Geneva Freeport is responding to concerns about the trade in antiquities being used to facilitate money laundering and funding for arms traffickers and terrorist groups.
Earlier this year, police discovered at the free port millions of US dollars worth of antiquities plundered over a period of at least forty years from archaeological sites in Italy and other locations.
Geneva Freeport now plans to employ independent specialists to prevent valuable antiques looted from Syria and other conflict zones ending up in its warehouses.
Later this year, customers wanting to store antiquities at the free port will be subject to stringent checks by an independent firm of specialists hired specifically to investigate the validity of requests and the provenance of antiquities.
Customers will also have to declare and provide evidence of the beneficial ownership of goods stored at the free port’s facilities.
All of the facility’s tenants, which include art dealers, collectors, rich owners and storage firms, will be vetted while their subtenants’ identities and activities will also be required.
Tenants, subtenants and beneficial owners will be cross-checked with Interpol and against other databases.
The new measures go beyond current Swiss legislation, which only requires tenants to disclose their subtenants’ names, not their beneficial owners.
The Financial Action Task Force inspected Switzerland’s free ports earlier this year but has yet to issue its report on the inspections.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News