Money laundering: The UK’s dirty CEE secret

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September 2016

Start delving into the murky world of money laundering in eastern Europe and the names of three countries turn up again and again: Latvia, Moldova – and the UK.  On numerous occasions over the past decade, dirty money from Russia – and elsewhere in CIS – has been funnelled through the two former Soviet states, much of it under a cloak of anonymity provided by UK-registered shell companies.  Some of the cases have made global headlines: the tax fraud exposed by Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian Laundromat scheme that washed $21 billion of stolen cash, the theft of $1 billion from three Moldovan banks. Many more have attracted attention only from a dedicated cohort of anti-corruption reporters.