In one of the world’s biggest financial fraud schemes, Greek Cypriot banks and companies registered in South Cyprus have received $871.3 million of Russian laundered money, an Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) report says.
The money transfers took place mainly in the first three months of 2013 and after a brief hiatus, most likely caused by the banking crisis in the south that year, activities resumed in the summer of 2013 and continued until February 2014.
Between 2011-2014, a scheme called the “Russian Laundromat” involved numerous fake loan arrangements being set up outside Russia. The loans were then guaranteed by Russian companies and an individual from Moldova. Following which, criminals were able to siphon off large sums of money out of Russia via banks mostly located in Europe and Asia to accounts set up in in shell and offshore companies, the OCCRP said on its website.
Over $20.8bn (€19.2bn) from Russia has been laundered, the joint investigative project has revealed.