Barclays' Paris Chief Quizzed in Money Laundering Inquiry
Katherine Griffiths and John Lichfield, The Independent (London, England)
BARCLAYS IS being investigated by the French authorities over allegations that senior executives failed to spot a long- established money laundering network spanning France and Israel.
Barclays' managing director in France, Henri-Paul Pelligrino, is understood to have been placed under formal investigation with two other senior officials of the bank.
The Barclays employees were questioned last Friday after they failed to report very large withdrawals of allegedly illegitimate cash being made through the bank's branches.
The withdrawals are understood to be part of a suspected money laundering ring operating through a string of small Jewish textile companies in the Santier district of Paris.
The companies, which are on trial in France, are alleged to have obtained loans in the country on the basis of fake orders. They are charged with washing the money through a series of financial institutions in France and Israel so that the loans were no longer traceable between 1996 and October of this year.
The French authorities have also placed several rabbis under formal investigation, as well as workers from two small French banks. …