The Colombian government is blaming the country’s three biggest banks for a $100 million-a-day fraud.
Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy says the Citibank-backed companies used fraudulent documents and methods to defraud the country of more than $100m from the mining sector in 2013-2014.
The fraud, which also included illegal activities in a foreign exchange market, was perpetrated by three companies: Citibanks, Citi Americas, and Citi Bancorp.
The three companies were paid off in bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, according to the ministry.
Citibanks denies the allegations.
It says it has never been paid off any bitcoin.
Citi Americas and Citibank said in a joint statement:We are deeply concerned by the allegations and take this matter very seriously.
The allegations are categorically false.
We have already been cooperating with authorities to investigate the matter.
The ministry said in the statement that the banks had received their full share of the funds as well as other legal settlements.
The investigation has been ongoing for more than a year and involves more than 2,000 people, including members of the military, police, prosecutors, the army, the National Police and the national bank.