Plethora of PEPs in French Arms Trafficking Case a Due Diligence Headache, Say Consultants

By Brian Monroe

A French money laundering and arms trafficking trial involving more than 40 politically-connected individuals and their wealthy associates may turn up damaging information about the private banking clients of major banks, say consultants. Prosecutors allege that between 1993 and 1998, two key suspects - French magnate Pierre Falcone, a longtime resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Arkady Gaydamak, an Israeli businessman based in France at the time - organized a total of $791 million in Russian arms sales to Angola in a breach of French government rules, according to the Associated Press. Most of the other suspects-including the son of a...