MOSCOW, February 3 (Itar-Tass) —— A top Russian prosecutor said Russia had for the first time in the long history of relations with Great Britain achieved the extradition of four accused, but regretted the United Kingdom continues to shelter money launderers.
“Unfortunately, Great Britain remains a shelter for various criminals and an attractive place for laundering unlawfully obtained incomes which work for the benefit of the English economy,” Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev said in an interview published by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Friday.
All in all the number of extraditions grew by a quarter last year and came close to 1100 wanted people. Zvyagintsev said cooperation was successfully developing with Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Switzerland, France, Spain, Poland, and other countries. “We are actively developing interaction with the United States,” he added.
The office of the prosecutor general succeeded to have the assets of accused people worth 10 billion rubles arrested abroad. In several years property worth over 400 million US dollars was returned to Russia.
Thus, Sovcomfot Company regained its property worth 60 million dollars from Switzerland, the Arcticmorneftegasrazvedka Company got back from Norway its unique drilling vessel Valentin Shashin worth close to 300 million dollars, while Arkhangelsk Trawling Fleet Company got a trawler worth 150 million.
“But it is no secret that numerous millions of dollars stolen in Russia are still laundered abroad. We have to provide efficient legal assistance in regaining from abroad the property obtained in a criminal way, mostly through corruption. We work hard to break the western stereotypes that emerged in decades regarding Russia and its criminal justice system,” Zvyagintsev said.