Société Générale embroiled in Olympics money laundering allegations


The latest chapter in corruption allegations surrounding the Olympics involves one of France’s largest banks, Société Générale. Investigators are probing what role the bank might have played in a suspect bribe to lock up the 2016 Olympics for Rio de Janeiro.

According to an article in the New York Times, a French investigator sent documents to Brazil prosecutors that suggest Société Générale might have breached money laundering rules:

Payments from a deep-pocketed Brazilian businessman to the son of an influential former International Olympic Committee member days before Rio in October 2009 was surprisingly picked to host the Games were routed to Société Générale accounts, according to the documents. The accounts were linked to Papa Massata Diack of Senegal, whose father, Lamine Diack, led track and field’s governing body for 16 years through 2015.

Both the Olympics and FIFA have wrestled with widespread allegations of corruption in recent years. But the problem of bribery is not limited to major sports bodies. Any organisation, and especially one doing business internationally, can be at risk. Studies confirm that in this global economy, at least 50% of organisations worldwide fall prey to unscrupulous business dealings and other outside threats posed by seemingly legitimate business partners.

And regulations are tightening up in an effort to stave the flow of illicit payments and hold organisations accountable that flaunt ethics and the law.

The impact of corruption and money laundering allegations are often severe, and can include:

  • Damaged corporate reputations and brand devaluation
  • Eroding employee moral
  • Potential consumer boycotts
  • Negative investor perceptions
  • Possible legal action
  • Fines and potential jail terms for directors

CRI Group has a comprehensive offering of services to help organisations stay ahead of the curve with anti-money laundering measures and the processes required to remain fully in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Until now, CRI Group has implemented 208,787 of total investigations across 200 countries

CRI Group’s Investigative Due Diligence services provide the specialised intelligence needed by global financial institutions and multinational corporations to guarantee complete compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and legislation involving trans-national implications. Learn more about our due diligence and anti-money laundering services today.