MOSCOW - About $2.5 trillion in criminal proceeds is laundered around the world, Viktor Melnikov, Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, said at the conference “Urgent issues of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing” on Tuesday.
According to him, a rise in money laundering is due to such factors as globalization, an increase in cross-border operations, the appearance of new financial tools, the development of the hi-tech sector, and, as a result, a decline in the possibilities of controlling agencies to control money laundering.
In particular, Mr. Melnikov specified the problem of banks’ correspondent accounts with so-called “bank-membranes” – banks that do not have their offices in the country. In his opinion, such operations significantly increase the volume of money laundering.
Mr. Melnikov recalled that the inspections of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) visited Russia in September 2002 and in April 2003. According to him, FATF officials praised the performance of the banks they checked (checks were carried out in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tula, Yekaterinburg and some other Russian cities). Russia was admitted to FATF in June 2003.