In Italy, police seize $2.3 billion

April 16, 2013 at 9:03 AM

MILAN, Italy, April 16 (UPI) -- Police in Italy said they seized $2.35 billion from Banca Nomura International as part of an investigation into a derivatives-based transaction that soured.

Financial investigators are looking into a deal between Nomura and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA that is referred to as the Alexandria transaction, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Police said two former Nomura executives, Sadeq Sayeed and Raffaele Ricci were being investigated on possible charges of obstructing a regulatory office and violations of market rules, the Journal said.

Police have also seized control of million of dollars belonging to former Monte dei Paschi executives, including former Executive Chairman Giuseppe Mussari, former General Manager Antonio Vigni and former executive Gianluca Baldassarri.

In a statement issued in January, Nomura said it "acted fairly and responsibly with the client at all times and strongly refutes any suggestion to the contrary."

Prosecutors said the seizures included more than $2.2 billion the Italian bank gave Nomura as collateral for a loan and $115.6 million in fees Nomura collected on the Alexandria transaction.

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