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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 19.10.2019, 13:01

Baltic states still at risk of Russian money laundering - Europol

BC, Tallinn, 14.06.2019.Print version
The risk of Russian money laundering is still present in the Baltic states, Pedro Felicio, who is responsible for fighting money laundering at European police agency Europol, according to the Reuters. information writes LETA.

In his words, huge inflows of criminal money” are mainly coming into Europe from Russia and China.

“There are billions of criminal money that are being taken out of the Russian economy,” Felicio said as he warned of the dangers of a repeat of scandals involving tainted Russian money in the Baltics.

He added that the problem is exacerbated by “zero cooperation from Russia in providing ... evidence”.

Although the situation has improved, Felicio says there are still gaps particularly in the Baltic states.

“Some of the banks in the Baltic area are very vulnerable to money laundering activities especially coming in from Russia. It has improved but it is far from being solved,” the Europol official said.

While the Baltic nations are in the “front line” for receiving dirty money, it ultimately gets invested elsewhere.

“Investments in real estate would be one of the main final solutions,” Felicio said, singling out London and Rome.

Russian money is seen as the main cause of money-laundering scandals at the Estonian branch of Danske Bank and Sweden’s Swedbank.

Bill Browder, formerly an investor in Russia, has filed a complaint with Latvian authorities over Swedbank, alleging the bank’s involvement in laundering Russian money.

Browder has also highlighted movements of Russian money linked to a fraud uncovered by his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was later arrested and died in a Moscow prison after complaining of mistreatment.

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