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Searches underway at 30 regional branches of Navalny’s foundation in money laundering case

Some staff members have been summoned for questioning

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee is carrying out searches in 30 regions across the country at the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), founded by Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, as part of a criminal probe into money laundering, IC Spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told TASS on Tuesday.

"Today searches are being conducted as part of preliminary investigation in 30 federal subjects in the organization’s headquarters and at the places of residence of staff members of FBK’s regional branches. Items and documents are being seized, which the investigators deem as important," Petrenko said, noting that some staff members had been summoned for questioning.

Earlier, a source in the law enforcement agencies told TASS that on Tuesday investigators launched searches in regional headquarters in Arkhangelsk and Belgorod. Searches are also being held at the places of residence of FBK’s activists in Ufa, Samara, Saratov, Yekaterinburg, Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Novokuznetsk and Krasnodar.

According to the spokeswoman, upon the investigators’ request the court had arrested FBK’s accounts in credit organizations. "It has been confirmed that money from foreign sources had been transferred to these accounts. In particular, this fact served as a ground for including the foundation into the registry of organizations fulfilling the functions of foreign agents," Petrenko said.

On October 9, the Russian Justice Ministry reported that Navalny’s foundation had been placed on the list of non-profit organizations acting as foreign agents. According to the ministry, FBK was engaged in political activity and was bankrolled from abroad. Only in 2019, the organization received some 140,000 rubles ($2,157) in two tranches from Spain and one from the US.

The Russian Investigative Committee earlier launched criminal proceedings regarding the financing of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. According to the investigation, since January 2016 until December 2018, people tied to the foundation received large-scale sums of money in Russian and foreign currency by unlawful means, and later used a money laundering scheme to bankroll the foundation. The courts froze more than 100 accounts of the foundation and individuals tied to it as part of the case.