American federal justice system’s probe into the financial schemes of the Wagner Group and its former boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin. This led to scrutinising specific flows linked to TCR International and passing through BNP Paribas Securities Services.



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