CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA: Elimanalia’s Highest Paying Client (Latest Update 2023)

CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA
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CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA reportedly paid just under 229,000 euros to Eliminalia to remove content linking it to allegations of money laundering and offshore firms.
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CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA

The CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA (often known as CBH Bank) was founded in 1975 as a stock and commodities services brokerage. It received a full banking license in Switzerland in 1991. There are now about 260 people working for the organization. Philippe Cordonier is the general manager at the moment. The bank, which specializes in private banking and asset management, is situated in Geneva, Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.

The Benhamou family owns the bank, and they place a particular emphasis on building banking connections with their UHNW clientele, who are mostly found in LATAM, Israel, Asia, Russia, and Venezuela.

One of Switzerland’s smaller family-owned banks, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, has had its assets under administration more than triple, from $2 billion to $11.4 billion, since 2009. According to the bank’s financial reports, assets from clients in Latin America and the Caribbean made up 19% of its business last year. – WSJ 

Our Methodology

We look at 34 different data points when analyzing and rating online money-earning opportunities. Once the research on these data points is submitted, expert contributors reach out to the company’s customers and associates to get more insight into their operation. Finally, all the collected information is presented in the form of this expert review.

All the data is extracted from publicly available information and the sources are given in the transparency section at the bottom of every report.

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18/12/2023 Update
As of now, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA has not responded, nor has it apologized for its misdeeds. They have ignored our efforts to highlight the problems faced by their victims. Furthermore, they have only focused on propagating their fake PR.

The Group’s parent entity is CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA. The Bank is a business that conducts all activities that fall under the purview of an asset management bank that also holds the designation of securities trader.

The bank works through multiple companies with locations in the Bahamas, England, Hong Kong, and Brazil in addition to having a branch in Zurich and representative offices in St. Moritz and Israel. These organizations come together to form the business organization CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA.

Media and Controversies

Eliminalia helps you “clean up” your reputation

After hiring one of its partners, ReputationUp, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA reportedly paid just under 229,000 euros to Eliminalia (a Spanish reputation manager) to remove content linking it to allegations of money laundering and offshore firms.

U.S. inquiry into corruption in Venezuela

Though there isn’t much proof, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA is connected to corruption charges in Venezuela. US authorities claim that CBH Bank is being used to launder the proceeds of the fraud and the embezzlement scheme by individuals in Venezuela after acquiring bank reports, even though CBH itself was the victim of the plan’s crime. CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA said they comply with all rules and regulations and had no knowledge of any money laundering activity.

CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA was censured by Switzerland’s financial watchdog for failing to prevent money laundering while serving affluent Venezuelan offshore clients. Prisca Birrer-Heimo, a Swiss National Councillor, criticized CBH Bank’s risk management and demanded quick legislation changes.

If you have sensitive information or have had a personal experience with CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA but want to stay anonymous, then submit it using our secured form. You can connect with our expert contributors and help in finding the truth. We never share your information with 3rd parties.

Investigation into corruption in Kazakhstan

Payments from Kazakh oligarchs prompted the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority Finma to receive a complaint alleging possible money laundering. It’s not the first time a Geneva-based private bank has been in the news, according to Sonntagszeitung. The case involves incredibly dubious financial activities connected to an Akhmetzhan Yessimov clan in Kazakhstan.

The youngest daughter of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan, Aliya Nazarbayeva, is featured in a story in the publication The Telegraph about CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA. The story quotes Alya Nazarbayeva’s remarks from a London high court proceeding in which she is suing her former personal financial advisor for wrongdoing. 

She claimed, among other things, that she had instructed him to look into buying a 51% interest in the CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA on his advice. In 2016, Ms. Nazarbayeva learned that her advisor had stolen the $108 million intended to be invested in a controlling interest in CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA.

Florian, Homm 

Hedge fund Absolute Capital Management (ACM), run by Florian Homm, once had up to $3 billion in assets under management until going under in 2007. According to reports, investors lost 200 million US dollars. He vanished in 2007 after being accused of investment fraud in the United States.

The remaining management of Florian Homm’s company charged him with overvaluing a number of the company’s assets after he resigned. His wife took money out of accounts at CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA.

Bahamas CBH

According to the Bahamas’ Supreme Court, CBH’s “serious error and negligence” allowed fraudsters to steal more than $2 million from one of its client’s accounts. In a judgment dated May 12, 2022, Justice Ian Winder chastised CBH Bahamas for “failing to exercise the requisite due care and skill expected” when it failed to recognize clues that it was speaking with criminals.

The Venezuelan gold ingots narrative

The Associated Press inaccurately published some financial details of the Banco CBH in a story on August 3, 2020, about a Venezuelan official who was reportedly concealing inexplicable income by purchasing gold. 19% of the bank’s activity last year was made up of assets under management for clients throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Banco CBH has no connection to what was incorrectly reported, according to the AP’s correction of the story.

OFFSHORE LEAKS DATABASE

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Two additional banks were criticized by Switzerland’s authorities for their role in the wrongdoing in Venezuela.

Finma located The Bern-based authority claimed in a statement on Thursday that Banca Zarattini & Co. and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA—failed to prevent money laundering when dealing with affluent Venezuelan offshore clients. It signals the conclusion of the regulatory actions taken against these two institutions.

The fourth and fifth Swiss banks on which Finma has imposed sanctions because of their alleged participation with money taken from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-controlled oil company, are Zarattini and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA. Finma had already criticized Credit Suisse, Julius Bär, and Credinvest, a tiny Ticino institution with at least one shareholder from Venezuela.

Ending Venezuelan Probes

Zarattini and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA have been given the order to follow money laundering laws, and Finma has temporarily barred Zarattini from taking on new Venezuelan and politically exposed clients. In a statement sent via email, the bank mentioned the criticism and claimed that it had informed Finma on its initiative after learning of the irregularities.

At CBH, Finma gave the bank the instruction to sever all remaining commercial ties with Venezuelans and to investigate any other particularly dangerous client relationships to do the same, if necessary. CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA stressed in a statement that it had not received any financial or other penalties and that the restrictions imposed were in keeping with choices made and actions done by CBH before Finma’s ruling.

According to Finma, the most recent two enforcement actions it took against Venezuela and PDVSA, in particular, were represented by Zarattini, a Lugano-based wealth manager, and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, a Geneva-based wealth manager. Finma claimed that in the course of its investigation, it communicated with 30 banks altogether.

Eliminalia: The Spanish company that employs questionable techniques to “Erase Your Past” from the internet

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Eliminalia’s use of misleading techniques to delete its clients’ online profiles is exposed by a cache of 50,000 files.

The company’s tagline proclaims, “We erase your past.” Eliminalia is a company in the expanding online profile cleaning market with operations in numerous locations, including Barcelona and Kyiv.

The business reportedly conducts “a deep search across the internet for all information, whether it be an article, a blog, social media posts, or even a mistaken identity,” according to their official statement. Then, it makes an effort to have any damaging information deleted on behalf of its clients.

However, The Guardian discovered that over several years, the corporation used unethical or dishonest techniques to remove undesired and harmful content from the internet.

These included pretending to be other people, like media organizations, and submitting fictitious copyright complaints to search engines like Google to have information removed. In other instances, it would conceal critical articles under a flood of positive items about football, cars, and pets.

A trove of 50,000 internal documents that demonstrate how Eliminalia operated with a variety of clients worldwide reveals the company’s services. Many of these people merely wanted an embarrassing or unpleasant event from their past to stop following them online.

However, the firm’s clientele also included people who had been charged with or found guilty of crimes, such as narcotics traffickers, fraudsters, misdemeanor offenders, and at least one sex offender.

According to Eliminalia’s website, it mostly succeeds using the EU’s “right to be forgotten,” which convicts may legitimately use to ask that references to their convictions be taken down when it is conceivable that they have moved on from their crime.

The documents offer a fascinating look at reputation management companies that are willing to use questionable methods to improve a client’s internet reputation.

It is unknown if Eliminalia’s customers were aware of the techniques it employed.

The French NGO Forbidden Stories, whose goal is to support the reporting of killed, intimidated, or imprisoned journalists, sent the data to the Guardian. It has orchestrated an international inquiry into misinformation.

Eliminalia was established in 2013 by 30-year-old Diego “Didac” Sanchez and has clientele in 50 different countries. According to the leaked documents, which include emails, contracts, client information, fictitious legal letters, and copies of unfavorable press about the firm’s clients, it worked for more than 1,500 individuals and companies between 2015 and 2021.

Customers include a Swiss bank charged with violating money-laundering laws, a UK slum landlord found guilty of numerous offenses involving horrifyingly abandoned properties, a Turkish biotech tycoon accused of hiring a hitman to kill a business partner, and a Venezuelan businessman charged with tax evasion related to works of art.

Although the majority of customers only paid a few thousand dollars for a single operation, it appears that clients were charged up to €100,000.

Several requests for comment from Eliminalia went unanswered. The majority of the questions’ orientation and content, according to its attorneys, “demonstrate a partial and dishonorable approach.”

However, several of Eliminalia’s customers did respond to inquiries concerning the company’s work.

One of them was Hernán Gabriel Westmann, who was charged in 2017 with money laundering for the Sinaloa drug gang by Argentinian police. Two years later, the judges rejected the charges due to insufficient evidence.

Top Clients of Eliminalia

These organizations and people were among the highest-paying customers in the data dump that Forbidden Stories was able to collect.

Compagnie Banquaire Helvetique (CBH)

According to data, the Swiss bank Compagnie Banquaire Helvetique (CBH) paid Eliminalia slightly under 229,000 euros to remove content linking it to money laundering allegations and offshore firms after hiring one of its partners, ReputationUp.

The association between the bank and Argentinian businessman Lazaro Baez, who was found guilty of using the bank’s accounts to launder tens of millions of dollars in money from questionable sources and corrupt public contracts, was something CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA tried to completely erase from the public record. One of the publications targeted for its coverage of CBH’s questionable ties was OCCRP. A lawyer for CBH acknowledged that the bank had hired ReputationUp but claimed that it was not aware of Eliminalia’s connection.

Getting Rid of the Past

Eliminalia has used legal loopholes to coerce anyone who criticizes its clients, as seen by the notifications filed against Página66. Reporters discovered that the company’s business strategy revolves around weaponizing copyright and privacy laws from the United States and the European Union.

These strategies have been directed towards OCCRP specifically. Editors received an email in 2019 alleging that Swiss bank CBH had transacted $277 million in questionable cash through front firms owned by Russian billionaire Alexey Krapivin, in violation of EU data protection laws.

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Eliminalia has sent legal threats to media organizations using several official-sounding domains, including [email protected]. In recent years, reputation managers have used warnings like these more frequently to pressure publications to remove content or to just spend resources responding to them.

According to documents, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA hired Eliminalia’s Italian partner ReputationUp to target web articles that connected the company to money laundering and offshore jurisdictions. The records show that CBH was one of the highest-paying clients in the data set, paying Eliminalia 229,000 euros for the service.

The signature of “Raul Soto,” an apparent pseudonym used by an Eliminalia employee acting as an employee of the European Commission in Brussels, appeared on many of the emails the company sent citing privacy infractions. Qurium, a nonprofit that specializes in digital forensics, discovered the emails were sent from an IP address in Ukraine, where Eliminalia operated until the Russian invasion last year, after studying the source code of one of the emails.

A lawyer for CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA acknowledged that the bank had hired ReputationUp but claimed that it was not aware of Eliminalia’s connection. In a statement, he stated that “CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA has never tolerated that any illegal actions be taken on its behalf by anyone.”

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A few months later, Eliminalia employed a different strategy to target an OCCRP piece about Derwick Associates, a client of CBH who won $5 billion in energy contracts from the Venezuelan government without any rivalry. Derwick Associates is an offshore company. The narrative mentioned Charles-Henry de Beaumont, a different Eliminalia client who served as the former CBH manager responsible for the bank’s Venezuelan clients.

The business replicated OCCRP’s investigation, “Plunging Venezuela Into the Dark,” onto a phony news site called Noticias-Politica.com, backdated it, and filed a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a U.S. regulation that calls for online service providers to respond to complaints right away to avoid liability for copyright violations.

By using such strategies, search engines like Google and others are forced to drop legitimate articles from search results. According to Katherine Trendacosta, associate director of policy and advocacy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this type of misinformation has grown in popularity over recent years.

“Of the strategies I have observed, I will say that copyright is among the simplest. It may be exploited very simply,” she remarked.

According to a Google representative, the company opposes bogus takedown attempts using automatic and human review procedures and permits sites to submit “counter notifications” if the information has been incorrectly removed.

According to a Qurium investigation, Eliminalia created 600 fake news domains, including Noticias-Politica.com. They are made to look like authentic websites, but they contain content that has been plagiarized from respected publications like The Daily Mail and Le Parisien, as well as old news that has been used to support false copyright claims.

In their fine print, Qurium discovered that many of the websites listed a business called Communication Media Group Ltd. with an address in the Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Additionally, the websites made use of groups of IP addresses, at least two of which were assigned to Maidan Holdings LLC, which was until recently Eliminalia Ukraine’s parent company.

These websites were utilized for strategies like copying the target story while omitting the name of their client and creating positive or neutral false stories referencing their client in the hopes that search engines would index them above the genuine ones. According to a contract with Eliminalia that OCCRP reviewed, the customer’s objectives are to push “unwanted information” to the third page of search results “so that it is more difficult to find.”

2.5
Modern Millionaires

Get Justice Suspicious

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Eliminalia also used “backlinking” to influence Google’s algorithm, which entails building as many links as possible between websites to elevate them in the search engine results page. To backlink 2 million of Eliminalia’s false news stories, operators for reputation management once posted 7,000 links on an insecure black student union forum at a community college.

Eliminalia is currently promoting more combative internet strategies. In a late-year interview from Georgia, where Sanchez had established new businesses, he claimed to be running “an army of hackers” to combat Russian online disinformation.

But when a reporter went to his new office, which he recently opened in a residential area of the Georgian city, Tbilisi, they discovered no evidence of any activity.

In the meantime, Eliminalia in Spain changed its name in January. Sanchez’s name continues to be listed as the company’s sole owner in the Spanish registry, but the management was amended to eliminate him in November.

Eliminalia was situated at the co-working facility in Portal del ngel, where a new sign now reads “IDATA PROTECTION.”

One of the staff members who answered the door stated, “We were Eliminalia, but now we are IDATA.

CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA: Elimanalia’s Highest Paying Client (Latest Update 2023)
CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA: Elimanalia’s Highest Paying Client (Latest Update 2023)

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