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Interior Ministry informs Central Bank on fraudulent banks

April 30, 2014, 15:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Detectives discovered swindlers had carried out illegal financial transactions through several banks under their control
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MOSCOW, April 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Interior Ministry police have busted an organized crime group involved in illegal financial transactions. The group had transferred 3.5 billion rubles (around $98 million) in the shadow sector, the main department of economic security and counteraction to corruption said, sending information about banks involved in criminal schemes to the Russian Central Bank (CBR).

“Anti-corruption police officers and detectives have carried out a large-scale operation in Moscow and Kemerovo regions seeking to combat money laundering and illegal capital flight. According to available reports, a criminal group involved in cash withdrawal transferred more than 3.5 billion rubles in the shadow sector in 2012-2013 alone,” the ministry department said.

Detectives discovered swindlers had carried out illegal financial transactions through several banks under their control. These included IpoTek Bank, Commercial Bank of Development, International Bank of Finances and Investments, and a Moscow branch of Professional Credit Bank, using account details of several dozen fictitious organizations to engage in fraud.

“A common 'service centre'... was located at an old mansion in central Moscow, fitted with armored doors. Rys unit commandoes used special equipment to break into their shelter,” police said.

Around 30 searches at residential houses and lending organizations revealed more than 40 stamps of legal entities, including those registered in offshore zones, original constituent documents, copies of passports and work books, more than 20 electronic keys to financial management remote access systems, tens of computers and notes containing information about transactions carried out. These were confiscated and a criminal case has been opened into illegal banking activity.

Tverskoy district court has placed six suspects under house arrest.

“The CBR has now revoked a license from Novokuznetsky municipal bank for violations uncovered," police said. "Information about other lending organizations involved in illegal financial schemes was also submitted to the CBR.”

Meanwhile, active members of another criminal group and suspects in illegal financial deals in the Russian capital were detained in Moscow on Tuesday as part of the same case.

“Fraudsters have provided services for non-cash transfers from the bank accounts of dummy organizations and cash collection. Their illegal profit exceeded 280 million rubles (around $7.8 million),” police said.

Police officers have made more than 20 searches, including at MK Bank from which the CBR has revoked a license, confiscating stamps of fictitious organizations and 60 million rubles (around $1.6 million) in cash.

“Masterminds of illegal activity and their accomplices face accusations and were put on recognizance not to leave the city. All defendants gave confessing testimony and are co-operating with detectives,” police said.

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