Russian Laundromat: from $20 to $80 billion siphoned off
17 of the largest British banks, including such financial industry giants as Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Coutts, took part in a large-scale operation to withdraw funds from Russia, which was called Landromat in the media.
The amount withdrawn from Russia in the period from 2010 to 2014, can range from $20 to $80 billion. At least $740 million of them the banks of the United Kingdom siphoned off. This is reported by British The Guardian with reference to bank documents. According to the source of the edition related to the investigation, the money withdrawn through the Global Laundry had criminal origin. The criminal scheme involved Russian bankers, oligarchs, FSB-related individuals and even its active staff, a total of more than 500 people, the Guardian informs. In total, 19 Russian banks took part in illegal financial transactions.
In addition to the British edition, the Center for the Study of Corruption and Organized Crime (OCCRP), Russian Novaya Gazeta, German Sueddeutsche Zeitung and a number of other editions in various countries took part in a large-scale international investigation, based on the documents received from anonymous sources in 2014.
Amounts laundered in British banks
The documents sent out by OCCRP contain detailed information on the order of 70 thousand banking transactions, 1920 of which were made by British banks and 373 by American banks. It is reported that the US large banks laundered about $63.7 million. In particular, Citibank ($37 million) and Bank of America ($14 million) lit up.
Evidences on the criminal financial scheme activity were obtained from the law enforcement agencies of Latvia and Moldova, through which accounts dirty money was transferred.
The scheme worked as follows. In the UK two one-day firms were created, one of which transferred large amount of money in the form of a loan to another one.
An important role in a complex, multi-stage scheme was played by offshore companies owned by Russian businessmen. Their owners, the newspaper notes, remain unknown due to the anonymity provided by offshore jurisdictions.
Meanwhile, according to the published data of Novaya Gazeta, the main beneficiaries of the scheme were owner of the Russian Railways contractors Alexey Krapivin, head of the Lanit group Georgy Gens and co-owner of the Marvel IT holding Sergey Girdin.
The founder and president of the Izhevsk football club Gazovik-Gazprom, known today as Zenit-Izhevsk, and the oldest professional football player in Russia has been detained for 48 hours, until the lawyers provide documents confirming that the accused cannot be kept in a pre-trial detention center on medical grounds.