Banker Lured By CIA To UK To Be Extradited To USA Over Bribery And Money Laundering Scheme

A former Austrian Bank chief wanted by US authorities for taking part in a massive Brazilian corruption scandal has lost a bid to stop his extradition from the UK.

Banker Peter Weinzierl, 57, will be deported to Brooklyn, New York, USA over the bribery and money laundering scheme involving Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, said a London court on Monday, 5th June.

The decision followed after judges found the ex-CEO of Meinl Bank – later renamed Anglo Austrian AAB Bank in Vienna, Austria – guilty of facilitating the laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The scheme – considered one of the largest corruption cases documented in recent Latin American history – involved the use of slush funds to bribe public officials over a period of 30 years.

Odebrecht – later rebranded as Novonor due to being associated with corruption – reportedly made bribes to presidents and government officials of 12 countries in order to obtain benefits in public contracting.

These include Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

But despite the ruling, the 57-year-old Austrian national has so far firmly denied his complicity.

He reportedly fought against the extradition on a number of reasons, one of which being that an alleged CIA agent “lured” him to the UK to arrest him in May 2021.

The banker told Austrian newspaper Kurier: “The whole thing is absurd. As an Austrian, I’m being held by the Americans in England for alleged tax evasion in Brazil, for which nobody in Brazil was convicted.

“If we actually knew everything, as the Americans claim, then we were the most stupid money launderers in history.”

However, judge Paul Goldspring dismissed Weinzierl’s claim yesterday, stating in a written document that there was no evidence supporting his assertion.

After the court’s decision, Weinzierl’s lawyer David Pack issued a statement saying he will appeal the extradition ruling.

Pack said: “My client is extremely disappointed with today’s verdict, which is just another example of the British courts giving in to the US authorities and abusing this country’s extradition laws.”

Meanwhile, Odebrecht officials admitted to dishing out bribes and agreed to pay at least USD 3.5 billion (GBP 2.8 billion) to settle the charges in 2016.

Тhe US Court of Justice said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “On Dec. 21, 2016, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to a criminal information charging it with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for its involvement in the bribery and money laundering scheme.”


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