At least one trillion rubles ($32 billion) left Russia last year in apparent money laundering schemes, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said on Sunday.
“The sum is estimated at about 1 trillion rubles last year,” Zubkov said in an interview with Vesti Nedeli program on Rossiya TV channel.
Zubkov said the sum included doubtful operations reported by banks to Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service.
Capital of dubious origin goes primarily to Latvia, Cyprus, Great Britain, Switzerland, France and Hong Kong. Russia is developing interaction with these countries to cut short illegal operations, he said.
The number of foreign property acquisitions with Russian money has also grown dramatically in recent years, he said. “Moreover, frequently this money is also not quite transparent and legitimate and requires a corresponding investigation.”
Zubkov said an inter-departmental working group that had started to work under his guidance to combat illegal financial operations analyzed the main types of money laundering schemes and mapped out specific methods to cut short these activities.
The group will primarily focus on shell companies and will also scrutinize particular companies and institutions that apparently use money laundering schemes, he said.