MOSCOW, May 22 (RIA Novosti) – Police in south Russia have arrested nine people suspected of laundering large sums of money in illegal financial operations, Russia’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
The criminal group may have laundered over 2.5 billion rubles ($80 million) in transactions by fly-by-night firms in the Stavropol and Rostov Regions, the ministry said.
The group had no licenses to carry out financial operations, the ministry said.
Police have conducted more than 40 searches and frozen accounts in 12 banks, as well as seizing 8.4 million rubles ($268,800), documents and computers.
The case is the latest in a string of probes by police aimed at combating illegal financial operations and money laundering in Russia. Russia’s central bank chairman Ignatiev said in an interview with Vedomosti business daily in February that money laundering cost the country tens of billions of dollars last year, and described the shell companies responsible as “the bane of our economy.”