Weakened companies, targets of criminal organizations to launder money

INVESTIGATION – Criminal networks are taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to lend to entrepreneurs on the verge of bankruptcy. Bercy’s anti-money laundering unit is on alert.

Investigators from the judicial police are worried today about the risk weighing on weakened companies, likely to be bought by malicious actors.
Investigators from the judicial police are worried today about the risk weighing on weakened companies, likely to be bought by malicious actors. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

The alert was launched from Italy on the eve of last spring. As the Covid-19 epidemic is in full swing in the territory, financial crime services are restless behind the scenes. Dozens of investigators, in charge of the fight against the Italian mafia, spot an influx of suspicious transactions: clans would take advantage of the crisis to lend to entrepreneurs on the verge of bankruptcy, in order to launder their income from criminal activities .

Their favorite prey: SMEs and businesses in difficulty. Because some structures and stores short of cash and in loss of activity, no longer able to turn to banks for re-financing, are more inclined to accept the “dirty moneyFrom unconventional lenders.

La Botte then informs its European neighbors of these practices, so that they can be prepared for the emergence of such phenomena in their country. “Transfers of activity and entry into the capital of companies represent a typology

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