THE HAGUE, Feb 2, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 02nd Feb, 2017 ) : Dutch lawyers and rights activists Thursday filed a criminal complaint against Rabobank accusing the lender of complicity in money-laundering by Mexican drug cartels and urging prosecutors to investigate. Acting on behalf of Fernando Hernandez, a Mexican now living in The Netherlands, the SMX Collective filed the complaint against the bank and its executives to the Dutch prosecution.
It accused the bank of "having laundered structurally and for a long period of time the proceeds of crimes committed by Mexican drugs cartels" via a branch of its subsidiary in Calexico, southern California, just over the border from Mexico. "By doing this, they assisted the drugs cartels in the commission of all their crimes, including crimes against humanity," the complaint alleges. Rabobank, one of The Netherlands' largest banks, emerged from small cooperative banks in the late 19th century serving farmers and horticulturists and is active in 40 countries.
The Calexico branch has been closed since 2015, but has been under investigation by US Federal authorities amid allegations of money laundering. But rights lawyer Goran Sluiter told a press conference in The Hague Thursday that Dutch prosecutors also had jurisdiction over any crimes committed by Rabobank, as the bank's global headquarters are in Utrecht. He urged Dutch prosecutors not to await the results of the US investigation which he said was "likely not to cover the consequences of money-laundering for the civilian population in Mexico.
" - Not victimless crime - ======================== "Money-laundering is not a crime without victims", Sluiter said, arguing the bank had failed to scrutinise and query "unusual transactions" at the Calexico branch. "The proceeds of crimes which are laundered by banks including Rabobank, those profits are re-invested in the criminal acts of the cartels," he added. "Thereby financial institutions contribute in a significant way to the suffering of the Mexican population." The Dutch prosecution service confirmed to AFP they have received a copy of the complaint and "it will be studied by the prosecutors' office." Rabobank spokesman Hendrik Jan Eijpe told AFP the company had only just received the complaint and was not commenting on the accusations. But he added Rabobank had been "cooperating with the US authorities" and their investigation.