23 June 2014, 14:38

Royal Bank of Scotland had links with bin Laden family accounts

Royal Bank of Scotland had links with bin Laden family accounts

German customs authorities have confiscated documents from a former unit of Royal Bank of Scotland showing that family members of the bin Laden clan were among its clients. The Royal Bank of Scotland denied any links to Osama bin Laden and his family. "We didn’t take care of Osama bin Laden’s financials at any point of time, nor did we deal with his immediate relatives," said the RBS official statement.

"We didn’t take care of Osama bin Laden’s financials at any point of time, nor did we deal with his immediate relatives. His [Osama bin Laden's] personal finances were never of interest for [former RBS unit] Coutts International," the former RBS unit, the Edinburgh-based bank said.

German television network RTL reported on the documents, citing German newsweekly Focus, which broke the news earlier this weekend, suggesting there might be a link between the state-controlled British lender and the bin Laden family.

Some members of the bin Laden family are prominent businesspeople, like the owners of the Saudi Binladin Group construction giant, based in Saudi Arabia.

Customs officers seized more than 1,000 cartons from a ship in Hamburg harbour that came from the Carribean tax haven, where the bank recently closed its offices, which was headed for the bank's data centre in Geneva as part of a company reorganisation.

Authorities from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have bought several CDs with data on German clients of Switzerland-based banks to investigate potential tax evasion. The efforts by the state’s prosecutors are controversial because the CDs had been stolen by individuals who then sold them to government authorities.

 

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