Czech couple tried to dupe Swiss bank with international airline plan


PRAGUE — A Czech couple who pretended they wanted to launch an international airline were stopped by the police before convincing a Swiss bank to lend them around 3.5 billion dollars (2.39 billion euros).

Czech police said Thursday in a statement that they had launched criminal proceedings for loan fraud against the 54-year-old husband and his 43-year-old wife.

The attempted fraud, based on false papers from a non-existent US financial institution, was stopped just before the signature of a preliminary agreement with the the “renowned” Swiss bank for the 3.5 billion dollar bank guarantee, police said.

They said they started investigating the case during the first half of 2006 in close cooperation with the US Federal Reserve and US justice department.