Congressmen seek data on Brazilian-held accounts in Switzerland

In search of clues on money embezzlement, senators want to know

Published in 16/04/2015 - 19:20 By Karine Melo reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

O Senador Ricardo Ferraço, designado relator da comissão que investigará as contas de brasileiros na filial do Banco HSBC na Suíça (Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil)

Senator Ricardo Ferraço, rapporteur in the case. Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

The Senate's investigative committee probing into Brazilian-held HSBC bank accounts is working to have the 126 people named by the Council for the Control of Financial Activities (Coaf) as account holders at the bank Swiss branch in Geneva, HSBC Private Bank, to report whether they really were account holders and whether those accounts have been declared to Brazil's Central Bank and the Federal Revenue Service.

“The request is reasonable, as we're taking care not to work with data that don't have a legal origin or a formal source,” said Ricardo Ferraço, rapporteur in the case.

Ferraço argues that it is “absolutely necessary” to have  committee members informed before anyone is called for clarifications. He further mentioned that the names listed are “on [Coaf's] radar,” with suspicions of illicit doings.

Since Coaf does not conduct this kind of inquiry, but rather investigates and submits the information to the Revenue Service and the Federal Police, the congressional committee will ask all of those named on the list to clarify any issues brought forth by the senators, who called off the testimony of foreign currency dealer Henry Hoyer's, slated for Thursday, because they did not have the data. Hoyer has been accused in the police-launched probes of acting as a middleman alongside the Progressive Party (PP) in a scheme whereby public funds were embezzled.

O senador Randolfe Rodrigues, eleito Vice-Presidente da comissão que investigará as contas de brasileiros na filial do Banco HSBC na Suíça (Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil)

Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, vice president of the committee. Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

“Without these data, which are raw material for us, we'd have to start with what has been published by the press,” argued Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, vice president of the committee.

Senators are also preparing to hear from Leandro Daiello, director general of the Federal Police, and Swiss journalist and former MP Jean Ziegler, author of Swiss Whitewash. No date has been fixed for the testimonies yet. A meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday (22) with HSBC chairman in Brazil André Guilherme Brandão.

“HSBC has been sentenced by US courts to pay $2 billion for having facilitated money embezzlement. Proceedings are underway in France. In Belgium, money has already been repatriated. We have to find out whether conditions have been created for money laundering here as well,” Ricardo Ferraço said.


Translated by Fabrício Ferreira


Fonte: Congressmen seek data on Brazilian-held accounts in Switzerland

Edition: Marcos Chagas / Olga Bardawil

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