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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

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

Malaysia steps up graft probe of fund linked to ex-leader

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) --- Malaysia's new government stepped up a corruption investigation into a state fund with a seven-hour police search of the home of former Prime Minister Najib Razak and the creation of a special committee to accelerate the probe. Police searched Najib's house until early Thursday morning and also raided an upscale condominium in Kuala Lumpur occupied by his family as part of the money-laundering investigation. Police took several boxes from the house containing mainly personal belongings such as handbags and clothing, but didn't find any incriminating documents, said Najib's lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal. He said several policemen went to an upsta...Keep on reading: Malaysia steps up graft probe of fund linked to ex-leader.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

Maute assets probed as AMLC focuses on terror financing

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) put focus on flagging terrorism money in 2017, including freezing and investigating bank accounts and assets of the ISIS-associated Maute group that waged war in Marawi City last year. The AMLC said it ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

DoF focused on broad bank secrecy easing, not gov’t officials’ bank accounts

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said its focus is on effecting a broad easing of bank secrecy to facilitate tax evasion or money laundering investigations, and is not specifically concerned with accessing the bank records of government officials. “The bill we are supporting is for everybody to be [included] but, subject to suspicions or evidence […] The post DoF focused on broad bank secrecy easing, not gov’t officials’ bank accounts appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 13th, 2018

Duterte on bank records, Lorenzana on Mercado, Trump admits Russian meddling in U.S. polls | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: President Rodrigo Duterte says he will 'give authority' to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission or PACC to look into his bank records.  Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana blames sacked Navy Chief Ronald Mercado for controversy surrounding the government's P15.7-billion frigate acquisition project.  An information technology expert says the server logs presented by Senator ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

U.S. prosecutor Mueller charges lawyer with lying in Russia probe

WASHINGTON DC, USA – Special prosecutor Robert Mueller unveiled charges of lying Tuesday, February 20, against a lawyer linked to a former campaign aide of President Donald Trump, as the probe into Russian election meddling gains pace. Mueller's powerful team of investigators accused Alex Van Der Zwaan of knowingly making ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2018

Trump lawyer says he paid $130,000 to porn star linked to president

WASHINGTON DC, USA (3rd UPDATE) – US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer told the New York Times Tuesday, February 13, he paid $130,000 of his own money to a porn star who once said she had an affair with Trump. The long-time Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, said he was not ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2018

Lacson on Trillanes’ wish to probe Duterte’s bank deposits: ‘What is the predicate crime?’

No matter how huge a public official's bank accounts are, only a suspected predicate crime can trigger an investigation of alleged money laundering under the law, Sen. Panfilo Lacson reminded his colleague Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2018

Trillanes eyes rap vs AMLC head over ‘cover-up’ of Duterte bank records

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV bared on Thursday his plan to file a case against the head of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for alleged "cover up" in connection with President Rodrigo Duterte's bank records.   "Plano ko rin pakasuhan si AMLC Exec. Dir. Racela sa pag-cover-up at pag-deny na ang mga flagged bank transaction documents ay hindi galing sa AMLC samantalang ito ay nakasaad sa minutes ng AMLC meeting noong May 2016 na ito ay parte ng MOA with the Ombudsman to provide such documents for intelligence purposes," Trillanes said in a statement.   (I plan to sue AMLC Exec. Dir. Racela over covering-up and denying that the flagged bank transaction docu...Keep on reading: Trillanes eyes rap vs AMLC head over ‘cover-up’ of Duterte bank records.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2018

President can’t discipline deputy ombudsman, says SC in 2014 ruling

Does the Office of the President have administrative and disciplinary jurisdiction over a deputy ombudsman? A Supreme Court decision dated Jan. 28, 2014 (G.R. 196231) says no. The administrative juridiction of the Office of the President's administrative jurisdiction became an issue again with Malacaang's decision to preventively suspending Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang. Carandang was suspended for 90 days for making public the documents related to President Rodrigo Duterte's bank accounts. He said the documents came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), but the AMLC denied being the source of the documents. In its Jan. 28, 2014 decision, th...Keep on reading: President can’t discipline deputy ombudsman, says SC in 2014 ruling.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 29th, 2018

Roque defends Duterte, daughter: Give me AMLC-authenticated documents

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Herminio Harry L. Roque, Jr. challenged critics and reporters yesterday, Jan. 22, to produce bank statements authenticated by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to support Vera Files’ report alleging that “President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio did not declare their P100 million in investments.” “The reality […] The post Roque defends Duterte, daughter: Give me AMLC-authenticated documents appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

Stricter AMLA reporting guidelines set to take effect

MANILA, Philippines – The stricter registration and reporting guidelines of the  Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)  are set to take effect on Thursday, January 4. This is part of the government's campaign against money laundering and terrorism financing, which was highlighted when $81 million stolen from Bangladesh's central bank was coursed through ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

Singapore hands life ban to banker in 1MDB-linked cases

SINGAPORE – Singapore on Tuesday, December 19, banned a jailed banker from working in its financial services industry for life over his links to the international money-laundering scandal involving neighboring Malaysia's state fund 1MDB.  Financial regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) handed the punishment to Yeo Jiawei, noting he had ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 19th, 2017

FIFA suspends Brazilian soccer president Marco Polo del Nero

By Stephen Wade and Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Marco Polo del Nero was suspended as president of Brazil's soccer confederation on Friday, two years after he was indicted in the United States on charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. FIFA said Del Nero was under an ethics investigation and has been banned for 90 days from all soccer activities. Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 when other FIFA colleagues were arrested. They included Jose Maria Marin, who was at the time the head of the Brazilian confederation, known as the CBF. Marin and two other South American soccer officials have been on trial in New York. Del Nero was indicted on Dec. 2, 2015. "As many Brazilians that love soccer, my hope is that he is banned for good," soccer great Romario — now a Brazilian federal senator — wrote on his Facebook page. "Del Nero has already had his crimes exposed along with those of other crooks like Jose Maria Marin, who is in jail in the United States, and (former CBF president) Ricardo Teixeira who is still on the loose in Brazil. They all used CBF to get illegally rich." Del Nero's lawyers said in a statement that he is going to appeal FIFA's suspension. They insisted there was no evidence against him. The attorneys labelled the ethics committee report "funny investigative speculations." They argued Del Nero took office as CBF president in 2015 and should not be linked to contracts from previous administrations. FIFA failed to ban Del Nero until Friday. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been questioned about him in recent days. Infantino was photographed at last year's Olympics receiving a Brazilian soccer shirt from Del Nero, and reporters questioned him about Del Nero at the World Cup draw this month in Moscow. "So whatever comes out of these trials, we will deal with it," Infantino said of the U.S. investigation. "We have ethics committees, disciplinary committees. They will deal with these questions. It's not for the FIFA president to deal with them. We have institutions for that." Del Nero has not traveled from Brazil for several years, fearing arrest and extradition to the United States. Brazil has an extradition treaty with the U.S. but seldom sends its own citizens abroad for trial. Brazil's team is among the favorites to win next year's World Cup, but many doubt Del Nero will go there to support the team. The CBF appointed vice president Antonio Carlos Nunes to fill in for Del Nero and did not offer an immediate comment on Del Nero's suspension. Brazilian law does not ban private or commercial corruption. There needs to be a government body or official involved, or taxpayer money. Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, was arrested two months ago in Brazil, partly for trying to hamper an investigation into his Brazilian tax declaration. He was eventually charged with money laundering and running a criminal organization. Brazilian and French authorities say Nuzman helped channel $2 million in bribes to help win votes from International Olympic Committee members to stage the 2016 Olympics. Del Nero's name has come up in the U.S. corruption trial. Prosecution witness Jose Hawilla, a Brazilian sports marketing executive, testified Del Nero was among top South American soccer officials who needed to be bribed to secure media contracts to tournaments. In one taped conversation, jurors heard Hawilla in an exchange talk about a $900,000 payment apparently owed to Del Nero or Marin. Del Nero has also been openly criticized by Brazil coach Tite, who is credited with making the team a World Cup favorite. Tite signed an open letter opposing Del Nero before Tite was hired as coach last year. Since then, he has softened his stance but still opposes Del Nero. "This is the best way I can contribute to soccer, offering what I know," he said after being hired as coach. "The ideas of transparency and democratization remain as my principles." ___ Savarese reported from Sao Paulo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2017

Bank admits breaching Aussie dirty money laws

SYDNEY: Australia’s biggest bank, the Commonwealth, has admitted more than 50,000 breaches of anti-money laundering laws, but said it will defend a host of others claims brought against it. The lender, the country’s largest company by market capitalization, was hit with a civil case by Australia’s financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC in August. AUSTRAC alleged the… link: Bank admits breaching Aussie dirty money laws.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 14th, 2017