Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen for more than three decades, may no longer be worried. He was murdered on December 4, 2017 in Sana'a, by his former allies houthis. According to a judgment of the federal Tribunal of may 19, 2020, UBS, the largest bank in the Confederation, would have transferred in two times in 2011 from the Yemen, the " time for a revolution in the country in question (...) ", about " 65 million for a bank located in Singapore in favour of a member of the family in question ". As usual, the federal Court does not reveal the name of the beneficiary, but he made it clear that he is a person "covered by the measures freezing of assets and travel ban" set forth by the security Council of the united nations on Yemen.
The site investigation Gotham City reveals that an initial investigation was opened by the federal prosecutor's office in April 2014 against the former president of Yemen, and against persons unknown on suspicion of money laundering. It was followed in July 2017, a new money laundering investigation " against persons unknown in connection with men of power in Yemen ". In addition, the Finma, the federal supervisory authority of financial markets, has also opened proceedings against UBS for failing to denounce this transaction suspicious. And that this transaction, involving the $ 65 million, occurs at the time of the arab Spring, while other heads of State of arab (Egypt, Tunisia) are due to " suspicions of money laundering ".
Temptation to close my eyes
The law on money laundering (LBA) of 1997 forced the swiss banks to ask questions. And especially to pose to exposed individuals, such as heads of State, when land on their accounts (or those of their entourage) amounts to seven or eight digits. But, apparently, some institutions in switzerland, the temptation to close my eyes as the past seems too strong, despite the risks. It is true that manage the accounts of a dictator or a mafia is much more profitable than addressing the accounting of an honest taxpayer. Tyrants and money launderers rarely defy the amount of bank charges and held to account.
This operation between Yemen and Singapore finally that over 65 million dollars. The fraud, if proven, has nothing to compare with the scandal linked to the 45 161 taxpayers frenchman who hid in a little over 11 billion euros into the coffers of UBS (for this, the swiss bank was sentenced by the tribunal de grande instance of Paris, in 2019, to a fine of 3.7 billion euros. She has appealed). On the other hand, morally, it seems very difficult, if not impossible, to justify such a transfer to Singapore while Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, suffered a terrible civil war, making tens of thousands of victims and millions of displaced persons. A war that has caused the collapse of the institutions and of the economy.
Between 32 and 60 billion raised and diverted
The letter of February 20, 2015 addressed to the president of the security Council by the group of experts on Yemen said that Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen for thirty-three years, " is believed to have amassed during his years of power between 32 and 60 billion dollars the major part of which would have been transferred abroad under false names or through nominees. These assets would be realized in the form of real property, cash, shares, gold and other goods of great value ".
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The former president of Yemen was not only one of the biggest kleptomaniacs on the planet, the group of experts on Yemen also mentions the close links " between Ali Abdullah Saleh, his family and Al-Qaeda in the arabian peninsula (Aqap) ". The report of 59 pages of quotes including Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, former minister of Defence. He claims to have seen the leader of Aqap in the office of former president Saleh. However, the minister of Defence was conducting precisely at this time in an offensive against Al-Qaeda in Abyan province.
But, at this rate going to the swiss justice, UBS should be able to sleep on his two ears. So much so that the big bank has obtained from the federal Court, on the 19th of may last, the return of three workbooks, captured in the framework of this procedure, containing information about the clients in Yemen...
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