Luckily for everyone involved, the pains it seems Bernie took to spread the wealth (around various banking secrecy jurisdictions) seem to have been in vain as even notorious banking environments froze anything with the magic word Shazam Madoff on it. Victims will feel much better knowing that the Gibraltar branch of the International Safra Bank is on the case to the tune of $50 million. (Phew!)
The Gibraltar funds were deposited at Safra just a few weeks before Madoff was exposed, according to a source close to the Gibraltar police. This money may have been placed with Madoff through a feeder fund operated by Safra, which asked Madoff to redeem a portion, but not all, of its investment--somewhere between $50 million and $75 million. The returned funds were still being held in the Safra branch when the scandal broke.
After the bank put a stop on the funds, local police informed authorities in the US and are now cooperating with the New York investigation. Gibraltar has a history of shady banking practices, but like many offshore havens, it has made a better effort in recent years to police illegal activity. And in general the behavior of the international banking community in the Madoff case demonstrates an unprecedented level of cooperation with American prosecutors--far more, certainly, than investigators received in earlier cases such as the BCCI scandal.
Update: Safra comments as follows on the text we quoted from The Daily Beast:
In the article, "Phew! Found It" in today's Deal Breaker there is a description which is inaccurate. The description is: "This money may have been placed with Madoff through a feeder fund operated by Safra."
For the record, Safra has never operated a feeder fund. If it is possible, we please would ask this inaccuracy be corrected.
It is accurate to say that the fund you refer to in your article had an account at Banque Jacob Safra Gibraltar.
In addition, for your information, Madoff never has had any accounts at a Safra bank.
Missing Madoff Money Found! [The Daily Beast]