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US launches money-laundering probe against Gunvor Group

November 06, 2014, 8:48 UTC+3 NEW YORK
In particular, the probe has been launched into transactions in which Gunvor Group purchased oil from Russia’s Rosneft company and later sold it to third parties
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New York

New York

© EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO

NEW YORK, November 6. /TASS/. US prosecutors have launched a money-laundering investigation against a Cyprus-registered energy-trading company Gunvor Group co-founded by Russian businessman and public figure Gennady Timchenko, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The Geneva-headquartered Gunvor Group, the world’s fourth largest crude oil trader, was co-founded by Timchenko in 2000. The businessman sold his stake in the company in March 2014 just a day before he was placed on the US sanctions list.

US prosecutors are investigating whether Timchenko “transferred funds linked to allegedly corrupt deals” through the US financial system, the report said citing sources familiar with the efforts.

In particular, the probe has been launched into transactions in which Gunvor Group purchased oil from Russia’s Rosneft company and later sold it to third parties, the sources said.

US investigators have requested information about the prices the firm charged. Gunvor has denied any wrongdoing concerning the Rosneft tenders, the report said.

Businessman Timchenko, who has both Russian and Finnish citizenship, is ranked 62nd in this year’s Forbes magazine billionaires list, with an estimated wealth of $15.3 billion.

Timchenko was among the first Russian businessmen targeted by the US sanctions, in particular asset freezes and visa bans, as part of Washington’s efforts to punish Russia for its stance in the Ukrainian conflict.

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