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Dutch princesses on bank’s black list

Thousands of known Dutch citizens are on a “black list” of banks. The three daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, are also on the list.

According to Nos, the World-Check database contains “2.2 million people worldwide who are linked to money laundering or terrorism, are prone to corruption or politically vulnerable.”

Understandably, people associated with terrorism are on the list; however, whether or not they have been convicted or named as a suspect does not factor into being included on said list. The Belgian Muslim League is on the list in Belgium even though they are against violence.

Close to 20 members of Greenpeace are also included on the list and deemed as criminals.

Radio programme Argos did research on the database and discovered that it contains a number of mistakes with data that is inaccurate, outdated or from questionable sources. Argos collaborated with colleagues from other countries around the world.

World-Check is utilised by 49 out of 50 of the largest banks in the world to see if their customers present a risk. It is managed by Thomson Reuters which sells the information to banks and over 6000 other businesses across the globe. Naturally, many banks in the Netherlands use this system.

So why are Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane on the list? It is due to World-Check wanting to prevent corruption and being listed as “politically exposed persons” because, according to Nos, dictators (although His Majesty is clearly not a dictator) use their family and friends as a way to move money. The parents of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are even on the list for the same reason.

The Dutch Bankers’ Association argued that lists like the one from World-Check must be utilised by the banks since the authorities do not have one for them to use. It is their obligation to ensure that they assess the risks with those wanting to open accounts.

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