Money laundering through the steel door in Vaduz – the Klaus Zumwinkel case

The scandal surrounding the former chairman of the board of Deutsche Post, Klaus Zumwinkel, is becoming apparent just as foreign criminals are also using the Liechtenstein system for their base motives. This affair proves that the Liechtenstein financial sector does not take the possible regulations for suspicious money reports or “know your customer” rules too seriously.

According to the prosecution, Zumwinkel evaded charges amounting to 1.2 million euros in the years 2001 to 2007. According to a report in the German magazine Spiegel, Zumwinkel called the establishment of the Liechtenstein Foundation the “biggest mistake” of his life. He “regrets” this and accepts “full responsibility”.

In 2009, Zumwinkel was sentenced to two years suspended prison and a fine of one million euros for tax evasion. Since the 1980s, he had deposited more than ten million euros in a Liechtenstein foundation and thus withheld it from the tax authorities.

The Zumwinkel affair came to a formal end in 2010 with a fine of EUR 50 million paid into the German treasury by the LGT private bank in Liechtenstein.