A long-running legal case came back before the Monaco Criminal Court last week concerning a case of arms trafficking and money-laundering. Four Monaco banks were told they must respect the ruling of a court in Lugano, and restitute a total of 33 million euros to 346 victims of a money-laundering fraud in Switzerland.

The banks named are Credit du Nord, EFG Bank, Andbank and Credit Lyonnais, according to local French-language daily Monaco Matin.. A total of six accounts were held in the banks in the name of an Italian man in his fifties.

Last week his defence lawyer did not dispute the sums involved, but told the court that he did not really think that it was a question of money-laundering. The original decision to confiscate the funds was made on March 1, 2022, against which the defendant appealed.

Since he was not present to argue his case, the ruling to confiscate was upheld.

The latest court case was heard at a crucial juncture as the Monaco authorities mobilise themselves as never before to prove to the Council of Europe and its specialised committee, Moneyval, that it is up to speed in its fight against money-laundering, arms trafficking and the financing of terrorism.