At least 27 German banks, including the largest, from 2010 to 2014 took part in “Moldovan scheme to” launder Russian money. About this newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that participated on the German side in the OCCRP investigation about the so-called Landromat. This word (“Laundry” in English) journalists described the alleged scheme to withdraw from Russia 700 billion rubles within a few years.
According to SZ, through German banks at this time was about $66.5 million taken out of Russia funds (OCCRP put the figure at $63.5 million). Almost 80% of this amount falls on the two leading German Bank Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank.
For a specified period of Commerzbank, according to journalists, took $27.4 million of money of dubious origin. Most of them ($23 million) was transferred only five companies-shell, which had in total 63 open account in this Bank.
Slightly less than conducted through their accounts with Deutsche Bank around $24 million As reported by SZ in a press-service of the Bank, in recent years, the organization reinforces the system of control and security, and in 2015 hired an additional 1,000 new professionals in the field of control transactions and prevent financial crimes. The representatives of Commerzbank to comment on the part in the “Moldova’s scheme” did not, noting that the standards of corporate control (so-called compliance) “in the organization have high importance.”
According to SZ, “suspicious transaction” has entered the German banks from the customers exclusively for the Eastern European banks — Moldindconbank and the Latvian Trasta Komercbanka. For example, Deutsche Bank performed for both organizations the role of the correspondent Bank on the translation of clients ‘ money across the border. While Trasta Komercbanka Riga has long been under the supervision of the Latvian regulators, who suspected him of money laundering, according to the journalists. However, Deutsche Bank continued to work with him until August 2015, when the Latvian regulator FCMC is received warned of a “risky investment banking activities that have the potential reputational damage”.
On a vacant place partner came Bavarian Bank BayernLB. However, a few months later, in January 2016, the FCMC is received restricted transactions Trasta Komercbanka, and in March the European Central Bank on the recommendation of the FCMC is received revoked the Bank’s license.
BayernLB has the status of a land Bank (official credit institution of regional authorities, Germany) and 75% controlled by the government of Bavaria (the remaining 25% is owned by financial group Sparkassen). Within a few months of cooperation with the Riga Bank of any transaction done and was not explained by SZ in a press-service of BayernLB. Asked by journalists about why the state Bank “takes such high risks, if it is a commercial organization”, the representatives of BayernLB did not answer.
According to the Baltic edition of Delfi, by the end of 2015 Trasta Komercbanka had €EUR 432.1 million in assets with net loss at €4.7 million per year. According to Delfi, the FCMC is received does not suit the business model of the Bank and its continued unprofitability. “In addition, the Bank also found long-term disorders in the field of legalization of criminally obtained funds and terrorism financing”, — the newspaper notes.
By the end of 2015, Deutsche Bank reported about €1,63 trillion in assets, closing the top ten largest banks in the world. As of the same date (31 December 2015) Commerzbank operated €532.6 billion of assets, while BayernLB reported €147,1 billion of assets. Last spring, all three banks are in one way or another appeared in another international journalistic investigation concerning the so-called “Panama archive”.
“The Moldovan scheme”
According to the investigation of “Novaya Gazeta”, the corruption scheme for the withdrawal of money from Russia through Moldova and Latvia implied the establishment of offshore companies, one of which was filed another bill for a large sum.
When the time came to pay the bill, it became clear that in the accounts the debtor didn’t have the right amounts. Guarantors for these accounts were made by shell companies from Russia and citizens of Moldova. Payers have agreed to the commitments, but reported that kind of money they have. As guarantors for the promissory note were citizens of Moldova, the case enters the Moldovan court, which obliged the company, guarantors in court, to pay the cost of the bill if they had accounts on the territory of Moldova.
So the money from the accounts of Russian companies, which were opened in Moldovan banks were freely displayed outside of Russia — by the court. Under the guise of enforcement of court decisions by the Moldovan judges, according to “Novaya Gazeta”, from 2011 to 2014 from Russia was withdrawn $22 billion, or 700 billion rubles Laundered so the money was further transferred to accounts in banks around the world, including a respectable HSBC (UK), UBS (Switzerland), Nordea Bank (Scandinavia), Chinese Bank of China, China Construction Bank Corp., Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.