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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EDITORIAL: Pockets of Expats Must Be Checked

The Central Bank has come up with a brilliant take on fighting capital flight. It seems the reason Russia has been hemorrhaging billions of dollars every year - the reason the Russian nation remains a net exporter of capital - is that expats have been flying into the country to visit or work, and every time they leave, it seems they've got some money in their pockets.

So naturally - being concerned about truth and justice as they are over there at Viktor Gerashchenko's Central Bank - it's been decided that all expats should be made to empty their pockets at the airport. And if they've got more than $200 or $300 on them, well, they're just going to have to leave it behind.

Because it adds up, you know. All of those pocketfuls. If you can stop, say, 200,000 foreigners from carrying $200 out of this great nation, then that's ... $40 million you've kept in Russia! Right? Well, yes, assuming none of those foreigners used an ATM machine in Russia ... to, uh, withdraw money from an account abroad ...

So how about that Bank of New York?

See, this is why we need new Customs rules about foreigners carrying money out of Russia, in their pockets! Because somebody may have been laundering somewhere between $4 billion and $10 billion of Russian mob money in just one bank account.

If only the anti-capital flight-crusading Russian Central Bank could get its hands on that $10 billion - imagine the good it could do! For starters it could hire sniffer dogs and X-ray machines to watch those foreigners leaving with more than $200 in their pockets.

It could also extend new enormous loans to failed Russian banks so we could all watch them not pay their depositors again and laugh at us.

And anyway, how is SBS-Agro doing these days? Isn't it time the Central Bank gave them another couple hundred million dollars? It's been, oh, weeks since the Central Bank did so. Surely the farmers and depositors are crying out in alarm. (What about the harvest!)

Best of all, if the Central Bank could have somehow kept that $4 billion or whatever in Russia, then it could have sent it abroad to one of its daughter companies in the Channel Islands or Cyprus. Because if you put the nation's money in a shell company with no office or address or employees, like FIMACO, then it's, uh, safe.

Because foreigners can't find it there.

And that's good for Russia.

Because if foreigners found that money, they might, uh ... put some of it in their pockets and try to leave Russia.

And this is what we're talking about!