Barclays pulled into US money laundering investigation

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays has been dragged into an international money laundering investigation after United States prosecutors discovered that Arthur Budovsky, the founder of digital currency exchange Liberty Reserve, had held an account with the British bank.

US prosecutors have filed an indictment against the operators of Liberty Reserve, accusing the Costa Rica-based company of helping criminals around the world launder more than US$6 billion (S$7.6 billion) in illicit funds linked to everything from child pornography to software for hacking into banks.

"Barclays can confirm it is cooperating with the investigation, following the notification it received from the authorities," a spokesman for the bank said on Sunday.

The 119-page indictment from the US authorities unsealed last Tuesday says on page 45 that Budovsky held an account with Barclays Bank in Spain.

Budovsky, who was arrested in Spain last Friday, opened the personal account in 2009, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

The source added that Barclays has not been accused of any wrongdoing.