Prosecutor: MCB waives NAF 25 million in deemed proceeds from old swipe case 

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Willemstad, Curaçao – The  Prosecutor’s Office OM  announced today that it has agreed with Maduro & Curiel’s Bank N.V. (MCB) that MCB will waive the proceeds of so-called ‘dollar swiping’ by its clients. It concerns 25 million Antillean Guilders over the period 2007-2015 in Curaçao. The prosecutor will not prosecute MCB for its role in ‘dollar swiping’ by its clients.

The Breton investigation took place under the direction of the OM . It was conducted by the Special Police Taskforce RST with support from the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service FIOD  and the Netherlands Police.

The Breton investigation concerned whether MCB took sufficient measures more than a decade ago to prevent illegal ‘dollar swiping’ by its clients. The investigation was based on the previous investigations ‘Cymbal’ (in the Netherlands) and ‘Troja’ (in Curaçao).

At the time, Venezuelans were widely using special credit cards to make purchases outside of Venezuela, when in reality, they were not buying anything but were receiving cash U.S. dollars in return for their payments. These cash dollars were worth much more on the black market in Venezuela. Between 2007 and 2015, millions of illegal transactions were carried out using Venezuelan credit cards. This widespread practice led to many forgeries in the records of the companies involved, which also did not adequately monitor the origin of the cash dollars. MCB knew that some of its clients in Curaçao were also engaged in ‘dollar swiping’.

The OM notes that MCB did not adequately perform its gatekeeper role in the past. The bank took measures against ‘swiping’ in 2012 and further tightened its compliance policies to better fulfil its role as a financial gatekeeper. That role is essential for the integrity of the financial system. As a systemic bank, MCB is especially responsible for contributing to a sound financial system.

MCB is now waiving the deemed proceeds made at the time. The money will benefit Curaçao. The OM considers MCB’s payment of NAf. 25 million as an appropriate and adequate resolution. The OM  considered the seriousness, extent, and duration of the facts, MCB’s cooperative attitude, the insight previously shown by MCB and its improved compliance policies since then, and that more than ten years transpired since the facts were committed. Under these circumstances, the OM  considers that sufficient compensation has been paid to society and that no further action is warranted.

The Breton investigation was launched in July 2021 and ran under the responsibility of the Central Team of the Attorney General’s Office of Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. This agreement brings the case to a close.