Pictet Sued by Saudi Company, Accused of Aiding Bribery

Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie was sued by Saudi Arabian company Al Rushaid Petroleum Investment Corp., which said its employees got help from the bank in a bribery scheme.

Three employees at the company’s Al Rushaid Parker Drilling Ltd. unit laundered more than $4 million in kickbacks through accounts with Pictet, the company said in a lawsuit filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“Pictet’s part in the conspiracy was clear -- it was charged by the corrupted employees with responsibility of concealing their receipt of the bribe money,” Al Rushaid Petroleum said in the complaint.

The alleged scheme started with Al Rushaid Parker Drilling’s work for Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company. The employees took kickbacks from vendors in exchange for buying goods at inflated prices, according to the lawsuit. The employees were indicted for money laundering in Geneva, the company said.

A spokesman for Geneva-based Pictet couldn’t be reached for comment after regular business hours.

The case is Rasheed Al Rushaid v. Pictet & Cie, 652375-2011, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).