Dutch banks accused of aiding Russian money laundering scheme

Dutch banks ING and Amsterdam Trade Bank are listed with 730 other banks as financial institutions that helped Russian criminals launder money, international investigative journalist collaboration OCCRP revealed. A total of 19 billion dollars were laundered through these 732 banks between January 2011 and October 2014, according to the group, AD reports. 

The OCCRP linked the cash flows to a network called 'Global Laundromat'. The group released documents containing about 70 thousand banking transactions. According to the group, ING laundered 2.4 million dollars. The amount that went through Amsterdam Trade Bank is unclear. 

Britain seems to play host for most of these money laundering activities. A total of 1,920 British firms are involved in the Global Laundromat, according to OCCRP. British bank HSBC was used to launder 545 million dollars through a HSBC branch in Hong Kong. 373 American companies are named. The biggest amount was laundered through the Dankse Bank in Denmark, more than 1.2 billion dollars. The Bank of China comes in second place with 717 million dollars. 

According to The Guardian, the money was laundered through two entities that supposedly lent money to each other, signed by Russian business enterprises. A bank then granted Russian companies permission to transfer money to an account in Moldova, from where the money was channeled into the EU. It often ended up in a postbox firm.

According to the OCCRP, it is unclear whether the banks were aware of the criminal activities. The OCCRP was also responsible for the publication of the Panama Papers