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Italian, Swiss Police Search Offices in Monte Paschi Probe

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Italian and Swiss authorities are searching offices in the two countries as part of a money-laundering probe involving former managers of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, court officials said.

Swiss police are conducting searches in Lugano, said Saverio Snider, a spokesman for Lugano prosecutor Natalia Ferrara Micocci, who declined to give additional details.

Today’s searches in Italy may lead to other individuals being placed under investigation for money laundering, said a Siena court official, who asked not be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Monte Paschi’s former managers, including ex-finance chief Gianluca Baldassarri, are being investigated in Siena for false accounting, market manipulation, criminal association as well as money laundering. The managers allegedly hid losses by carrying out transactions in 2008 and 2009.

Baldassarri’s repatriation of “substantial” sums in 2009 and 2010 led to an investigation of Monte Paschi’s finance department and an inquiry into the bank’s use of complex financial transactions that may have also led bankers to make illicit profits, a March court document shows.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elisa Martinuzzi in Milan at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net; Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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