Leonardo DiCaprio sponsor distances itself from dodgy Malaysian donations

Leonardo DiCaprio sponsor distances itself from dodgy Malaysian donations

(ZURICH, SWITZERLAND) Swiss bank Julius Baer, the main sponsor of Hollywood Star Leonardo DiCaprio’s galas in St Tropez, said it expected its charity partners to conduct due diligence when raising funds in order to prevent damage to their goals. In a letter to the Bruno Manser Fund, the bank subtly distanced itself from donations the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation had received from individuals connected to the Malaysian 1 MDB corruption scandal.

Citing legal reasons, Julius Baer's Co-Head of Marketing, Marco Perroni, said he couldn’t disclose if the bank managed accounts on behalf of the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation. However, he stated that all transactions handled by the bank were carefully examined and that it also expected its partners to accept and handle donations with due care.

"The Julius Baer Group supports charitable goals via the Julius Baer Foundation and via partner organizations. In case of problems, we discuss appropriate measures with our partners in order not to affect or damage the charitable goals and the beneficiaries. Naturally, we also expect from our partners to conduct due diligence and take measures. [...] We can assure you that transactions and financial flows handled by our bank are generally subject to scrutiny with respect to their origin and use and that, in case of suspicion, reports would be made to the authorities in charge."

Last month, the Bruno Manser Fund had written to Leonardo DiCaprio, calling for transparency on his financial ties with Riza Aziz, the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, and Jho Low, a key person behind the US$ 3.5 billion 1MDB corruption scandal. The actor and his charitable foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, chose to remain silent and are continuing to refuse to answer our questions.


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