Posted on Wednesday April 17th, 2019 by Ragnar Sepp

Deutsche Bank and money laundering of $80bn

Recent investigation by The Guardian shows that Deutsche Bank was involved in a wide money laundering scheme with the possible total ammount of $80bn cash involved. Bank representatives admit that “significant disciplinary action” may be undertaken by the UK and USA regulators against the bank.

The scheme worked in years 2010-2014 aiming transferring money from Russia into the western financial system. With FSB and high officials of Kremlin linked.

So named The Russian Laudromat Scheme used UK, USA and Germany based companies (total of 2523 “high-risk entities” involved) which lend money to each other and then Moldavian courts recognized these debts as real. Then billions of money was transferred to Moldova and the Baltics via a bank in Latvia.

Deutsche Bank was used to launder the money via its corresponding banking network – effectively allowing illegal Russian payments to be funnelled to the US, the European Union and Asia. The Bank was entirely unaware of the scam until the Guardian and Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) broke the story on March 2017, the report says.


Our comment:

First of all, as we see the problem of money laundering is neither “non-residents doing business” nor lack of “connection with the country”. When money laundering takes place, it is always a big organization with considerable resources standing behind and allowing the whole story happen. Also, you will always find that the very same people are “organizing and managing the project”.

Second, it is sort of unclear how Deutsche Bank (possessing total control on transactions and containing a huge security department) appeared to be “entirely unaware”, when some journalists and non-governmental organization managed to reveal the scheme.

Third, if you want to stop money laundering or considerably decrease its turnover – start dealing with those, who are in charge for this in the first place. Which means – banks and bankers. Not with freelancers, self-employed entrepreneurs and small companies trying to start their tiny business. But upon some unclear reasons, it is only entrepreneurs to be blamed for something they are hardly aware of.