Russian MIA not to prosecute British banks involved in Laundromat

Most money from suspicious transactions – $545.3 million – went through HSBC bank, mainly through its Hong Kong office


Earlier, The Guardian reported that about $740 million from ‘suspicious transactions’ went through around 17 British financial organizations over the course of four years.

The Russian MIA does not intend to prosecute British banks, which are allegedly involved in illegal laundering of money from Russia under the ‘Moldovan scheme’, TASS reports.

Earlier, The Guardian, referring to its sources, said that banks HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts could be involved in withdrawing funds from Russia. In total, according to the publication, about $740 million passed through 17 British financial organizations in 4 years. Most of all money from suspicious transactions – $545.3 million – was processed through HSBC, mainly through its Hong Kong office.

The press center of the MIA of Russia stated that the General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting Corruption is not armed with any information on the illegal activities of financial organizations. Representatives of the department noted that the police in principle did not carry out any activities with respect to the banks mentioned in the article.

As The CrimeRussia has previously reported, the ‘Moldovan scheme’ is laundering of money from Russia for the period from 2011 to 2014. At the moment we are talking about more than 20 billion dollars. 18 major local officials, including the management of National Bank and judges, are involved in the criminal case instituted in Moldova.

The criminal scheme lied in creating shell companies in Russia with the opening of an account in a Moldovan bank. Then one of them submitted a claim against the other side on payment of bills. The latter refused, but since the guarantor was a Moldovan citizen, the local court entered the case and obliged him to pay the cost of the bill through the court. Thus, money was transferred to Moldova. In such a case judges were companions in crimes and made rulings with a lot of violations.

Recently the Central Bank of Russia has acknowledged that 23 Russian banks participated in the scheme, including Russian Land Bank, Baltika, European Express, Smartbank, Mast-Bank, Intercapital Bank, Zapadny, Energobusiness and others. Licenses were revoked from 19 of these banks.

It should be noted that earlier the media pointed out that at least 27 German banks also participated in the ‘Moldovan scheme’. According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, about $66.5 million of funds withdrawn from Russia went through German financial organizations. Almost 80% of this amount falls on the two leading German banks – Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank.