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Top five stories you may have missed
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Top five stories you may have missed

4 min. 09.01.2022
In case you missed them the Luxembourg Times has selected the five best stories of the week
The prosecutor dropped a related investigation into AmCham head Paul Schonenberg
The prosecutor dropped a related investigation into AmCham head Paul Schonenberg
Photo credit: Pierre Matgé

 Ex-staffer indicted in €100,000 AmCham fraud

Luxembourg prosecutors have charged a former employee at the local chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce with defrauding it of more than €100,000 after the business group filed a criminal complaint against her in 2018. Prosecutors also dropped a related investigation into AmCham head Paul Schonenberg last month, Henri Eippers, spokesman for Luxembourg's prosecution said.

The AmCham business lobby had filed a criminal complaint against the ex-staffer and dismissed her in December 2018. In the dismissal letter, seen by the Luxembourg Times, AmCham accused her of stealing money through fraudulent reimbursements with a credit card and fake signatures.

It is not yet clear whether the case will go to court, the prosecution said. 

When approached by the Luxembourg Times through LinkedIn, the former employee did not react to a request for comment.

 

Luxembourg steps up dirty money fight as review nears

Financial crime investigators blocked almost €30 million in money they suspected had been laundered in 2020, disclosing the number for the first time as Luxembourg awaits a crucial inspection from the global anti-money laundering watchdog later this year.

The review, by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), will assess the country’s resolve in fighting the crime of making ill-gotten gains look legitimate. Luxembourg failed the Paris-based body's previous assessment in 2010, and any repeat of that verdict would be a devastating blow to the country's standing as the world's second-largest fund management centre.

The Cellule de Renseignement Financier - a unit of the public prosecutor's office froze assets of just over €29 million following suspicions primarily connected to money laundering, it said in its annual report in December. But the actual amount could be much higher, given that the CRF categorised €104 million of frozen assets as "other" and some orders relate to several different offences, which could include money laundering.


Government remains undecided on mandatory vaccine plan

Luxembourg's government will consult multiple expert bodies before deciding on mandatory vaccinations, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said on Friday, after an inconclusive government meeting on whether the country would follow the example of several other European nations in imposing compulsory jabs amid rising infection rates.

The government has asked an “independent body of experts” to provide a scientific opinion on mandatory inoculations, Bettel said in a statement which was released on Friday afternoon following a meeting of the government council earlier in the day. 

Luxembourg’s government is considering replicating the approach of several other European countries by examining the possibility of scrapping the current policy of attempting to simply persuade the unvaccinated to get jabbed, in the face of a building wave of infections.

 

ArcelorMittal's Ukraine accounts frozen in tax dispute

Steel group ArcelorMittal’s bank accounts in Ukraine have been frozen by a court after a senior executive at the company was accused of tax evasion in the latest attack on the group by the authorities. 

 The multinational company, one of the world’s leading steel producers, is Ukraine’s largest foreign direct investor and has faced several investigations over tax in the past few years. 

 The Luxembourg-based group bought the steel mill in Kryviy Rih — Ukraine’s largest and one of the biggest in Europe — from the state for $5.2bn in 2005. It says it has pumped an additional $4.8bn into the country since then. 

 A Ukraine court ruled in favour of a request from the prosecutor-general’s office for the freezing of accounts, resulting in the halt of financial transactions, as fears mount over a Russian military attack.


CSSF fines Banque de Luxembourg after 2018 audit

The CSSF banking watchdog slapped a €1.3 million fine on Banque de Luxembourg (BdL) for weaknesses in its systems to detect money laundering and terrorism financing, the bank has said, as Luxembourg steps up its fight against clients parking dirty money in the country.

The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier uncovered the deficiencies during a 2018 audit, the bank - which is owned by France's Crédit Mutuel - said in a press release in December, which had not previously been reported. 

"The audit did not reveal any unlawful activity. The weaknesses identified, relating to facts prior to 2018, were immediately dealt with in a remediation programme", said the bank, which serves wealthy clients.

 

 


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