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Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam – The Guardian

The German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian criminals with ties to the Kremlin, the Guardian can reveal. Deutsche Bank is one of dozens of western financial institutions that processed at least $20bn – and possibly more – in money of “criminal origin” from Russia. The scheme, dubbed “the Global Laundromat”, ran from 2010 to 2014. Law enforcement agencies are investigating how a group of politically well-connected Russians were able to use UK-registered companies to launder billions of dollars in cash. The companies made fictitious loans to each other, underwritten by Russian businesses. The companies would default on these “debts”. Judges in Moldova then made court rulings enforcing judgments against the firms. This allowed Russian bank accounts to transfer huge sums to Moldova legally. From there, the money went to accounts in Latvia with Trasta Komercbanka. Deutsche, Germany’s biggest lender, acted as a “correspondent bank” for Trasta until 2015. This meant Deutsche provided dollar-denominated services to Trasta’s non-resident Russian clients. This service was used to move money from Latvia to banks across the world. During this period many Wall Street banks got out of Latvia, citing concerns that the small Baltic country had become a centre for international money laundering, especially from neighbouring Russia. In 2013, and under US regulatory pressure, JP Morgan Chase ceased providing dollar clearing services to the country. From 2014, only two western lenders were willing to accept international dollar transfers from Latvian banks. They were Deutsche and Germany’s Commerzbank. Deutsche eventually withdrew correspondent services to Trasta Bank in September 2015. Six months later, Latvian regulators shut down the bank. They cited repeated violations, and said the bank had failed to deal with its money laundering risk. Latvia’s deputy finance minister, Maija Treija, said the money sent via Trasta was “either stolen or with criminal origin”. The defunct bank was being used as vehicle to get money out of the ex-Soviet Union and “into the EU financial system”, she added. Deutsche said it had significantly strengthened its systems and controls. It said that by the end of this year it will have hired more than 1,000 new staff in its compliance and anti-financial crime unit since 2015. It added: “The bank has comprehensively reviewed its client onboarding and know-your-client processes and where necessary is exiting higher risk client relationships and markets.” Commerzbank said it could not comment on its relationships with other banks. It said it put a high value on compliance. It said that suspicious transactions picked up during routine monitoring were reported to the authorities. Deutche Bank ended its relationship with Trasta soon after Latvia’s regulator issued a warning, it is understood. In August 2015, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission stopped all transactions above €100,000. Deutsche severed its relationship with the other key Laundromat bank &'' Moldova’s Moldindconbank – in 2012. Ties with Russia are a matter of acute sensitivity for Deutsche. In February, it emerged that Deutsche had secretly reviewed multiple loans made to President Trump by its private wealth division to see if there was a connection to Russia. Trump owes Deutsche about $300m. Deutsche refused to comment on its internal review. Sources say the bank discovered no evidence of any Moscow link. That covers other members of the US president’s family who are also Deutsche clients. They include Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Kushner’s mother, Seryl Stadtmauer. In January, the UK and US imposed record $630m fines on Deutsche for its role in another money laundering scam run out of its Moscow office. The bank failed to prevent $10bn of Russian money being laundered in a complex “mirror trades” operation. The wealthy Russians that used the scheme have not been identified. Deutsche’s Private Bank – the division that lends to Trump – appears in the Global Laundromat scheme. Sources suggest that many of its clients are rich Russians, typically with personal assets of $50m-plus. According to Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, Deutsche processed more than $24m of Laundromat cash in 209 transactions. Records obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta from anonymous sources show how the money was spent. Much of it vanished into opaque offshore companies. Some of it went on luxury items including diamonds, leather jackets, and home-cinema equipment. One of Deutsche’s high net worth customers blew €500,000 at Mahlberg, a German jewellery firm. The payment in January 2013 was made by Seabon Limited, a Laundromat company registered in Tooley Street, London. More than $9bn was funnelled via Seabon, records show. Almost €1m went to a Munich electronics firm, Rohde &'38; Schwarz, which produces surveillance technology for security services and police. Often, the explanation for high-volume payments was fake. The money spent on watches was marked down on the bank wire transfer as a payment for “computer equipment”. Another $500,000 payment was made to a London fur broker, Gideon Bartfeld. Bartfeld said the money had arrived from Deutsche Bank New York, before being sent on to the Bank of New York Mellon, which paid the invoice. Trasta – the bank that first sent the money to Deutsche – did not appear in any paperwork, he added. Bartfeld said the payment came via two “highly reputable and respected” global banks. He said: “Consequently, we received this payment in full confidence [as they] were satisfied that the payment met their [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanaoexaminer mindanaoexaminerMar 22nd, 2017

Malaysia ex-PM hit with 25 new charges over 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia's ex-leader Najib Razak was hit with 25 new charges of money laundering and abuse of power linked to the 1MDB mega-scandal on Thursday, September 20, including allegations hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to his personal bank account. As hundreds of banner-waving supporters gathered outside ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

BSP revokes licenses of money changers linked to pork barrel scam

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revoked the licenses of two foreign exchange dealers linked to the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim Napoles. The central bank said in a statement on Tuesday, May 8, that its Monetary Board canceled the certificates of registration as ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

U.S. lawmakers question Trump ties to Panama project linked to laundering, trafficking

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee have asked the Trump Organization if it was aware of allegations that real estate agents and investors involved in the Trump Ocean Club in Panama had ties to money laundering and drug trafficking......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMar 2nd, 2018

US expands laundering, fraud charges against ex-Trump campaign chief Manafort

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and his former partner Richard Gates were hit on Thursday with fresh charges of tax and bank fraud, as Russia election meddling special prosecutor Robert Mueller stepped up pressure on the president’s former aides. Already indicted for money laundering and tax evasion, Manafort and Gates were charged in [...] The post US expands laundering, fraud charges against ex-Trump campaign chief Manafort appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

U.S. expands laundering, fraud charges vs ex-Trump campaign chief Manafort

WASHINGTON DC, USA – Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and his former partner Richard Gates were hit on Thursday, February 22, with fresh charges of tax and bank fraud, as special Russia meddling prosecutor Robert Mueller stepped up pressure on the president's former aides. Already indicted for money laundering and tax evasion, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

Vladimir Putin denies he has compromising material on Donald Trump – The Guardian

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied he had any compromising material about US President Donald Trump. “Well, this is just another load of nonsense,” Putin said on NBC News’ Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, when asked whether he had any damaging information on the Republican president. The remarks were the latest in a series of denials from Moscow that have had little impact so far on a political crisis in the United States over potential links between Russia and Trump’s inner circle. The issue will be front and centre this week in Washington, where former FBI director James Comey is due to testify on whether Trump tried to get him to back off an investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s election campaign and Moscow. Comey, who was leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s US presidential election, was fired by Trump last month, four years into his 10-year term. Putin also told NBC he had no relationship with Trump and had never met him, regardless of Trump’s previous travel to Russia as a businessman. Putin noted that executives from perhaps 100 American companies were currently in Russia. “Do you think we’re gathering compromising information on all of them right now or something?” Putin asked, before saying: “Have you all lost your senses?” Have you all lost your senses? Vladimir Putin Trump has offered contradictory accounts of his relationship with Putin over time but has also said the two never met. He has called an FBI investigation into alleged ties between his campaign and Russia a “witch hunt” designed to undermine the legitimacy of his 2016 election win. Trump has also disparaged a dossier of unsubstantiated allegations that purported to show Russian intelligence operatives had compromising information about him, but which he has described as a “hoax.” US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the election campaign in Trump’s favour, including by hacking into the emails of senior Democrats, a charge the Kremlin denies. “They have been misled,” Putin told NBC, in an interview NBC said was recorded on Friday. “And they aren’t analysing the information in its entirety. I haven’t seen, even once, any direct proof of Russian interference in the presidential election.” Trump has denied any collusion but the FBI and congressional probes into the Russia matter have dogged the early months of his presidency. Former CIA director John Brennan said last month he had noticed contacts between Trump’s campaign associates and Russia during the 2016 election and grew concerned Moscow had sought to lure Americans down “a treasonous path.” After Comey’s dismissal, news reports emerged that Trump asked Comey to end the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynnduring a February meeting in the Oval Office, the day after Flynn was fired for misrepresenting his contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak. Flynn has declined to testify to the US Senate Intelligence Committee about his Russian ties, invoking his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. Putin downplayed Flynn’s appearance with him at a December 2015 gala dinner in honor of the Russian television network Russia Today (RT), which US officials consider a state-run propaganda outlet. “I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left. And then afterwards I was told, ‘You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things. He used to be in the security services’,” Putin said. “That’s it. I didn’t even really talk to him. That’s the extent of my acquaintance with Mr Flynn,” he added. Reuters has reported that Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, discussed with Kislyak the idea of creating a back channel between Trump and Putin that could have bypassed diplomats and intelligence agencies. Putin said he was unaware of any such discussion and criticized NBC for asking about contacts between the ambassador and the Trump administration. “You created a sensation out of nothing. And out of this sensation, you turned it into a weapon of war against the current president,” Putin said. … today we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So we think it’s fair to ask people who visit us often for their help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.( “I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left. And then afterwards I was told, ‘You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things. He used to be in the security services’,” Putin said. “That’s it. I didn’t even really talk to him. That’s the extent of my acquaintance with Mr Flynn,” he added. Reuters has reported that Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, discussed with Kislyak the idea of creating a back channel between Trump and Putin that could have bypassed diplomats and intelligence agencies. Putin said [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJun 5th, 2017

Singapore says shutting down second bank linked to 1MDB

Singapore's central bank on Tuesday shut down a second Swiss bank under investigation for alleged money laundering activities linked to Malaysian state fund 1MDB......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 11th, 2016

Jinggoy’s motion junked

The AMLC has authority under Republic Act 9160 to examine bank accounts in connection with plunder cases even without notifying the parties concerned The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday scrapped the motion of former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to exclude from his plunder trial the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on his bank transactions. The […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

SC junks Jinggoy’s appeal in plunder case

The Supreme Court (SC) has denied the petition of former senator Jinggoy Estrada to exclude the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) as evidence in the P183.8-million plunder case filed against him before the Sandiganbayan over the pork barrel fund scam......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

AMLC report can be used vs Jinggoy Estrada – SC

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report implicating former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada in allegedly receiving millions through the 2013 pork barrel scam can be used as evidence against him, the Supreme Court (SC) said Sunday, October 7. The SC, in an 11-page resolution, dismissed as "moot and academic"  Estrada's petition ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

Najib’s wife charged

KUALA LUMPUR — Rosmah Mansor, the luxury-loving wife of Malaysia’s former prime minister, was Thursday charged with money laundering linked to a multi billion-dollar scandal that helped bring down his government. The 66-year-old pleaded not guilty to 17 charges of money laundering at a court complex where her husband Najib Razak was also making a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018

Wife of ex-Malaysian leader charged with money laundering, tax evasions

  KUALA LUMPUR---Rosmah Mansor, the luxury-loving wife of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak, was charged on Thursday with money laundering and tax evasion linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal that helped bring down his government.   The 66-year-old pleaded not guilty to 17 charges of money laundering and tax evasion at a court complex where her husband Najib was also making a separate appearance in connection with the alleged plunder of state funds.   $480,000 bail   Rosmah was allowed to post bail of $480,000 and ordered to surrender her passport.   She was also barred from contacting any witness.   Prosecu...Keep on reading: Wife of ex-Malaysian leader charged with money laundering, tax evasions.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 4th, 2018

Malaysia ex-PM Najib faces salvo of charges over $681M bank balance

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's ex-leader Najib Razak arrived in court on Thursday to face a barrage of charges relating to $681 million of state funds that allegedly ended up in his personal bank account. Najib, who suffered a shock election defeat in May, was arrested Wednesday by officials probing claims the former prime minister and his cronies looted billions of dollars from state fund 1MDB in an audacious fraud. Police said he will face 21 money-laundering charges related to the mysterious transfer of huge sums into his personal bank account, a key episode in the long-running scandal. He may also face additional charges under anti-corruption laws. He has already been arrest...Keep on reading: Malaysia ex-PM Najib faces salvo of charges over $681M bank balance.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

Lawyer for ex-Malaysian leader Najib arrested, charged

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Former Malaysian leader Najib Razak's chief lawyer was arrested and charged with money laundering on Thursday, September 13, as authorities intensified a crackdown on corruption linked to the previous government. Shafee Abdullah, 66, one of the country's most prominent lawyers, led Najib's legal team when the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

Lawyer for ex-Malaysian leader Najib arrested, charged

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian leader Najib Razak’s chief lawyer was arrested and charged with money laundering Thursday, as authorities intensified a crackdown on corruption linked to the previous government. Shafee Abdullah, 66, one of the country’s most prominent lawyers, led Najib’s legal team when the former prime minister was charged for his role in a [...] The post Lawyer for ex-Malaysian leader Najib arrested, charged appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

Trump s ex-campaign chief Manafort guilty of fraud

ALEXANDRIA, USA – Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud Tuesday, August 21, in the first trial resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The guilty verdicts on 8 counts are a victory for special counsel ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2018

Paul Manafort: from Trump campaign to prison

ALEXANDRIA, USA – Paul Manafort was riding high, raking in tens of millions of dollars as the strategic adviser to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. And as fast as the Republican political consultant was making money, he was spending it: millions on luxury homes and cars, $1 million for antique rugs, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2018

Prophetic interview on ‘ghost’ consultants

“The money’s the same, whether you earn it or scam it.” – Bobby Heenan NEW YORK City – My exclusive interview with Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant Shereen Santos Dulay of the Kabayan Immigration and Network Services Ltd sometime in July 2010 in Surrey, Canada, proved to be prophetic. When the Consulate General of the Republic […] The post Prophetic interview on ‘ghost’ consultants appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsAug 16th, 2018

Malaysia ex-PM Najib to face corruption trial in February

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s trial on corruption charges related to a massive financial scandal that led to his shock election defeat will start in February, a court said on Friday. Najib, 65, will stand trial for criminal breach of trust, money laundering and power abuse linked to billions of dollars allegedly [...] The post Malaysia ex-PM Najib to face corruption trial in February appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

US Embassy partners with the PHILJA to train judges on financial crimes

THE U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, through the U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT), and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) trained 28 Regional Trial Court judges on money laundering and financial crimes from August 7-8, 2018 in Cebu City. OPDAT and PHILJA have jointly conducted 25 […] The post US Embassy partners with the PHILJA to train judges on financial crimes appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsAug 9th, 2018