Thursday, June 30, 2011


By Mansor Puteh

Not many people want to admit that they have a ‘Swiss bank account’. It is not a status symbol.

In fact, many fabulously wealthy individuals in the world simply cannot tell everybody else how rich they are; they also cannot drive expensive cars or live in expensive mansions, unlike the pop stars who like to flaunt them because their earnings can be calculated.

On the other hand, those who are in government service as members of the cabinet and other government ministries and agencies, who have managed to amass wealthy by dubious means, cannot show how wealthy they are and admit to the amount of money they have.

They are the ones who have to open a Swiss bank account to divert their money into these accounts while trying to live frugally for everybody else to see.

So philosophically, they are just bloody idiots; those who have money but cannot admit it. So it just mean that they are not wealthy?

Because being rich is an attitude or behavior where one can flaunt one’s wealth on oneself or on charity.

If one cannot admit to one’s real wealth, than the money can be considered to be nonexistent. It is just in the heads of those who have the money that they have hidden in their Swiss bank accounts, for which they could not make withdrawals.

It is dead money – money which was has been deprived of a life of its own, and be used to benefit many others, if it is put in circulation. It’s just numbers.

And having a Swiss bank account has a negative connotation to it. It simply means that one has ill-gotten wealth that one cannot save in any bank in one’s own country. One has to have a Swiss bank account.

Many individuals who have such accounts have been known to have them frozen. Why?

Because they suddenly appear in the spotlight and the Swiss authorities freeze their account or accounts.

And most of them are people who right from the beginning did not need to open such an account because of who and what they were.

The Swiss authorities should have known them better to realize who they were before it is too late.

If one holds a minor office in any government, chances are one does not have any need to open any Swiss account. If one does then one is telling everybody that one has ill-gotten wealth.

And why does a country like Switzerland become a heaven for such account holders?

Some other countries, too, have been known to receive ill-gotten wealth in accounts of their banks such as Spain and Germany.

There is also a country in Southeast Asia where many wealthy and cooked Chinese from Indonesia keep their money. So no wonder, this government had not allowed its financial institution to be transparent, at the insistence of the Indonesian government.

When will these and the other countries be punished for trading in ill-gotten wealth of people with shady financial backgrounds?

If money laundering is a crime, then countries that deal with it, by offering special banking facilities, too, must be responsible for encouraging it to happen, and in a very big scale.

There is no justification for any bank or any country to become the outlet for crooks to divert money which they had got illegally in their countries through corruption or the trading of illegal goods, such as drugs.

And banks and countries that are involved in this crime must be punished as they have actually encouraged corruption in a very big scale.

Unfortunately, the small fish are often caught but not the big ones that can go away scot-free, especially if it involves banks and governments. 

Maybe when the unique banking system was first introduced in the country, the term, money laundering had not been created yet. So all those who have a lot of money that they wanted to hide, could open a Swiss bank account.

The account is secret and it is also safe – so they say.

Now, those whose Swiss bank accounts have been frozen know that they are not safe. They have all been cheated by the Swiss government into thinking that they could hide their wealth in their Swiss bank account.

So now that everybody has started to talk about money laundering, then maybe its time to stare at the secret banking system in Switzerland and see if the country can now be charged for colluding with many individuals who had created their accounts with the banks in Switzerland, and this country can also be charged accordingly.

If there was nowhere in the world where anyone could open a secret bank account, then surely, corruption that the persons had taken part in for which charges had not yet been held against them, could not have taken place, in the first place.

They were all misguided into thinking, albeit wrongly, how they could cheat and commit corruption in their own countries and escape persecution by simply hiding their ill-gotten wealth in Swiss bank accounts.

So one can say and charge Switzerland for ‘encouraging’ corruption and cheating by individuals who now have such accounts in this country, for without such an unusual banking system, those same individuals would not have been ‘encouraged’ to be deceitful.

It is therefore ironic how a country such as Switzerland can land itself in such a situation where it becomes the most important center of money laundering in the world and nobody seems to care.

In the past, such a distinction could be considered a plus point for Switzerland because they were said to be open. But now their status can be seen from a totally different context altogether.

It’s therefore time for the unusual banking system in Switzerland be deemed illegal and those who are involved in such a system must be punished.

The bankers in Switzerland who are involved in this sort of banking system must realize that they are worse crooks in the world comparable with the drug barons who also hide their ill-gotten wealth in some hidden and secret bank accounts either in Switzerland or elsewhere under the names of their proxies.

There is no need for anyone to look at Switzerland as a country which is neutral and who wishes to exist in a peaceful coexistence with all countries when their major financial activity centers on the keeping of ill-gotten wealth of many individuals around the world whose backgrounds are shady.

No comments: