“Over ten cases have been handed over to law enforcement bodies, and over 50 material sources are currently being probed by our financial intelligence,” – Yury Chikhanchin, first deputy chairman of the committee for financial monitoring of the Russian Federation government claimed.
Yury Chikhanchin was answering questions from representatives of the banking community during the conference entitled “Practical Issues of the Realization of the Development Strategy in the Banking Sphere of Russia” (the conference took place in the city of Krasnoyarsk on June 14-15). He said: “The financial control is a new system; we are setting it up from nothing, which is why we are very interested in advice and recommendations on the part of financial specialists. We are even ready to change the form of our reports if you can offer better, more perfect variants.”
Pursuant to the law of the Russian Federation “on the contradiction to the legalization (money laundering) of criminal income,” all Russian banks are supposed to send reports to the committee for monitoring (on a regular basis, since February of the current year). the encoded reports should contain information on suspicious operations, the list of which is determined by financial intelligence specialists. There have been some curious things revealed already. For example, criminals “specialize” in cashing illegal income in several regions, but, in other regions, they deal with the opposite thing: legalizing the criminal income.
Yury Chikhanchin refused to specify those regions, but he gave several interesting examples. Millions in foreign currency were transferred from the Russian Federation from a juridical person to Turkey and to one of the southern countries of the former Soviet Union. Recipients of that money simultaneously paid for the services of a Russian travel agency, which stopped the activity of a drug delivery man. Another story: a young man opened a bank account in the sum of 1.5 billion rubles. His arrest allowed police to discover a criminal group and to save the life of a 19-year-old drug addict, who was meant for immolation (after he was going to transfer the money abroad).
The Russian Committee for Financial Monitoring has been incorporated into the international group Egmont, which is like Interpol, uniting financial intelligence institutes from 59 countries of the world. The exchange of information between professionals of different countries will allow them to work more efficiently. They are now going to institute the control over financial operations, which were meant for maintaining terrorism: the peculiarity is in the fact that the transactions are not actually criminal, but the addresses of the money transferred testify to the goals of such activity.
The State Duma is expected to ratify the document pertaining to Russia’s incorporation into the International Convention for the Anti-Terrorist Struggle until the end of the current year. Russia’s membership in the international organization for struggle with financial crimes is to be considered at the end of July, during the FATF forum. Since 2000, Russia has been in the black list of those countries, which do not really counteract to criminal operations, but the chiefs of the Russian financial intelligence hope that the international community will evaluate their efforts.
Pavel Poluyan PRAVDA.Ru Krasnoyarsk
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969