Russia capital flight

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at
Sun Apr 25 19:58:15 PDT 1999

It is not all clear that such transfers were made sole by and for "criminal" elements. There are indications that Russian government institutions were behind most of the transfer to place asset behind the reach of creditors in anticipation of massive government default of foreign loans. No doubt that criminals elements acted as conduits for such transfers and profited from it. After all, the US government co-operated with American organized crime in WWII on patriotic grounds, including fifth column operations in the invasion of Italy. Money laundering and bogus post-delivery contracts via organized crime in the global oil industry is an open secret, all the way from OPEC quota cheating to running embargos. The legal system cannot exist without crime.



Doug Henwood wrote:

> [from Johnson's Russia List]
> Russian Ministries Estimate Illegal Transfers To West
> Moscow, 22 Apr (Interfax) -- In the estimate of experts from the Russian
> interior and economics ministries, between $50 billion and $250 billion has
> been illegally transferred from Russia to Western banks over the past five
> years. Offshore zones, particularly in Cyprus, have become "money-
> laundering centers" for criminal Russian capital, representatives of the
> Russian Interior Ministry told Interfax Thursday.
> Germany, where more than 600 firms have been established since the Soviet
> Union's breakup, is one of the main centers for Russian criminal groupings,
> they said. With reference to information received from German colleagues,
> Interior Ministry sources said that besides Berlin, where 350 commercial
> firms have been set up, criminal groupings from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia,
> and other CIS countries are actively "exploring" the Rhine region in
> western Germany, where Russian cartels alone own 50 realty and
> foreign-trade firms.
> "The weekly turnover of illegal Russian capital in the Rhine region alone
> is estimated by German colleagues at $100 million to $150 million. Some of
> such firms are run by German citizens who do not even know what the actual
> function of these companies is," the sources said. Normally, the criminal
> Russian capital is first moved to offshore companies in Cyprus and then to
> Germany. Following a complicated "laundering" process, "clean" money is
> invested in legal businesses. The capital legalized in Germany finally
> enters accounts in respectable Swiss, American, or Japanese banks.

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