Al Jazeera: Latvian banks played part in Yanukovich scam

Arabic international news channel Al Jazeera said December 7 that Latvian banks played a role in a major fraud involving former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, now sheltering himself in Russia, and some of his associates.

The report titled "Dirty deal traced to three Ukrainian tycoons" says that based on leaked documents Latvia's Norvik bank was used to "pump stolen money into companies in Ukraine with bank accounts in Latvia and gradually passed it through dozens of offshore shell companies in Cyprus, Belize, British Virgin Islands and other money-laundering hotspots including the UK."

It even posted online what it claimed was an original document recording of one payment of 2 million dollars via Nordik. 

"The companies bear the names of nominee directors - cut-out characters who appear to be the owner of a company, but simply act on instruction by the real owner," Al Jazeera said.

The nominee director method has also been a feature of many previous alleged money-laundering frauds involving Latvian banks, about which LSM has reported extensively in the past and sure enough familiar names of Latvian nominees - Juri Vitman and Stan Gorin - merit a mention in the investigation (34 minutes into the film).

LSM has asked Norvik for comment but has yet to receive a reply.

A documentary presenting the evidence can be viewed on YouTube and also mentions other Latvian banks, Baltic International Bank and PrivatBank Latvia.

 

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