In Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort hires the family of his former drug dealer to smuggle cash to Switzerland. Apparently he chose them because they have Swiss rather than American passports. However, Americans could always go to Switzerland visa free and customs checks are the same for all passengers.

So what was the point of Swiss passports?

  • Isn't Sweden considered a 'tax haven'? That might be why.
    – TJF.
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:20
  • 2
    @TJF. He's talking about Switzerland, not Sweden
    – Patrick L
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:22
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    If you are clearing Swiss customs as a non Swiss citizen there are more controlling procedures you have to pass through. Having a Swiss passport really makes things easier.
    – Patrick L
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:22
  • @PatrickL you go through a different passport check, yes. But customs check everyone regardless of citizenship. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:36
  • @PatrickL I was thinking it had something to do with banking laws rather than the airport, so it's probably in the script somewhere Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


I think I may have found the answer in the Wolf of Wall Street Collection by Jordan Belfort

But how could I work around Swiss banking laws? ... The simple fact was that if I were to open an account with Union Bancaire, I would have to give them a copy of my passport, which would then be kept on file at the bank. And if the U.S. Departement of Justice issued a criminal subpoena related to stock fraud - which, of course, was also a crime in Switzerland - then my goose would be cooked. ... Who said that I had to give the bank my passport? What was to stop me from having one of my ratholes come to Switzerland and open an account with their passport? What were the chances that the FBI would hit upon the name of my U.S. rathole within my Swiss rathole?

From this we can assume, that he used this passport to be able to stay anonymous in Switzerland even if he would be caught by the U.S. Departments.

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