The victims of a securities fraud, divorcing spouses, post-judgment creditors, etc. can have several remedies available to them if they need to recover assets hidden offshore. One might even pursue an asset search or recovery in the various offshore tax havens. This is particularly true when a bank is used as a laundering “link” to hide funds in a money laundering circuit or assets have otherwise been hidden during a financial fraud.
To cite just one example, I have previously filed letters rogatory / legal assistance requests with the Court in Geneva, (“the “Parquet du Procureuer général), because of suspected money laundering at two Swiss banks. As mentioned at “An Asset Search With Letters Rogatory“, these kinds of legal remedies can sometimes be used to elicit financial information from bank witnesses.
Other forms of relief for those seeking to recover funds hidden offshore, can range from attaching a bank account to alerting a financial intelligence unit. Local counsel in Geneva has analyzed these legal remedies which are available in Switzerland and in many other jurisdictions across the globe:
“As you probably know, Switzerland does not follow the common law doctrine. We do not adhere to the institution of discovery. The usual tools available to a claimant are therefore the filing of a criminal complaint, which is actually the most efficient way to get past the banking secrecy. Access to the information will be granted only if someone can be indicted. In exceptional circumstances a broader access to the information collected within the frame of the criminal investigation can be granted on a discretionary basis.