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Friday
Mar242017

Dutch, U.S. investigate ING for corruption

ING is under criminal investigation by Dutch prosecutors for money laundering and corruption in Uzbekistan, and authorities in the United States have also requested information from the bank.

In its annual report, ING said this week it is "the subject of criminal investigations by Dutch authorities regarding various requirements related to the on-boarding of clients, money laundering, and corrupt practices."

Netherlands-based ING has also received "related information requests" from U.S. authorities, the bank said.

A spokesperson for the Dutch financial crimes prosecutor said ING "is suspected of having failed to report, or report in a timely fashion, irregular transactions."

Marieke van der Molen also said one aspect of the investigation is "unusual payments by VimpelCom to the company of an Uzbek government official."

In February 2016, VimpelCom settled U.S. and Dutch bribery charges. The Amsterdam-based company paid $397.6 million in penalties to the DOJ and SEC for FCPA offenses, and about the same amount to Dutch authorities.

VimpelCom admitted paying more than $114 million in bribes to a government official in Uzbekistan through a shell company between 2006 and 2012.

Documents the DOJ filed in court showed that some of the payments were transferred from ING Bank, Reuters said.

ING said it cooperating with the Dutch and U.S. probes.

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Here's the disclosure from the Form 20-F/A that ING Groep N.V. filed with the SEC on March 20, 2017:

ING Bank is the subject of criminal investigations by Dutch authorities regarding various requirements related to the on-boarding of clients, money laundering and corrupt practices. ING Groep has also received related information requests from U.S. authorities. ING Groep and ING Bank are cooperating with such ongoing investigations and requests. It is currently not feasible to determine how the ongoing investigations and requests may be resolved or the timing of any such resolution, nor to estimate reliably the possible timing, scope or amounts of any resulting fines, penalties and/or other outcome, which could be significant.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.