Two bank accounts blocked in Geneva in the proceeding against Jeronimo Mello

Switzerland has informed the Brazilian authorities

Press Release, FOJ, 01.03.2002

Berne/Geneva, 1 March 2002. Switzerland has informed the Brazilian authorities that in a criminal proceeding instituted in the Canton of Geneva on a charge of money laundering, two accounts of Ricardo Jeronimo Mello and his relatives have been blocked. In Brazil, the managing director of a consulting company is suspected of having embezzled monies in connection with government funds. The Brazilian authorities have the possibility to request judicial assistance for the bank documents to be delivered to them.

On the strength of a communication from the Money Laundering Reporting Office of the Federal Office of Police, the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Canton of Geneva last year initiated a criminal proceeding against Jeronimo Mello on account of suspected money laundering. In the context of this proceeding, the Genevan authorities blocked two accounts with a bank in Geneva. The accounts belong to Ricardo Jeronimo Mello and his relatives.

On Thursday, the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) notified the Brazilian Embassy in Berne of the Genevan Examining Magistrates' information about the existence of these accounts. The Judicial Assistance Act provides the unsolicited transmission of such information if it enables the foreign country to request judicial assistance from Switzerland. In conformity with this rule, the FOJ invited the competent Brazilian authorities so submit a request for judicial assistance in order to obtain the evidence, i.e. the bank documents. In Brazil, various investigations are being conducted against Jeronimo Mello and others. It has been laid against Jeronimo Mello that in his capacity as the managing director of the consulting company Prestimus, he embezzled monies amounting to millions in connection with development projects in the Amazonas region, partially by means of fictitious contracts and over-invoicing (the so-called Sudam Affair).

For the complete documentation see the pages in German, French or Italian

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