Russia probes foreign embezzlement scheme through Baltics

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The Russian Federation’s Economic Crimes and Corruption Combating Board has discovered an alleged scheme involving the illegal flow of capital to foreign financial markets, including through unspecified banks in Estonia and Latvia, reported Russian news agency Itar Tass Monday.

The Federal Security Service told the media that three persons had been detained in the affair. Several suspected private entrepreneurs with signs of fictitious company backgrounds are under investigation. Also some current and former high-level managers of Moscow crediting institutions have also been held for questioning.

According to information in the hands of investigators, these ‘one-day firms’ closed fictitious contracts with foreign entities ostensibly for expensive control and measurement equipment deliveries.

Afterwards, continuing the use of forged documents, they transferred the monies to non-resident accounts in Estonian and Latvian banks, whereas the paid-for equipment never arrived in Russian territory.

About €19.11m euro flowed out of the country in this illegal manner to foreign-based bank accounts.

Criminal investigations have been launched into currency operations with forged documents, for which a five-to-ten-year sentence awaits the convicted.

One of the detained is in jail, two are under house arrest.

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