$900 Million In Contract Fraud

$900 Million In Contract Fraud

Published: June 5, 2013 (Issue # 1762)

MOSCOW — 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 last 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 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 commonly used 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.

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