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Did You Know That Money Laundering Is Illegal In Russia?

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Even if you have a Putin on your board? Well, Master Bank didn't—it, like most Russian banks, probably considered money laundering a key business line and the lifeblood of the Russian economy—and now it is no more.

Russia's central bank revoked the license of a medium-size Moscow-based lender, notable for the presence on its board of a relative of President Vladimir Putin, for alleged false accounting and repeated violations of anti-money-laundering laws….

Igor Putin is still a member of Master Bank's board, having previously served as a vice president for a brief period. A Kremlin spokesman said that he is a "distant relative" of the president but "they have nothing in common other than their name" and no business ties. The spokesman said the Kremlin had no role in the regulator's decision, noting that Ms. Nabiullina had said from the start of her tenure that she would focus on banking regulation "and she is consistently following that policy."

Ms. Nabiullina told the Duma, the lower house of parliament, the bank had a capital shortfall of at least 2 billion rubles ($61 million). "The bank concealed its real condition, submitting substantially false reports," she said. "The bank was involved in servicing the shadow sector of the economy, illegal transactions and repeated violations of money-laundering laws. We were forced to take this as last-resort measure."

Russian Bank Closed Over Alleged Money Laundering [WSJ]


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