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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Officials Demand Proof Of Laundering Charges




The United States has not provided Russia with any evidence of an alleged Russian money-laundering scheme at a U.S. bank, according to a Russian investigator visiting Washington on Thursday.


A Russian delegation has been in the U.S. capital this week to gather information on a case, which reportedly involves the illegal laundering of up to $10 billion through the Bank of New York.


U.S. media reports have described it as potentially one of the biggest money-laundering cases ever uncovered in the United States.


However, no one has been charged, and U.S. authorities have refused to discuss the investigation.


"U.S. law enforcement agencies did not show any documents that could confirm reports on the Bank of New York case,'' said Viktor Ivanov, the head of the Russian delegation and deputy director of the Federal Security Service.


"Many newspapers make references to reliable sources at the FBI, the Treasury Department or other institutions. I feel obliged to say that the information obtained from those 'sources' has not been confirmed in any way,'' he was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.


President Boris Yeltsin's government has been on the defensive following media reports that Russians masterminded the alleged scheme. The reports have also said that the Russian government may have mishandled money loaned by the International Monetary Fund.


Russian authorities have agreed to cooperate with the United States and other Western countries, but have shown no real enthusiasm for conducting their own investigation. The Russians have mostly called on the Western countries to provide proof of any wrongdoing.


Both houses of the U.S. Congress plan to hold hearings in coming weeks on the alleged scheme.


Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said in London that the allegations were part of a campaign to discredit Russia.


"We are ourselves deeply interested in exposing the facts of illegal capital outflow of Russia or bringing to light the business activities that violate world financial legislation,'' he was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.


But he added, "not a single fact vouching for Russian companies' involvement in illegal transactions has been cited.''


Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov criticized the reporting by the Western media and said he would present Russia's defense at the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly.