BUSINESS

Swiss open criminal probe against metals refiner over Congo gold from war crimes

11/06/2013 03:51 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:52 EST
GENEVA - Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation against one of the world's largest processors of precious metals over allegations that it laundered gold obtained through war crimes.

Earlier this week the Geneva-based campaign group TRIAL filed a criminal complaint against Swiss refiner Argor-Heraeus, claiming the company processed three tons of gold ore obtained by armed groups through pillaging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Federal Prosecutors' Office in Bern confirmed Wednesday that it has examined the complaint and decided to open a formal probe against the company over suspected money laundering and complicity in war crimes.

Argor-Heraeus denies the allegations.