Do you know where Andorra is?
Probably not. It is the Switzerland of the Pyrénées.
It shares many traits as Switzerland. It is a tourist economy. It has a successful ski resort industry. It is a tax haven. And it has bank secrecy laws that make it a attractive for the wealthy to hide their wealth.
Anywhere bank secrecy laws make it easy to hide wealth is a place that attracts those who acquire wealth through illicit business. Andorra is no exception.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Banca Privada d’Andorra is facing money laundering charges. He is accused of helping clients from China, Russia and Venezuela and possibly others after a more comprehensive investigation commences. The arrest is a reaction to the bank being placed on US Treasury list of “primary money-laundering concern.” Entities and persons on this list are often barred from the US financial system, which, in return, cascades to reciprocal severances from other financial systems.
About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.