Out of 3,002 Belgian clients of the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC, 32 have been either under suspicion or charged (for 13 of them) for misdemeanours other than tax fraud. The vast majority of offenses concerned diamond trafficking, or money laundering related to drugs, diamonds, or blood minerals, according to Le Soir on Thursday. The head of the money laundering cell, Jean-Claude Delepiere, is calling for political action and a reassessment of bank supervision procedures. “Criminals use the same methods, the same tax havens, the same financial operations as international firms. GAFI (Financial Action Task Force) has been warning against the possibility of using tax evasion to launder money more easily for 10 years now,” explains Jean-Claude Delepiere.
According to him, “we need to focus on how to create effective control tools. Politicians will have to be more pro-active, put in place more preventive measures, and more substantial sanctions.”