Author Topic: Clearstream Banking S.A. created in 2000.  (Read 7764 times)

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Mike Philbin

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Clearstream Banking S.A. created in 2000.
« on: September 13, 2009, 03:35:25 am »
this is ALL from the wikipedia site but (you never know) it might not be disinfo - search this article for keywords like Bin Laden, BCCI and Carlyle Group: gosh, maybe this is more appropriate in the 9-11 section.

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Clearstream Banking S.A. (CB) is the custody and settlement division of Deutsche Börse, based in Luxembourg.

It was created in January 2000 through the merger of Cedel International and Deutsche Börse Clearing, part of the Deutsche Börse Group, which owns the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Cedel, established in 1971, specialized in clearance and settlement. In 1996 it obtained a bank license. In July 2002 Deutsche Börse purchased the remaining 50% of Clearstream International for €1.6 billion. Deutsche Börse's strategy is to be a vertical securities silo, providing facilities for the front and back ends of securities trading. In 2008 Clearstream contributed €489 million to Deutsche Börse's total Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) of €1,5 billion. It handled 114 million transactions, and was custodian of securities worth €10,600 trillion (Deutsche Boerse Annual Report, 2008).

In Révélation$ (2001), by investigative reporter Denis Robert and ex-Clearstream banker Ernest Backes, Clearstream was accused of being an international platform for money laundering and tax evasion via an illegal system of secret accounts (the "Clearstream Affair"). M Robert was sued and sentenced eight times by the French courts for defamation (Paris court of appeal, October 16, 2008)

In Spring 2004, a "Second Clearstream Affair" began, which attracted more attention in 2006. Peripheral to the primary Clearstream Affair, it accused several French political figures, industrial leaders, and members of the secret services of maintaining secret accounts at Clearstream, which allegedly were used to transfer kickbacks in a France–Taiwan frigates scandal. In this affair M Robert together with M de Villepin, Gergorin, lahoud and Bourges will face trial in September 2009

Contents [hide]
1 Accusations
2 Settlement and custody
2.1 Euros
2.2 Clearstream's dominant position
3 Daewoo shutdown inquiries
4 The Clearstream affair
4.1 "The greatest financial scandal in Luxembourg is a flop"
4.2 Banco Ambrosiano scandal
4.3 Secret accounts and the workings of 21st century economics
4.4 A "black box" of Cedel
4.5 March 2000 French parliamentary report
4.6 Judicial investigations and libel lawsuits
4.7 Suspension & investigation of Clearstream's CEO
4.8 Refusal of the European Commission to open an investigation: 20 Minutes ' revelations
4.9 Clearstream's reply
4.10 Nadhmi Auchi, largest private share-holder of BNP Paribas bank
4.11 Bank Menatep
4.12 The Second Clearstream Affair
4.12.1 Investigation of the anonymous denunciations
4.12.2 Lawsuits alleging defamation
5 Searches in 2007
5.1 The October surprise conspiracy
5.2 Bin Laden's Bahrain International Bank
5.3 Banks with accounts in Clearstream
6 Bibliography
7 See also
8 References
9 External links
9.1 Main sources
9.2 Media reports
9.2.1 In English
9.2.2 In French (Google transl. available)
9.2.3 Other languages
9.3 Others

[edit] Accusations
In 2001, investigative reporter Denis Robert and Ernest Backes, an executive at Cedel until May 1983, published a book, Revelation$[1] in which they alleged Clearstream played a major part in the underground economy, was a main platform for money laundering for hundreds of banks, and "operated hundreds of confidential accounts for banks so they could move money undetected," according to Business Week.[2]

Backes and Le Figaro were sued by Clearstream and found guilty of libel on March 29, 2004. Denis Robert was sued for libel and found guilty three times in appeal on 16 October 2008 (Judgment Paris Court of appeal, 2008, Oct 16)for the books Revelation$ and Black Box, as well as the documentary “Les Dissimulateurs” (The Deceivers). The court noted “despite the reality, Denis Robert persisted with his accusations; using insinuations, convenient short-cuts, and careless reasoning. This was evident in his assimilation of unpublished and secret accounts, non publication of accounts and double-entry bookkeeping, deleting data and fraud. Denis Robert was unable to provide sufficient evidence to back up misleading interpretations and thus assimilate unpublished accounts to secret accounts and present the clearing house (Clearstream) as presiding over a structure of dissimulation. He was sentenced to pay € 1500 per case.

After the initiation of an investigation in Luxembourg which was closed in November 2004 after no evidence had been found of any wrongdoing (Parquet du Luxembourg 30/11/2004), on suspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and other fraud, Clearstream's CEO, André Lussi, resigned (See below). This enabled Deutsche Börse to purchase the remaining 50% of Clearstream International in July 2002. According to some, such as Business Week, Lussi had opposed such a takeover.

[edit] Settlement and custody
Clearstream often has been described as a bank for banks, as it practices what is called settlement and custody operations ("Plumbers and Visionaries, a history of settlement and custody in Europe", Peter Norman]. Basically, its duty is to record transactions between the accounts of different banks, and use that data to calculate the relative financial positions of banks with regard to each other.

So a bank can just order a transaction between its own account and the other bank's account, in lieu of less secure methods such as carrying a case full of currency or securities around on the street; the bank merely transmits an order to Clearstream to credit/debit one of its own accounts and the other bank's account(s). This general system is in use between regular companies, governments, and banks around the world.

The purpose of International central securities depositories like Euroclear and Clearstream is to facilitate money movements around the world, particularly by handling the resolution of sales of European stocks and bonds, in which market Clearstream is a major player, with an estimated 40% market share until May 2008 - together with its competitor Euroclear, the two firms settle 70% of European transactions.[3] Furthermore, in January 2009, Clearstream was the 11th largest employer in Luxembourg [4]

Clearstream does not hold a monopoly in this market: Euroclear, owned by the market, and custodian banks (Bank of New York-Mellon..] are competitors. ; Clearstream's quasi-monopoly is demonstrated by this European Union statement declaring that "Clearstream Banking AG is an unavoidable trader partner."[5]

Euroclear was created by JP Morgan in 1968 in Brussels (Belgium). By the end of 2000, JP Morgan had extricated itself from Euroclear, but JP Morgan still is one of the 120 international banks which own shares in Euroclear. In 2000, Euroclear processed 145 million transactions, dealing with a total of 100,000 billion euros.[6]

[edit] Euros
Cedel (now Clearstream) and Euroclear were started to manage transfers of "eurobonds," U.S. denominated debt instruments issued in Europe and kept in banks outside the United States. By the 1990s, the Federal Reserve estimated that about 2/3 of U.S. currency was held abroad as eurodollars.

Clearstream is audited by KPMG, one of the largest global accounting firms. KPMG declared that it found "no evidence" to support the allegations made by Denis Robert and Ernest Backes, although its report was not made public.

[edit] Clearstream's dominant position
On June 2, 2004, the European Commission found that "Clearstream Banking AG and its parent company Clearstream International SA (“Clearstream”) infringed competition rules by refusing to supply cross-border securities clearing and settlement services, and by applying discriminatory prices. Clearstream has appealed in front of the European Court of Justice. The case was pleaded in July 2008 and the decision is pending. The Commission’s investigation revealed that Clearstream refused to supply Euroclear Bank SA ('Euroclear Bank') with certain clearing and settlement services, and applied discriminatory prices to the detriment of this customer."

The decision states that "Clearstream refused to supply to Euroclear Bank clearing and settlement services for registered shares issued under German law," underlining the "dominant position" of Clearstream since it "is the only final custodian of German securities kept in collective safe custody, which is the only significant form of custody today for securities traded. New entry into this activity is unrealistic for the foreseeable future. Therefore, Clearstream is an unavoidable trading partner."

The Commission defined clearing and settlement as follows:

"Securities clearing and settlement are necessary steps for a securities trade to be completed.
Clearing is the process by which the contractual obligations of the buyer and the seller are established.
Settlement is the transfer of securities from the seller to the buyer and the transfer of funds from the buyer to the seller. (...)
Clearstream Banking AG is Germany's only Wertpapiersammelbank (Central Securities Depository).
"The Commission considered that during the reference period concerned, 1997 through 2001, Clearstream held a dominant position for providing cross-border clearing and settlement services to intermediaries situated in other Member States. The investigation therefore focused on a specific cross-border market and the decision does not set out findings that go beyond that relevant market."

The Commission underlined in a note that, "Central Securities Depositories hold securities and enable securities transactions to be processed through book entry. In its home country, the Central Securities Depository provides processing services for trades of those securities that it holds in final custody. It can also offer processing services as an intermediary in cross-border clearing and settlement, where the primary deposit of securities is in another country."[5]

[edit] Daewoo shutdown inquiries
After Daewoo was split apart in 2000, Clearstream became the subject of two commissions of inquiry in Lorraine (France) conducted before the French parliament and European parliament both of which had no results.

[edit] The Clearstream affair

[edit] "The greatest financial scandal in Luxembourg is a flop"
In 2001, co-authors Denis Robert and Ernest Backes released a book called "Révélation$," followed by Robert's "La Boîte Noire," describing what has been named the "greatest financial scandal in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg."[7] The little publicity their works received came only in the French media, and even there publicity was minimal. In a number of interviews, Denis Robert accused "Le Monde" of deliberately suppressing articles and reviews of his book, suggesting that financial links between "Le Monde" and Deutsche Börse (which now owns 100% of Clearstream's shares) were the cause of this censorship. Denis Robert was found guilty of libel and sentenced altogether 8 times by the French courts for describing Clearstream as a huge money laundering and tax evasion machine, used by major banks, shell companies, and organized crime all over the world. (Paris Court of Appeal, 16, October 2008, 18 December 2008, Tribunal correctionnel de Bordeaux, June 2008)

[edit] Banco Ambrosiano scandal
Further information: Banco Ambrosiano
By 1980, Ernest Backes had become Cedel's #3, in charge of relations with clients, but he was fired in May 1983, allegedly because he "knew too much about the Ambrosiano scandal," one of Italy's major political scandals. Two months after his dismissal, Gérard Soisson was found dead in Corsica. The Banco Ambrosiano, allegedly involved in money-laundering for the Mafia and owned in majority by the Vatican Bank, collapsed in 1982. The bank "laundered drugs- and arms-trafficking money for the Italian and American Mafias, and in the 1980s it channeled Vatican money to the Contras in Nicaragua and to Solidarity in Poland", according to Komisar.

In 2005 the Italian justice system reopened its investigation of the murder of Roberto Calvi, Ambrosiano's chairman; it has requested the support of Ernest Backes, and will investigate Gerard Soisson's death, according to Komisar. Licio Gelli, headmaster of Propaganda Due masonic lodge (aka P2, it was involved in Gladio's "strategy of tension" starting from the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing), and mafiosi Giuseppe Calo, are being prosecuted for the assassination of Roberto Calvi. Ernest Backes explained: "When Soisson died, the Ambrosiano affair wasn't yet known as a scandal. (After it was revealed) I realized that Soisson and I had been at the crossroads. We moved all those transactions known later in the scandal to Lima and other branches. Nobody even knew there was a Banco Ambrosiano branch in Lima and other South American countries."[8]

[edit] Secret accounts and the workings of 21st century economics
Gérard Soisson was the person who authorized each non-published account, "which would be known only by some insiders, including the auditors and members of the council of administration." "With Soisson out of the way, there was nothing to stop the abuse of the system," wrote Lucy Komisar. Whereas Soisson had refused numerous requests to open non-published accounts (from such institutions as Chase Manhattan in New York, Chemical Bank of London and numerous subsidiaries of Citibank), Cedel opened hundreds of non-published accounts — all of them irregular — especially after the arrival of CEO André Lussi in 1990. No longer were they just sub-accounts of officially listed accounts, Backes charges. Some were for banks that were not subsidiaries or even official members of Cedel. At the start of 1995, Cedel had more than 2,200 published accounts. But in reality, according to documents obtained by Backes, Cedel that year managed more than 4,200 accounts," leading to an alleged total of "2,000 unpublished accounts in 1995."

Only authorized banks, supranational and government entities, brokers/financial institutions (provided that the institution is subject to regulation by an acceptable regulatory authority) and general corporates as tripartite repo cash providers are eligible customers of Clearstream. Individuals are not eligible as Clearstream Banking customers. Accounts are opened in the name of their legal owners. Each customer is free in asking for the opening of subsequent accounts. All main and subsequent accounts are subject to the same rules and internal control procedures and regulatory supervision. Some subsequent account names contain, beside the customer name, an indication as to third parties. These accounts are not opened for individual persons but on instruction of the legal owner of the account.

Banks in most countries worldwide do generally not publish their customers’ account numbers, due to the banking secrecy and legitimate customer personal protection reasons. Depending on the nature of the business executed through Clearstream, customers elect for their account numbers to be published or unpublished. Customers may elect to provide other Clearstream customers with their respective account numbers to ease the settlement process, i.e. publish their account numbers. For other Clearstream services, e.g. the safekeeping of securities as well as the associated ser-vices, such as corporate actions on the deposited securities, customers do not need to publish their account numbers to other market participants. This practice is entirely consistent with international banking industry standards.

The non-publication of account numbers does not mean that these accounts are hid-den or secret and unknown to Clearstream’s staff and management, the internal and external auditors and the regulatory authorities. To the contrary, all customer ac-counts, published and non-published, are all continually reviewed, monitored and re-ported to the regulators as needed.

Another belief of Denis Robert's book is that, according to the May 9, 2001 op-ed by Bernard Bertossa, attorney general in Geneva, Benoît Dejemeppe, king's attorney in Brussels (procureur du roi), Eva Joly, investigative magistrate in Paris, Jean de Maillard, magistrate in Blois and Renaud van Ruymbeke, a judge in Paris, entitled "The 'black boxes' of financial globalization," is that:

"The chaos of financial flux is only an appearance. Of course, offshore banks and tax havens perfectly hide the points of arrival and of transit of dirty capital. It is even their reason of existence (raison d'être). Trying to find the illegal money flux in those offshore centers is hopelessly doomed... However, since capital from criminal origin pass in the same financial 'pipes' as other ones [legal funds], i.e. clearing and financial routage companies, they become vulnerable precisely during their transfer [in those clearing companies]."[9]

In other words, all financial money flows, legal or illegal, have to pass through the financial system;

[edit] A "black box" of Cedel
Ernest Backes also explained that a company named Cedel International, located in Geneva, had been inscribed in the Swiss register of commerce but not included in the books of the mother company, Cedel International in Luxembourg. "This non-consolidated 'branch,' whose president is Robert Douglass of New York, former private secretary of Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and vice chairman of the Chase Manhattan Corporation (now J.P. Morgan Chase), apparently had not raised too many questions for Swiss federal magistrates." Backes qualified this "black box" as "institutionalized tax evasion at highest level in world finance,", noting that tax evasion was even "more or less expressed in the objectives of the company as filed in the Swiss register of commerce." The "branch" has since "been resold to another Luxembourg holding company, with the people in the backyard remaining mostly the same."

[edit] March 2000 French parliamentary report
In March 2000, a parliamentary report by French deputies Arnaud Montebourg and Vincent Peillon, entitled "Parliamentary Report on the obstacles on the control and repression of financial criminal activity and of money-laundering in Europe," dedicated its whole third section to "Luxembourg's political dependency toward the financial sector: the Clearstream affair."[10]

[edit] Judicial investigations and libel lawsuits
Following the publication of "Revelation$," the tribunal of Luxembourg opened up an investigation on February 26, 2001. On November 30, 2004 the parquet finally declared no proof of "systematic manipulations" had been found, and that investigations would continue on suspicion of manipulation and tax evasion regarding former Clearstream CEO André lussi. This also led to a non lieu (Statement from the Luxembourg Parquet, November 2004).

Denis Robert also has been sued for defamation by other banks and companies incriminated by the book: 50+ different cases — among which Bank Menatep, Banque Générale du Luxembourg, etc., in which the author and his editor Laurent Beccaria were acquitted in all but two cases, and damages for both cases of one Euro were awarded. On January 27, 2006, once more Denis Robert was charged by a Luxembourg committing magistrate for defamation, slander, and insults.

A complaint was opened in March 2001 against Ernest Backes, and Denis Robert was included in it five years later: "I am very surprised of this accusation five years after the facts and of the energy which the Luxembourgian justice puts continuing to harass me while it was not at the end of the inquiry opened for money laundering, tax evasion and corruption against Clearstream", Robert said. An organization, "Freedom to inform," declared to Le Nouvel Observateur magazine that "By transforming the affair Robert in affair Frieden (Luxembourg Minister of Justice, of the Treasury and the Budget), every signature will be a civil act which protects the freedom of the media in Europe."[11]

[edit] Suspension & investigation of Clearstream's CEO
On May 15, 2001, André Lussi was suspended from his CEO position at Clearstream, and on December 31, 2001, he departed the company on mutual agreement.[12][13] In February 2004 an investigation was opened against him, on money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion charges.[14][15] André Lussi was replaced by André Roelants, who had been at Dexia. After years of investigations, all allegations made against André Lussi turned out to be completely causeless and the lawsuits were abandoned by the courts.[16]

[edit] Refusal of the European Commission to open an investigation: 20 Minutes ' revelations
Along with Ernest Backes, Denis Robert presented Revelation$ to the Capital Tax, Fiscal Systems and Globalization intergroup of the European Parliament in March 2001 and also to the French National Assembly. Answering the question raised by European MPs (MEP) Harlem Désir, Glyn Ford and Francis Wurtz, who asked the Commission to investigate the accusations made by the book and to ensure that the 10 June 1990 directive (91/308 EC) on control of financial establishment be applied in all member states in an effective way, Commissioner Frits Bolkestein observed that "the Commission has no reason to date to believe that the Luxembourg authorities do not apply it vigorously". On April 26, 2006, 20 Minutes revealed that "in May 2005, MEP Paul Van Buitenen was shocked by Frits Bolkestein's presence on Menatep's international consultative council, a Russian banking establishment, and by his work for Shell, a British-Dutch petrol company, two firms 'maintaining secret accounts in Clearstream'... Van Buitenen, also Dutch, then asked for 'clarification' to the European Commission and the opening of a parliamentary investigation. The Commission's president, José Manuel Barroso, replied that these facts 'do not bring up any new question' and that it is not known 'if Menatep made contact with Bolkestein while he was in these positions'. No investigation therefore took place."

The free daily points out that "in 2001, it was Bolkestein himself who announced the Commission's refusal to open up a parliamentary investigation on Clearstream", following Harlem Désir's requests and accusations that Menatep had an "undeclared account" at Clearstream. Bolkestein refused to answer any questions by the newspaper, which recalls that Van Buitenen, former European public servant, had already revealed a vast corruption affair in 1999, which led to the resignation of the Commission presided by Jacques Santer (who has also been prime minister of Luxembourg) and the fall of Edith Cresson.[17]

Furthermore, two Belgian Senators, Isabelle Durant and Jean Cornil, proposed a law in vain in 2004 to create a national investigation commission charged with the investigation of the use of accounts in "clearing and routing firms" to commit fiscal frauds (tax evasion) and/or money-laundering[18]

[edit] Clearstream's reply
In April 2006, while the second "Clearstream affair" was beginning to make French media headlines (See below), Clearstream filed a lawsuit against "John Doe," targeting this time the anonymous denunciations claiming that Nicolas Sarkozy and other French political personalities had secret accounts at Clearstream, which would have been used for hypothetical kickbacks. Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is reportedly under investigation for what may have been his involvement in spreading the false charges against the current French President Sarkozy.[19]

Furthermore it answered questions of 20 Minutes in an interview, denying knowing anything about the various attempts to create European-level investigations commissions about its internal workings. It also denied "the existence of parallel accounts" and of "personal accounts" (in response, Denis Robert published a list of several personal accounts on his blog[20]). However, the company did recognize that "a banking establishment may request an unpublished account, that is, an account only known by the establishments concerned by the transaction, control authorities, and the auditors of the firm". Clearstream also indicated that it had "spent 15 million euros on various audits without finding anything," Denis Robert's accusations.[21]

[edit] Nadhmi Auchi, largest private share-holder of BNP Paribas bank
Iraqi-born Nadhmi Auchi, # 34 on the "Sunday Times Rich List 2004" (# 22 on the same list in 2005) and 13th richest man in Britain according to The Guardian, estimated to be worth $1 billion according to Forbes, also appeared to be a key figure.[22]

Auchi was convicted of profiteering by the Paris Criminal Court, and received a 15-month suspended sentence, for his involvement in Elf's scandal, "the biggest fraud inquiry in Europe since the Second World War. Elf became a private bank for its executives who spent £200 million on political favours, mistresses, jewellery, fine art, villas and apartments".[23] The "Guardian" noted that Nadhmi Auchi had helped Orascom (which owns Djezzy GSM), owned by Onsi Sawiris (worth $5.2 billion with his family according to Forbes[24]), gain a contract to set up mobile phone networks in post-Saddam's Iraq. As owner of the General Mediterranean Holdings, Auchi is the largest private shareholder of BNP Paribas, which until 2001 managed the escrow account through which the money from the Oil-for-Food programme transited.

[edit] Bank Menatep
Further information: Bank Menatep
Bank Menatep, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was involved in the "Kremlingate", when $4.8 billion in IMF funds were diverted to various banks, including US banks.[25] It opened up its non-published Cedel account #81 738 on May 15, 1997. "Menatep further violated the rules because many transfers were of cash, not for settlement of securities", writes Komisar. "For the three months in 1997 for which I hold microfiches, Backes says, only cash transfers were transferred through the Meanatep account. There were a lot of transfers between Menatep and the Bank of New York." Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky, a former Bank of New York official and the wife of a Menatep vice-president, was accused of helping launder at least $7 billion from Russia, according to Komisar. US investigators have attempted to find out if some of the laundered money originated with Menatep.

On November 26, 2003, Backes and another ex-banker, Swiss citizen André Strebel, filed a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general against Khodorkovsky and his colleagues Platon Lebedev and Alexei Golubovich, accusing them of money-laundering and supporting a criminal organization. They requested an investigation and a search of records of the Swiss office of Menatep SA, Menatep Finances SA, Valmet. and of Bank Leu in Geneva, related to claims of fraud against the Russian company Avisma and money-laundering by Menatep in Switzerland. According to this complaint, Bank Menatep has been linked since its creation to the Russian oligarchy and criminal organizations, such as Khodorkovsky, Alexander Konanykhine and the Russian godfather Semion Mogilevich. "Even though Menatep officially failed in 1998, it oddly remained on the non-published list of Clearstream accounts for 2000", wrote Komisar. Clearstream's listings also present 36 other Russian accounts, most non-published.[26]

In April 2006, Clearstream declared, to the French edition of 20 Minutes, that if "Menatep may have strange accounts, it wasn't closed because of money-laundering". It also claimed that it dealt with "banks accredited in their country of origin", but not with "establishments that are registered on the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering's black list".[21]

[edit] The Second Clearstream Affair
The Second Clearstream affair began in July 2004, when anonymous denunciations sent to magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke accused various important French political figures of having received kickbacks related to the Taiwan frigates scandal, through secret personal accounts at Clearstream. Clearstream was again pointed out as having been a major platform for illegal financial transactions. After thorough investigation including search in Clearstream's archives and accounts, M Van Ruymbecke found absolutely no evidence of the validity allegations and closed the case. After an investigation by judges On September 3, 2004, the Paris parquet (public prosecutor) opened an investigation into charges of "defamation", following a complaint by Philippe Delmas, EADS' vice-president. Magistrates Jean-Marie d'Huy and Henri Pons have charged Dominique de Villepin, former French PM, Jean Louis Gergorin, former EADS executive who confessed having been the poison pen in the case, Imad Lahoud, Florian bourges and Denis Robert. They will be tried in September 2009.

[edit] Investigation of the anonymous denunciations
On May 3, 2004 and June 14, 2004, Renaud Van Ruymbeke and Dominique Talancé, the French magistrates in charge of the Taiwan frigates scandal, received two letters and a CD-ROM from an anonymous informant (called corbeau in French), detailing numbered bank accounts maintained at Clearstream and describing secret transfers of millions of dollars. Many personalities were named, including Alain Gomez, former director of Thomson-CSF (which since has become Thales), Andrew Wang, the Taiwanese intermediary of the frigates contract and one of Taiwan's key figures concerning arms contracts, Philippe Delmas, vice-president of EADS the European aeronautics consortium, and Nicolas Sarkozy, then minister of the Economy, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, and others. Members of the French secret services also were named.[27]

Magistrate Van Ruymbeke opened another investigation, in July 2004. According to the denunciations, Andrew Wang passed on money to several very important French officials from 1999 to 2003, using Clearstream.[28][29]

But in January 2006, both magistrates declared the case closed, on the grounds that the corbeau 's list of Clearstream accounts owned by various political figures was a fraud. For example, the numbered Banca popolare di Sondrio Clearstream account, supposedly in the names of "Stéphane Bocsa" and "Paul de Nagy" — French president, Nicolas Sarkozy's full name is "Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa" — was not Sarkozy's personal account, but an account used by various persons, according to the declarations of the Banca popolare di Sondrio to Judge Ruymbeke.

[edit] Lawsuits alleging defamation
In December 2005, magistrate Van Ruymbeke, in charge of the Taiwan frigates Affair, showed that the listings had been modified to falsely accuse French political luminaries.

[edit] Searches in 2007
French magistrates sought to search the Canard enchaîné's offices in May 2007, after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency. According to editing director Claude Angeli, the judges were looking for information on a "Rondot document" treating of alleged "Japanese accounts" of former President Jacques Chirac. The judges were not allowed access to the newspaper's offices, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) protested against the search[30]

[edit] The October surprise conspiracy
Main article: October surprise conspiracy
Ernest Backes also indicated in Révélation$ that he was in charge of the transfer of $7 million from Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank, on January 16, 1980, to pay for the liberation of the American hostages held in Tehran's embassy (Iran). He gave copies of files that he asserted shed new light on the October surprise conspiracy to the French National Assembly.

[edit] Bin Laden's Bahrain International Bank
Bahrain International Bank, which has been suspected of moving Osama bin Laden's money, had an account number in Clearstream, according to records supplied by Ernest Backes.[31]

[edit] Banks with accounts in Clearstream
Bank of Credit and Commerce International, which, although officially closed in July 1991, continued to operate via Clearstream through unpublished accounts — as did Bank Menatep, involved in the "Kremlingate" (diversion of IMF funds), and owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Banque Générale du Luxembourg
Carlyle Group[32]
Crédit Lyonnais, one of France's major financial crashes during the 1990s
Société Générale
Banco Ambrosiano, controlled by the Vatican Bank and involved in one of Italy's major financial and political scandals
Bahrain International Bank, possible links to Osama Ben Laden
Siemens (Published Accounts by Lucy Komisar)
More than 38,000 others[33]; as Clearstream is an international clearing and settlement organization, most member companies and banks have published accounts. Dealing with Clearstream is entirely legal; accounts used for tax evasion or money laundering is not.

[edit] Bibliography
Denis Robert, Ernest Backes: The silence of the money. The Clearstream scandal. (2002, ISBN 3-85842-546-X )
Denis Robert, Ernest Backes: Révélation$ (Edition des Arènes, 2001, ISBN 2-912485-28-2)
Denis Robert, Ernest Backes: Das Schweigen des Geldes. Der Clearstream-Skandal, Pendo Verlag Zurich (2002, ISBN 3-85842-546-X)
Denis Robert, Ernest Backes: Revelaçoes sobre o mundo financeiro, Editorial Inquérito (Portugal)
Denis Robert, Ernest Backes: Revelation$ (Japanese ed. Tokuma Shoten Co, Tokyo)
Denis Robert, La Boîte noire (Editions des arènes, ISBN 2-912485-38-X )
David Loader, Clearing, Settlement and Custody (operation management Series (Securities of institutes) (2002, ISBN 0-7506-5484-8 )
David M. Weiss, Global Securities processing: The Markets, The Products (1997, ISBN 0-13-323965-9)
Lucy Komisar, Explosive Revelation$
Official March 2000 French Parliamentary Report on the obstacles on the control and repression of financial criminal activity and of money-laundering in Europe by French MPs Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg, third section on "Luxembourg's political dependency toward the financial sector: the Clearstream affair" (pp. 83–111 on PDF version)

[edit] See also
Argentine debt restructuring
Banco Ambrosiano scandal
Underground economy

[edit] References
2.^ "Europe Needs an Independent Settlement System". Business Week. June 4, 2001.
3.^ FESE statistics 2008 | url=
4.^ "Principal Employers by size" (PDF). p. 5.
5.^ a b European Commission June 2, 2004 decision on Clearstream's infringement of competition rules, decision IP/04/705
6.^ (French) "142 millions de transactions en 2000". Le Monde. June 1, 2001.,13-0,37-707829,0.html.
7.^ France 2 URL accessed in January 2006
8.^ "Offshore banking: the secret threat to America". Hound Dogs. 2003. Retrieved January 2006.  (by investigative reporter Lucy Komisar)
9.^ (French) Harlem Désir's official website (European MPs Harlem Désir, Glyn Ford and Francis Wurtz press statement about the $1.5 trillion math error & Denis Robert and Ernest Backes' book "Revelation$" and a May 9, 2001 op-ed in Le Monde titled "Les 'boîtes noires' de la mondialisation financière" ("The black box of financial globalization") by Bernard Bertossa, attorney general in Geneva, Benoît Dejemeppe, king's attorney in Brussels (procureur des konings, procureur du roi), Eva Joly, investigative magistrate in Paris, Jean de Maillard, magistrate in Blois and Renaud van Ruymbeke, judge in Paris)
10.^ (French) Official March 2000 French Parliamentary Report on the obstacles on the control and repression of financial criminal activity and of money-laundering in Europe by French MPs Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg, third section on "Luxembourg's political dependency toward the financial sector: the Clearstream affair" (pp. 83-111 on PDF version)
11.^ (French) "A petition of support to Denis Roberts". Le Nouvel Observateur. February 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-02-22.  (petition available here)
12.^ "Lussi suspension ignites battle for control of Clearstream". Finextra. May 17, 2001. Retrieved January 2006.
13.^ "Clearstream faces cash probe". Money Telegraph. May 17, 2001.;$sessionid$Q34HZJQAACE1BQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/money/2001/05/17/cnclr17.xml. Retrieved January 2006.
14.^ (French) "L'ex-PDG de Clearstream inculpé". Le Monde. February 6, 2004.,13-0,37-838692,0.html. Retrieved January 2006.
15.^ (English)/(French) "André Lussi, CEO of Clearstream, stepping down - interview of Denis Robert" (PDF). Tobin tax. June 2001.
16.^ (German)d'Wort. “Eine Affäre, die nie hätte begonnen werden dürfen”. June 10. 2006
17.^ (French) "Révélation 20 Minutes: Quand la Commission européenne refusait d'enquêter sur Clearstream". 20 Minutes. April 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29.
18.^ (French) "Affaire Clearstream: questions-réponses   la Commission". 20 Minutes. April 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29.  (provides link to PDF reports about Frits Bolkestein response to Harlem Désir and others MEP's question, as well as José Manuel Barroso's response to Paul Van Buitenen and to the law proposition of Belgian senators Isabelle Durant and Jean Cornil
19.^ "De Villepin likely to face conspiracy charges". Times online. July 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-06.
20.^ "Clearstream claims that it has no personal accounts, Denis Robert publish a list of such accounts (video)". Denis Robert's blog. April 27, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29.
21.^ a b (French) "Pour Clearstream, 'il n'y a pas de comptes parallèles'". 20 Minutes. April 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29.
22.^ Forbes_Auchi
23.^ "The politics of sleaze". The Guardian. November 16, 2003.,2763,1086487,00.html.
24.^ Forbes_Sawiris
25.^ See former World Bank vice-president Joseph Stiglitz, chapter on Russia in "Globalization and Its Discontents"
26.^ (English)/(French)/(Spanish) "Unlawful debt or financial crime against human development". ATTAC. June 30, 2001. Retrieved January 2006.
27.^ (French) "Les grandes dates de l'affaire". Le Figaro. April 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-29.
28.^ (French) "Chuan-pu Andrew Wang, intermédiaire taïwanais dans le commerce d'armes: 'Je n'ai jamais payé de commissions   un politique français'". Le Monde. October 20, 2004. Retrieved January 2006.
29.^ (French) "Cette ténébreuse affaire qui oppose Sarkozy   Villepin". Le Monde. November 10, 2004.,13-0,37-876102,0.html. Retrieved January 2006.
30.^ "Clearstream: les juges au Canard et chez l'avocat de Sarkozy," Libération, 11 May 2007. Read here (French).
31.^ "Tracking Terrorist Money - 'Too Hot for US to handle?' by Lucy Komisar". Pacific News Service. October 4, 2001.
32.^ "US Securities and Exchange Commission response to a Carlyle request for confidential treatment". 2004-06-24.
33.^ "Clearstream's International Counterparties".

[edit] External links
[edit] Main sources
Clearstream home page
Les Arenes editing house of Denis Roberts' book - translated by google
Les Arenes links (including English)
Denis Robert's blog
(French) Official March 2000 French Parliamentary Report on the obstacles on the control and repression of financial criminal activity and of money-laundering in Europe by French MPs Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg, third section on "Luxembourg's political dependency toward the financial sector: the Clearstream affair" (pp. 83–111 on PDF version)
[edit] Media reports
[edit] In English
"Cross-border trade needs smoothing, bankers say". International Herald Tribune. January 24, 2003.
"Explosive Revelation$,". March 15, 2002.
"Interview with Lucy Komisar about offshore banking". Spitfire. February 5, 2004.
"A little more on banks today (interview with Lucy Komisar)". Iraq War. August 21, 2004.
"The bank that buys up journalists," (PDF). Punch magazine. October 11, 1997.
[edit] In French (Google transl. available)
"L'affaire Clearstream tourne   l'affaire d'Etat". nouvel Obs. April 28, 2006.
"Les trois niveaux de l'affaire Clearstream". TF1 (tv). May 4, 2006.,,3299237,00.html. Retrieved 2006-05-05.
"Le scandale Clearstream   nouveau sur le devant de la scène - Pétition de soutien   Denis Robert, inculpé par la justice luxembourgeoise". Hacktivist News Service. February 17, 2006.
"Des banquiers aux mains sales". Alternatives économiques. July-August 2001.
"L'affaire de la 'boîte noire' Clearstream rebondit   Genève". Le Courrier. February 12, 2004.  (Google translation available for all articles...)
"Succès contre la boîte noire". Le Courrier. February 5, 2004.
"L'affaire Clearstream, au coeur du système libéral". L'Humanité. February 19, 2002.
"Les énigmes du listing Clearstream". Le Nouvel Observateur. June 30, 2005.
"Affaire Clearstream: le patron de la DST remet toutes les notes de son service   M. Sarkozy". Le Monde. June 10, 2005.,[email protected],[email protected],0.html.
"Clearstream perd encore en justice". Agence France Presse. March 17, 2004.
"Denis Robert, l�$-1òùhomme qui dérange les puissants". Politis. January 22, 2002.
"'Le lobby bancaire est le plus puissant du monde', un entretien avec Denis Robert". Politis. December 9, 2004.
"Denis Robert met le feu". Technikart. February 11, 2003.
"Pour une poignée de milliards de dollars". Technikart. March 13, 2002.
"'Effet d'annonce' (entretien avec Denis Robert)". Le Nouvel Observateur. September 25, 2001.
"Enquête sur les comptes secrets des banques". Le Figaro. February 26, 2001.
"Ernest Backes, l'homme qui lutte contre le 'crime bancaire organisé'". Le Figaro. February 26, 2001.
"La mission parlementaire enquêtera sur Clearstream". Le Figaro. February 27, 2001.
"La justice luxembourgeoise enquête sur Clearstream". Le Figaro. April 7, 2001.
"La décision luxembourgeoise fait trembler les banques". Le Figaro. May 14, 2001.
"Clearstream: les comptes secrets passés au crible". Le Figaro. May 17, 2001.
"Blanchiment: les députés épinglent Luxembourg". Le Figaro. January 23, 2001.
"Les 1 000 milliards de dollars du blanchiment". Le Figaro. May 15, 2001.
"Deutsche Börse reprend 50% de Clearstream pour 1,6 milliards d'euros". Le Figaro. February 2, 2002.
"Parfum de scandale dans la finance internationale". Le Figaro. February 26, 2002.
"Des sénateurs belges veulent enquêter sur des sociétés de clearing". Le Figaro. March 30, 2002.
"Euroclear va fusionner avec Crest". Le Figaro. July 4, 2002.
"André Roellants entre au directoire de Deutsche Börse (comme vice-président)". Le Figaro. September 10, 2002.
"L'ex-patron de Clearstream inculpé pour blanchiment". Le Figaro. February 2, 2004.
"Bruxelles épingle Clearstream pour entrave   la concurrence". Le Figaro. March 3, 2004.
"Clearstream perd de nouveau en justice". Le Figaro. March 13, 2004.
"Justice: satisfaction de Clearstream et de Denis Robert". Le Figaro. March 30, 2004.
"Bruxelles ouvre une procédure contre Clearstream". Le Figaro. April 1, 2004.
"Enquête sur un éventuel blanchissement". Le Figaro. June 19, 2004.
"Le corbeau, un fin connaisseur de la finance internationale". Le Figaro. June 23, 2004.
"Jeffrey Tessler (Bank of New remplacer André Roellants...)". Le Figaro. September 24, 2004.
"Jean-Louis Gergorin: 'Je ne suis pas le corbeau'". Le Figaro. November 16, 2004.
"Le parquet conteste la procédure Rhodia". Le Figaro. September 2, 2005.
"Quand la fiction dépeint la réalité". Le Figaro. November 6, 2005.
[edit] Other languages
(Spanish) "El banco Clearstream, implicado en la apropiación indebida de fondos del FMI" (PDF). Diagonal Periodico. March 17-30, 2005.  (very interesting, speaks about Nadhmi Auchi)
[edit] Others
About Lucy Komisar
compiled info on Clearstream by ATTAC Luxembourg.
Film by Denis Robert and Pascal Laurent, "L'Affaire Clearstream racontee à un ouvrier de Daewoo"