A huge data leak involved Citigroup, Raiffeisen and Deutsche Bank in a number of transactions allowing Russian businessmen close to the Kremlin, a flow of 4.8 billion US dollars, to circulate in Europe and beyond.
the "Troika Laundromat" was uncovered by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) through a massive leak of bank data involving more than 1.3 million bank transactions of 238,000 individuals and corporations, as well as thousands of documents, contracts and e-mails.
The main objective of the system was not to launder huge sums of money from Russia, but also to allow oligarchs and Russian politicians to acquire secret shares in state-owned companies, to acquire real estate in the United Kingdom and Montenegro, and even to hire employees. stars for private parties.
To hide their identity and protect themselves from discoveries, wealthy people behind the system have used the identity of third parties as "involuntary signatories" in a network of secret offshore companies, OPCRP revealed.
One of the key actors involved in Laundromat is Reuben Vardanyan, Rich Russian banker who once headed the country's largest private investment bank, Troika Dialog.
Recognized for speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos and spending millions of dollars for philanthropic projects in Armenia, he is accused of having transferred billions of dollars through the bank, under the signature of Armen Ustyan, an individual who claims to have never done anything. eyes on one of the documents bearing his signature.
Troika Dialog System allowed a number of Russian elite members to circumvent the restrictions, hide assets and earn vast sums of money without being spotted. But the system was not aimed solely at laundering money, the evidence suggesting that it was a tax evasion scheme, of a cashier black, a hidden investment vehicle and a way for organized crime groups to clean up the proceeds of their crimes.
The bank would also have provided money to the friends of President Vladimir Putin and allowed criminals to hide the origins of their money.
The company to which Ustyan's name and passport were used was one of 75 companies in a complex network operating from 2006 to 2013. Meanwhile, the troika facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars to several major Western banks.
Many transactions were masked as payments for bills such as "goods", "metal products" or "invoices".
Vardanyan denied any wrongdoing and said his bank "acted in accordance with the rules of the global financial market at the time". It has not yet been investigated or charged by the authorities.
Deutsche Bank, one of the banks involved in the scandal burst into its offices in Frankfurt November 2018 in the context of Panama Papers' leakage and anti-money laundering allegations.