Mr. Pascal Gossin is the head of Switzerland’s Mutual Legal Assistance Unit, (“the Unit”), which is part of the Federal Office of Justice. Mr. Gossin was a fellow speaker at the Carmelite Chambers International Fraud & Asset Recovery Conference, which I attended last month.
If the Unit suspects a dictator or other Politically Exposed Persons,(i.e. individuals holding high foreign public office, a.k.a.“PEPs”), hid corruption proceeds in a Swiss bank account, the Unit freezes the illicit assets. It then seeks to return these assets to the appropriate foreign state. Examples of PEP cases Mr. Gossin has been in charge of involved Nigeria’s Sani Abacha; the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Désiré Mobutu (a.k.a. Mobutu Sese Seko); and Peru’s Vladimiro Montesinos.
The Unit handles extradition requests and negotiates with foreign governments about mutual legal assistance treaties, as well as the sharing of seized assets. The Unit also sometimes tips foreign governments regarding secret Swiss bank accounts related to money laundering and a variety of crimes. Mr. Gossin refers to this tipping as “the spontaneous transmission of information”. This transmission of secret information is one of the matters covered by Mr. Gossin’s slideshow about the Unit, which he presented at the International Fraud & Asset Recovery Conference:
Slideshow Courtesy of Mr. Pascal Gossin & The Federal Office of Justice.
Copyright 2014 Fred L. Abrams