11 February 2013 – The Moldovan authorities have opened a criminal money laundering case on the basis of $53m of funds laundered through Moldova connected to the $230m theft identified and exposed by Russian anti corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The case was opened in response to a formal complaint filed by Hermitage Capital Management in June last year, reported the EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/
“A criminal prosecution was started by…the National Anti-Corruption Centre – on money laundering in December 2012. The case is now being investigated,” wrote the Moldovan anti-corruption agency in response to EU Observer.
By opening a criminal investigation into money laundering, Moldova joins Switzerland, Cyprus, Latvia and Lithuania who all have launched money laundering investigations into the trail of funds stolen from the Russian treasury with the involvement of Russian government officials and organized criminals. So far, no bank accounts have been frozen in Moldova in relation to this case.
“Moldova was chosen as a transit point by the Russian organised criminal group behind the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars and the arrest and death of Sergei Magnitsky. An investigation held in cooperation with European law enforcement bodies could help identify further recipients and beneficiaries of the stolen and laundered funds across the EU,” said a Hermitage Capital representative.
According to the Moldovan National Anti-Corruption Centre, Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat said he would personally monitor the case, reported the EU Observer.
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