Congresswoman probes Cuba's banking

July 23, 2004 at 11:16 AM

MIAMI, July 23 (UPI) -- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is conducting her own investigation into where the Cuban government got $3.9 billion it ran through a Swiss bank.

The transactions with the United Bank of Switzerland took seven years, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

Ros-Lehtinen, along with Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and brother Mario Diaz-Balart, both R-Fla., met with a bank official and two investigators from an investigative firm Thursday.

Ros-Lehtinen said she learned the Cuban agency was a financial institution owned and operated by the Fidel Castro regime through which flows of currency are consolidated.

She said she learned in 1996 when the bank was contracted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to exchange old U.S. dollar bills for new currency, the Cubans already had an active bank account with the bank.

"Despite this informative meeting, many questions remain unanswered, partly because the UBS internal audit only covered the last six months of 2002," she said.

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