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Laundromat leaks show EU needs to overhaul bank oversight

Article by Kevin Holland, photo from Flickr and shared under the creative comms license.

The latest OCCRP leaks show just deeply illicit Russian money flows have penetrated Europe and its banking systems – as well as its political systems. If the EU wants get serious on money laundering, it is surely time for a powerful EU-wide regulatory body focused on money laundering.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, said:

“The European banking system should be a firewall that stops corrupt money from Russia and elsewhere being siphoned out of these countries’ economies. Instead, we see time and again how easy it is to launder and hide the proceeds of corruption, tax evasion or other criminal activities in Europe”.

The new Laundromat leaks show how Troika Dialog built a sophisticated web of companies, mainly offshore, to facilitate illicit flows. It is believed nearly $5bn was laundered through the Troika Laundromat, which includes connections to the Magnitsky affair.

The European parliament has now called an EU-level watchdog, given the scale and number of money laundering operations coming to light, not least the Danske scandal.

Money laundering is a cross-border crime which causes serious economic and democratic damage. It is known those responsible have used laundered money to buy themselves political cover from MEPs, NGOs, and more.

The case for EU-wide supervision is now overwhelming.

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