The US Treasury Department said it has lifted money laundering
Andorra la Vella - AFP
The US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said in a statement issued Friday in the tiny European principality of Andorra it had lifted money laundering accusations against an Andorran private bank.
FinCEN said last year that Banca Privada d'Andorra (BPA), the fourth largest bank in the principality nestling in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, took bribes over several years to channel profits facilitate laundering of cash from Russian and Chinese organised crime as well as Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA.
The charge led Andorran regulators to take control of the bank, whose CEO Joan Pau Miquel Prats was arrested and a "bad bank " set up to separate toxic from non-toxic assets.
Andorra, one of Europe's smallest nations with a population of barely 90,000, is heavily reliant on financial services.
FinCEN's statement said that after Andorra's restructuring action to clean up banking arrangements, BPA no longer posed a threat to the US financial system.
At the end of 2013 BPA managed some 7.1 billion euros ($7.91 billion) of assets worldwide and represented around a fifth of Andorran banking assets and liabilities.