An almost $9 billion global money-laundering scheme allegedly set up and run by Russia’s largest private investment bank and having close ties to the country’s ruling elite has been uncovered by the Sarajevo-based Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
An OCCRP investigation published on March 4 alleges that the $8.89 billion scheme, dubbed the Troika Laundromat, allowed corrupt politicians and organized-crime figures to launder funds, evade taxes, hide assets abroad, and carry out other illegal activities.
The investigation singles out Sergei Roldugin, the Russian cellist who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oldest friends, as one of the main beneficiaries of the scheme.
The OCCRP, a group that has previously exposed two other such schemes, known as the Russian and the Azerbaijani Laundromats, says the investigation was made possible by one of the largest leaks of banking transactions ever, obtained together with Lithuanian news site 15min.lt.
The leak, which was compiled from multiple sources, involved more than $470 billion sent in 1.3 million transactions from over 238,000 companies and people.