×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

$900M Capital Taken Abroad Through Rosneft Bank

The transfer of $900 million out of the country using fictional import contracts through Russian Regional Development Bank, 85 percent of which belongs to Rosneft, is being investigated by the police, Vedomosti reported Friday.

The investigation concerns three incidents that took place between September 2011 and March 2012, each involving amounts of about $300 million dollars. In each case, Russian limited liability companies, registered with charter capital of between $500 and $30,000, bought up various goods from Belarussian producers.

The money never reached Belarus.

So far, there are no formal suspects, and no money at the bank has been frozen, according to Vedomosti, which obtained details of the criminal case, opened in 2012, from sources in the law enforcement agencies.

Cash was transferred into the accounts of the Russian companies at RRDB from counteragents in Russia, supposedly as payments under contracts for the supply of goods and equipment. From there the money was converted into foreign currency and delivered to the accounts of foreign companies at Swiss and Latvian banks.

Payment for the import of unreceived goods is a commonly-used trick in the illegal movement of capital abroad. The Federal customs service reported violations of this kind worth 135 billion rubles ($4.2 billion) last year.

Banks are obliged to monitor the funds that flow through them and block illegal or suspect payments. However, customs barriers with Belarus were removed in July 2011, allowing goods to be imported into Russia without a customs declaration. The absence of verification compromises the bank's ability to check transactions, and mechanisms for replacing losses were not immediately implemented, a source in the banking industry told Vedomosti.

In October 2012, the Central Bank tightened the requirements on banks, obliging them to take extra measures to confirm the completion of import contracts.

The RRDB's net assets at the end of the first quarter of 2013 were 83.5 billion rubles, making it Russia's 64th largest bank, according to the Interfax-100 ratings.

Rosneft declined to comment on the case but is aware of the investigation, a source close to the company said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more