Inquiry into Yukos money-laundering 'link'
30 March 2005, MADRID-A Russian judge and a policeman spent two days in Spain earlier this month investigating a money laundering ring in which Russian oil company Yukos was allegedly caught up, Spanish police said.
30 March 2005
MADRID-A Russian judge and a policeman spent two days in Spain earlier this month investigating a money laundering ring in which Russian oil company Yukos was allegedly caught up, Spanish police said.
The police said judge Farik Ganiev from the state prosecutor's office and police colonel Leovrov Sergei spent 18 and 19 March in the southern city of Malaga liaising with Spanish judge Miguel Angel Torres, leading investigations into the laundering ring based around Marbella on the Costa del Sol.
Spanish investigators earlier this month arrested 41 people from six countries, including the head of a law firm suspected of being the architect of a massive international money laundering network that may have laundered over EUR 600 million, according to police.
Spanish authorities said the scheme, uncovered in the course of a 10-month investigation involving police forces across Europe and codenamed "Operation
White Whale," is the biggest they have ever uncovered.
According to the Spanish interior ministry some of the laundered money was siphoned off from Yukos, transferred to a Dutch-based company and then reinvested in a Spanish-based subsidiary.
Yukos protested its innocence in the affair before saying on 24 March in a statement that its employees were only "marginally" implicated in the Spanish probe.
It confirmed company representatives had met Spanish authorities earlier this month and had pledged full cooperation.
Yukos noted Spain had undertaken a "substantial" investigation "and the allegations of possible Yukos employee involvement appear marginal to the overall case."
A Spanish prosecutor working on the case said the laundering network under investigation was only the "tip of the iceberg".
Those behind the scheme allegedly used a plethora of front companies to launder money through tax havens such as Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Andorra.
Ten of those arrested remain in custody.
Spanish police said that Spanish, Russian and Dutch legal and security experts plan to meet in Spain to establish the basis of wider coordination in the affair.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news