Russian Bank’s $9 Billion Money Laundering Scheme Report Prompts a Bitcoin Regulation Question
A $9 billion USD money laundering scandal was recently uncovered by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a group of investigative journalists. The scandal involved Troika, the largest private bank of Russia. Do you know who was not involved in the money laundering? Kudos to you if said Bitcoin.
The large scheme enabled the bank and other banking organizations and individual persons to funnel billions of dollars using shell companies. The journalists discovered that Troika facilitated the money laundering process between 2013 and 2016 in an operation known now as the Troika Laundromat.
At least 75 offshore companies were used in the process and some of them belonged to wealthy politicians with direct links to the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
With the operation, these people secretly acquired shares in several state-owned companies and bought real estate in several countries, as well as luxury yachts and more. The transactions involved $470 billion USD and profit of the people and companies involved in the operations was around $9 million USD.
Big Names Like Citigroup, Raiffeisen and Deutsche Bank Were Involved
Several big banks were used by Troika for the operation. For instance, the U. S.-based Citibank, Germany-based Deutsche Bank and the Austria-based Raiffeisen. From these banks, only Raiffeisen has officially told the media that it was launching an internal investigation while Citibank has denied to provide any statement about the situation.
Raiffeisen was the most open of all the banks. It affirmed that it was fully compliant with all the anti-money laundering requirements of the countries in which it operated and that it would review the situation internally in order to find the guilty parties for the occurance.
Deutsche Bank went to the media to say that it did not care a bit about what its clients were doing with their money and that this was not its job. According to it, most clients were banks themselves and they had no direct links with them.
It Would Have Been A Scandal If Bitcoin Was Used
Unfortunately, the world is not very fair. It Bitcon was used to launder 10% of that money, $900 million USD, people from all over the world would say “hey, we told you so, Bitcoin is used by dirty money launderers”.
Well, Bitcoin is actually used for money laundering sometimes, but so is any financial system, as you can see. The whole market cap of Bitcoin is smaller than the money that was laundered by the Danske Bank in this decade.
While Bitcoin is far from being perfect, people are simply not fair in how they judge it as digital money used by scammers because the real scammers are certainly the banks.