According to some sources, Russian leader Vladimir Putin bribed a FIFA executive with a Picasso painting in order to have Russia be a future host for the World Cup. The Swiss government already passed a law in parliament limiting the amount of cash that can be traded in a transaction as well as the ability to freeze assets in Swiss Bank accounts. The once highly trusted bank accounts in Switzerland, commonly used to smuggle or launder money, are now getting a major face lift due to the recent number of crimes gaining publicity.
The new law, which will be implemented in the beginning of 2016, only allows 100,000 CHF ($104,000) to be transferred in any cash transaction. This change directly targets the art market, since many auctions have pieces which sell well over the 100,000 CHF limit being imposed.
As the head of the Swiss Money Laundering Office, Stiliano Ordolli explains, these transfers are:
Payable by credit card or the seller must carry out due diligence obligations. Either the seller does not accept it or they must ask additional questions to be sure of the legal origins of funds.”
The reason for the change is not to make it difficult, but rather to protect people from laundering and other forms of extortion which can fly under the radar when cash is changing hands.
This move is expected to put a stop to fraud since all auctions must be made public and leave a paper trail. Recently, Freeport leader and art leader, Yves Bouvier was arrested for fraudulently selling paintings which were not done by the artist.
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