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SBD Global/May 30, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Swiss To Broaden Money Laundering Laws To Include Sports Officials From FIFA, IOC

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Swiss lawmakers "intend to broaden money laundering laws that target political figures to include sports officials" from FIFA and the IOC, according to Schwalbe, Panja & Bosley of BLOOMBERG. The legal committee of Parliament’s lower house "approved a proposal to expand Swiss banks’ scrutiny of accounts and transfers to include international sporting organizations," according to a statement published Wednesday. The decision, which follows that of an upper house panel, "is non-binding and requires endorsement by the plenary body in Bern." Switzerland is home of Zurich-based FIFA, the IOC in Lausanne and UEFA in Nyon. FIFA said, "FIFA has repeatedly said that it supports government measures to protect the integrity of the sport and the fight against corruption." UEFA said it "fully supports this initiative of the Swiss Parliament, as the safeguarding of the ethical and moral values of sport are of utmost importance." The bill before parliament "would give the government a more comprehensive legal basis for the freezing and restitution of illicitly acquired assets" (BLOOMBERG, 5/28). In N.Y., Neil MacLucas reported a commission spokesperson said that lawmakers in the lower house "will debate the committee's recommendation sometime this year, most likely in September." Switzerland, one of the world's biggest financial centers, "has been clamping down on money laundering, most recently freezing the assets of 32 people linked to the ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/28).
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