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Swede held in Panama for money-laundering

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10:59 CEST+02:00
A Swedish man has been arrested in Panama together with a Dutchman on suspicion of laundering some $100 million as part of an international crime syndicate.

The two men were charged with "offences against the economic order of Panama" in late April, according to a report in the interest.co.nz. news website.

They are reported to be connected to a slew of offshore New Zealand finance companies, as well as a banking operation which is based in New Zealand but run from the central American tax haven Panama.

One of the Swedish man's stable of registered companies offers credit union type entities in Sweden, according to the website.

The man is reported to have moved from Stockholm to Panama in 2006 or 2007.

His network of companies are registered with the New Zealand Companies Office financial services providers (FSP) registry and his main company Zealand Financial remains in operation.

Several websites tied to the Swede are also reported to remain in service and some of his companies are apparently continuing to solicit customers.

The pair were arrested following an investigation launched in 2011, instigated after a tip off from the British Embassy's First Secretary in Panama.

The Swede was initially released on a $250,000 bail but this grant was since been overturned following an appeal by the prosecutor against organized crime.

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