€1m frozen over money laundering through Trasta Komercbanka

Take note – story published 4 years ago

In connection with the so-called ''Russian laundromat'' case in Germany, where over €40 million has been determined ''dirty money'', €1 million has also been arrested from Latvia's Trasta Komercbanka, which is in the liquidation process at the moment, State Police spokeswoman Sigita Pildava told LETA.

Following a three-year long investigation into three defendants, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the public prosecutor’s office in Munich I have confiscated four properties in Germany worth slightly less then €40 million.

An account from the Latvian bank with a balance of approximately €1 million deriving from the sale of a property in Chemnitz was also seized.

The virtual laundromat operating through banks and powerful companies saw $22 billion in dirty funds moved out of Russia between 2010 and early 2014 in a complex system involving dozens of offshore companies, banks, fake loans and proxy agents, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) informs.

Much of the money was sent to Moldova, where corrupt judges were signing off on feigned loan transactions to make them legitimate. The businesses, however, were phantom companies shielding the real owners.

Moldova’s Chief Prosecutor launched investigations against 16 judges, sending the majority to court.

Banking records obtained by OCCRP exposed Latvian bank Trasta Komercbanka as the final destination for the billions of dollars leaving Russia.

As reported, the European Central Bank (ECB) has revoked Trasta Komercbanka's license, based on a proposal submitted to the ECB by the Latvian financial watchdog, the Financial and Capital Market Commission, and the bank's operations were halted on March 3, 2016.

According to the Financial and Capital Market Commission, Trasta Komercbanka has been operating with losses for a long period and has no viable business model or development strategy adequate to the situation. In addition, serious and sustained breaches of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations were identified in the bank's activities.

On March 14, 2016, a court in Riga ruled to begin the liquidation process of Trasta Komercbanka, but on March 10, 2017, the court declared the bank insolvent and started a bankruptcy proceeding.

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