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Trader Kerviel in police custody

Latest update : 2008-01-26

Jérôme Kerviel, the trader at the centre of the Société Générale scandal, has been arrested and taken for questionning by French police, according to a judicial source. (Story by N. Rushworth)

French trader Jerome Kerviel who allegedly cost banking giant Societe Generale 4.9 billion euros in losses was taken into police custody in Paris on Saturday, a judicial source said.

Kerviel, 31, was being held for questioning after arriving in a car at the headquarters of the Paris police's financial brigade around 2:00 pm (1300 GMT), said the source.

He had dropped out of sight since the bank announced its colossal losses on Thursday, which slashed the bank's 2007 profit to 600-800 million euros from 5.2 billion in 2006.

Police nabbed Kerviel from his vehicle in the underground car park of the financial brigade's offices in Paris, said a source close to the investigation.

The detention followed a police raid on Kerviel's apartment on Friday in the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly sur Seine during which documents were seized.

The French government has demanded a full accounting of the scandal over the bank losses, the biggest of their kind in financial history.

The Kerviel case dwarfs that of Nick Leeson, the "rogue trader" who lost 1.5 billion dollars at Barings, causing the failure of the venerable British bank in 1995.

Date created : 2008-01-26