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Bank of New York

It was as bank called Republic and it came up for sale. It had a lot of Russian business and quite a lot involving Iran and the super-rich before it was normal to be suspicious of the super-rich who had made their money out of the public eye. It was December 1999 and Edward Safra, the owner of Republic (he described himself as Chairman but he was almost the only significant decision maker) was found in his flat in Monaco. During a fire, he had locked himself in a bathroom and died of smoke inhalation in a bathroom with a nurse. He had shot himself. Twice. Or one of his nurses set the fire, depending on which version of events one believes. Whatever, the deal to sell Republic to Bank of New York went ahead and mayhem ensued. Now there's a new chapter to the story.

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A thread on Linked-In raises the question of why the opportunity to join in the class action announced against Commonwealth Bank of Australia is not available to many shareholders. Here's a simplified guide to class actions - and why the CBA case bears more than a passing resemblance to a shareholder action against The Bank of New York.

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From World Money Laundering Report Vol. 1, No. 1
October 1999

The Bank of New York story broke in the newspapers almost by accident, it seems. As the weeks have gone by, it appears that rivalry between various law enforcement agencies in the USA and elsewhere led to a lack of co-operation and information that would have helped one organisation being held back by others.