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Saga Furs

Finland

Saga Furs is an auction house for fur, the only publicly listed company of its kind in Finland. The company received $659,811 in 10 transactions from Kedassia, a Laundromat company, in late 2013.

In an interview, Saga Furs corporate financial officer Juha Huttunen confirmed the Kedassia transfers, explaining that they represented payments for purchases of fur by five clients, some of whom were long-standing customers.

Asked why transactions from different clients would be handled by a single company, Huttunen said that “this is normal in the fur business,” and that “brokers buy fur from auctions around the world and the payments come from other places.” He explained that as long as his company feels comfortable with the clients, it doesn’t have any reason to look too closely into the companies sending the transfers on their behalf.

In 2008, Saga Furs became involved in the Magnitsky case, a major Russian tax fraud that resulted in the death in custody of Sergei Magnitsky, the accountant who uncovered it. Finnish police investigated the company’s receipt of $199,500 allegedly defrauded from Russian tax authorities. But in November 2012, the investigation was shut down, with police claiming that Saga Furs could not have known that the money had illegal origins.