CySEC-Regulated TCR in €220 Million Money Laundering Storm

A Cypriot financial firm offering wealth management services has landed in hot water after suspicious
transactions worth hundreds of millions. TCR International Limited, an
investment advisory shop registered in Cyprus and licensed by local CySEC, now
faces a French anti-money laundering probe. Investigators allege the company
channeled over €220 million of dubious funds from 2019 to 2021.

Cypriot Investment Firm
Caught Up in Money Laundering Investigation

The probe,
led by French anti-organized crime authorities, centers around hundreds of
millions of euros in “suspicious” transactions that flowed through
TCR International’s accounts at BNP Paribas Securities Services in France a few
years ago.

Investigators
are examining whether the funds, which allegedly total over €220 million, were
of illicit origin or had no economic rationale. The identity of TCR
International’s clients is also under scrutiny.

TCR
International provides investment advisory and asset management services globally
to companies and high-net-worth individuals. The company is registered in
Cyprus and holds a “Cypriot Investment Firm” or “CIF”
license, the same type used by FX/CFD brokers.

The CIF license was granted almost 10 years ago. Source: CySEC

The CIF license was granted almost 10 years ago. Source: CySEC

Finance
Magnates sent a request for comment to TCR regarding the alleged accusations
against the company. At the time of publishing this article, we have not yet
received a response.

Alleged Links to
Sanctioned Russian Bank

According
to the French news outlet Le
Monde
, leaked records show links between TCR International’s clients
and a Russian banker hit with EU and US sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The
clients include Russian founders of financial apps and possible shell
companies.

French
authorities opened their probe after receiving intelligence from US
investigators examining financial networks tied to the Wagner Group, a Russian
paramilitary organization.

BNP Paribas caught up in French money laundering investigation – Le Monde https://t.co/CPV4D6Mioz pic.twitter.com/LCLpzZUUWS

— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) December 26, 2023

The US
Department of Justice sent French officials a formal request for legal
assistance regarding TCR International’s transactions through BNP Paribas.
However, no evidence directly connecting TCR International to Wagner or its
late leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has emerged so far.

Compliance Obligations in
Focus

The
investigation aims to determine whether TCR International and BNP Paribas
fulfilled due diligence duties under anti-money laundering regulations.

Commenting for
Le Monde
, TCR International claimed it rigorously vetted clients and denied
any ties to illicit finance. Nonetheless, BNP Paribas terminated its custody
services contract with the firm in January 2022.

The probe
highlights the compliance challenges banks face when handling funds from shell
companies. Robust “know your customer” checks are essential to
uncovering suspicious transactions.

With TCR
International asserting its innocence and BNP Paribas staying silent, the
outcome of the French investigation remains uncertain. Authorities face an
uphill battle tracing the origin of layered financial flows and piercing
corporate veils.

A Cypriot financial firm offering wealth management services has landed in hot water after suspicious
transactions worth hundreds of millions. TCR International Limited, an
investment advisory shop registered in Cyprus and licensed by local CySEC, now
faces a French anti-money laundering probe. Investigators allege the company
channeled over €220 million of dubious funds from 2019 to 2021.

Cypriot Investment Firm
Caught Up in Money Laundering Investigation

The probe,
led by French anti-organized crime authorities, centers around hundreds of
millions of euros in “suspicious” transactions that flowed through
TCR International’s accounts at BNP Paribas Securities Services in France a few
years ago.

Investigators
are examining whether the funds, which allegedly total over €220 million, were
of illicit origin or had no economic rationale. The identity of TCR
International’s clients is also under scrutiny.

TCR
International provides investment advisory and asset management services globally
to companies and high-net-worth individuals. The company is registered in
Cyprus and holds a “Cypriot Investment Firm” or “CIF”
license, the same type used by FX/CFD brokers.

The CIF license was granted almost 10 years ago. Source: CySEC

The CIF license was granted almost 10 years ago. Source: CySEC

Finance
Magnates sent a request for comment to TCR regarding the alleged accusations
against the company. At the time of publishing this article, we have not yet
received a response.

Alleged Links to
Sanctioned Russian Bank

According
to the French news outlet Le
Monde
, leaked records show links between TCR International’s clients
and a Russian banker hit with EU and US sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The
clients include Russian founders of financial apps and possible shell
companies.

French
authorities opened their probe after receiving intelligence from US
investigators examining financial networks tied to the Wagner Group, a Russian
paramilitary organization.

BNP Paribas caught up in French money laundering investigation – Le Monde https://t.co/CPV4D6Mioz pic.twitter.com/LCLpzZUUWS

— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) December 26, 2023

The US
Department of Justice sent French officials a formal request for legal
assistance regarding TCR International’s transactions through BNP Paribas.
However, no evidence directly connecting TCR International to Wagner or its
late leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has emerged so far.

Compliance Obligations in
Focus

The
investigation aims to determine whether TCR International and BNP Paribas
fulfilled due diligence duties under anti-money laundering regulations.

Commenting for
Le Monde
, TCR International claimed it rigorously vetted clients and denied
any ties to illicit finance. Nonetheless, BNP Paribas terminated its custody
services contract with the firm in January 2022.

The probe
highlights the compliance challenges banks face when handling funds from shell
companies. Robust “know your customer” checks are essential to
uncovering suspicious transactions.

With TCR
International asserting its innocence and BNP Paribas staying silent, the
outcome of the French investigation remains uncertain. Authorities face an
uphill battle tracing the origin of layered financial flows and piercing
corporate veils.