The Russian Laundromat

Credit: OCCRP
Published: August 22, 2014

Call it the Laundromat. It’s a complex system for laundering more than $20 billion in Russian money stolen from the government by corrupt politicians or earned through organized crime activity. It was designed to not only move money from Russian shell companies into EU banks through Latvia, it had the added feature of getting corrupt or uncaring judges in Moldova to legitimize the funds. The state-of-the-art system provided exceptionally clean money backed by a court ruling at a fraction of the cost of regular laundering schemes. It made up for the low costs by laundering huge volumes. The system used just one bank in Latvia and one bank in Moldova but 19 banks in Russia, some of them controlled by rich and powerful figures including the cousin of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Stories

Grand Theft Moldova

The bank theft was so outsized and bold that citizens of the Republic of Moldova came out in the streets this past May by the thousands to protest: “We want our billion back!”

24 July 2015 Read the article

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Paul Radu

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Roman Anin

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Mihai Munteanu

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Vladimir Kostic

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Drew Sullivan

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