loader

OCCRP PRESENTS: The Russian Laundromat

Call it the Laundromat. It’s a complex system for laundering more than $20 billion in Russian money stolen from the government by corrupt politicians or earned through organized crime activity. It was designed to not only move money from Russian shell companies into EU banks through Latvia, it had the added feature of getting corrupt or uncaring judges in Moldova to legitimize the funds. The state-of-the-art system provided exceptionally clean money backed by a court ruling at a fraction of the cost of regular laundering schemes. It made up for the low costs by laundering huge volumes. The system used just one bank in Latvia and one bank in Moldova but 19 banks in Russia, some of them controlled by rich and powerful figures including the cousin of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stories

Grand Theft Moldova

The bank theft was so outsized and bold that citizens of the Republic of Moldova came out in the streets this past May by the thousands to protest: “We want our billion back!”

24 July 2015 OCCRP

Ukraine: A Poor Town Controlled Billions

The Russian Laundromat, a large multi-billion money laundering machine uncovered last year by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) was operating from a small town near Kyiv.

16 Mar 2015 OCCRP

Follow the Money, Follow the Banker

When US$ 20 billion in dirty money swirled out of Russia and into Europe in one of the biggest money laundering operations yet uncovered in Eastern Europe...

14 Oct 2014 OCCRP

The Russian Laundromat

It may be the biggest money-laundering operation in Eastern Europe -- a virtual laundromat operating through banks and companies connected to powerful people in the region.

21 Aug 2014 OCCRP

The Russian Banks and Putin's Cousin

The Laundromat -- the biggest money-laundering operation yet uncovered in post-Soviet territory—was unusually well connected.

21 Aug 2014 OCCRP

Kempinski Negotiating Hotel Deal with Alexander Grigoriev

A Russian banker bought the hotel complex for € 11.8 million and plans to turn it into a 5-star luxury complex.

21 Aug 2014 OCCRP

The Laundry Cycle, From Start To Finish

Ruslan Milchenko, formerly with the Russian police, today heads the anti-corruption agency Analitika and Bezopasnost (Analyses and Security) and knows all about Moscow-style money...

21 Aug 2014 OCCRP

The $20 Billion Bank in the Country of the Poor

Law enforcement reports obtained by OCCRP indicate that one of the oldest and biggest banks in the Republic of Moldova, Moldindconbank, has been used in the biggest money laundering operation in Eastern Europe in recent years.

21 Aug 2014 OCCRP

Latvian Bank Was Laundering Tool

Banking records obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) indicate that the Latvian bank Trasta Komercbanka was the final destination for billions of dollars that left Russia in a massive money laundering scheme.

21 Aug 2014 OCCRP

The Russian Laundromat presented by:

OCCRP


Novaya Gazeta


RISE Moldova


OCCRP Awards

2013 SEEMO Award

Winner

2013 Global Shining Light

Winner

2013 Daniel Pearl Award

Finalist

2013 Online Journalism Award

Finalist

Meet the team behind our work

Paul Radu

Coordinator

OCCRP

Roman Anin

Journalist

Novaya Gazeta

Mihai Munteanu

Journalist

OCCRP

Victor Ilie

Journalist

RISE Project (Romania)

Iurie Sanduta

Journalist

RISE Moldova

Ion Preasca

Journalist

RISE Moldova

Arta Giga

Journalist

Latvia

Miranda Patrucic

Journalist

OCCRP

Vladimir Kostic

Journalist

CINS Serbia

Jody McPhillips

Editor

OCCRP

Drew Sullivan

Editor

OCCRP

Rosemary Armao

Editor

OCCRP

Lejla Camdzic

Fact checking

OCCRP

Adem Kuric

UX & Web design

OCCRP

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

Our goal is to help the people of the region better understand how organized crime and corruption affect their lives.

View our Latest Projects

Veggie Scam

What connects terrorists in Iraq, cleaning ladies in Ukraine, and dodgy businessmen in Turkey? Vegetables and tax fraud. A series of scams helped Al Qaeda and hurt Romanian tax officials to the tune of at least € 50 million.

Unholy Alliances

Montenegro has long desired to become a Balkan Monte Carlo. But instead it has become something unique in the Balkans -- a crime state where organized crime, government and business seamlessly work together in an Unholy Alliance.

OCCRP Most Wanted List

OCCRP has put together a list of the world's most wanted people. The list is based on nominations from OCCRP editors and reporters.

JailCrunch

Welcome to JailCrunch, an interactive investigative graphic from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and its member organizations. JailCrunch visualizes prison data across Eastern Europe and compares inmate...

YanukovychLeaks

See the documents everyone is talking about - documents the Ukrainian president tried to destroy.

Visual Investigative Scenarios

(VIS) is a data visualization platform designed to assist investigative journalists, activists and others in mapping complex business or crime networks. Our aim is to help investigators understand and explain corruption, organized crime and other...

Give us a shout