Real estate worth of €40 million seized in Germany in Russian Laundromat case

Real estate worth of €40 million seized in Germany in Russian Laundromat case

Besides 4 mansions in two federal lands, €6.7 million were seized in German real-estate agency and €1.2 million - in a Latvia’s bank.

On February 20, Germany’s investigative bodies seized 4 mansions in two federal lands worth of €40 million and €6.7 million cash during the investigation of a case concerning siphoning off of more than €40 billion from Russia through Moldova and Latvia. Other €1.2 million were seized in a Latvia’s bank by law enforcement officials, reports Deutche Welle with reference to the German Federal Office for criminal cases and Munich’s Prosecution Service.

The seizure of buildings in Regensburg, Nurenberg, Bavaria’s Mühldorf am Inn, Hesse’s Schwalbach am Taunus was carried out in investigation of a case against three owners of this real estate.

Law enforcement officials of the Federal Republic of Germany denied to report upon citizenship, gender and age of the suspects, pending completion of the investigation.

The money laundering scheme named Laundromat or Russian Laundromat got high-profile in 2014, after the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP ) and Novaya gazeta published the relevant investigation.

According to the OCCRP data, from 2011 to 2014, $22 billion were siphoned off from Russia through Latvia and Moldova’s banks. The money were reported to have been laundered through couple dozen of banks. Thanks to the OCCRP investigation, about 70 thousand bank transactions - of which 1920 were booked by British banks and 373 - by American - were exposed.

The U.S. major banks laundered about $63.7 million. In particular, Citibank ($37 million) and Bank of America ($14 million) gave themselves away. British banks, according to The Guardian, laundered $740 million. The laundered money was transferred to 5140 companies located in 96 countries, including Denmark, People's Republic of China, Cyprus, the USA, Great Britain, Hong Kong, as well as Russia. According to DW, 14 Moldova’s judges who had contributed to the money laundering found themselves on the wrong side of the bar.

Tags: Banks
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