MOSCOW, October 20 (RAPSI) – Moscow police have arrested three individuals who are suspected of illegally funneling over 1 billion rubles (about $25 million) from Russia through shell companies, TASS reports on Monday, citing the Interior Ministry’s press center.
The money was transferred to bank accounts in Estonia and Latvia under sham contracts for the delivery of testing and measuring equipment, according to the police.
Acting and former top executives at two Moscow banks, heads of a number of shell companies are implicated in the case which was opened in accordance with an article of the Criminal Code on currency operations using forged documents.
Police would not provide further details on the companies and executives.
Searches in the apartments and offices of the suspects, companies and banks that could be involved in the transfer scam yielded items and documents of evidential significance.
One of the suspects, who face up to10 years in prison if convicted, was taken into custody. The other two were placed under house arrest.
Over 760 billion rubles (about $24 billion) were illegally transferred from Russia in 2010-2012 through a network of shell companies, according to Sergei Ignatyev, the chairman of Russia's Central Bank till June 2013.