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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Austrians Say Diskont Bank Probe Went Wider

VIENNA -- The Austrian prosecutor's office said Monday that it was investigating a much larger sum than the $4 million it froze last August after Raiffeisen Zentralbank reported suspicious transfers from a Moscow bank.

Diskont Bank was shut down by central banker Andrei Kozlov amid his crackdown on money laundering. Kozlov was killed on Sept. 14.

Austrian prosecutors opened the investigation last August after Russian authorities started criminal proceedings against Diskont Bank and after Raiffeisen informed Austrian authorities about suspicious payments.

"There is a very strong suspicion that this money is of improper origin and that means we froze it," said Gerhard Jarosch, a spokesman for the Austrian prosecutor's office. "The $4 million has been frozen and more money, significantly more, has been transferred through Austria, but has already left the country."

The Financial Times reported Monday that the prosecutor's office was investigating transfers worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Jarosch said the sum was not hundreds of millions of dollars but "could be a large sum."

No one was immediately available for comment at Raiffeisen.

Last week, Russian prosecutors said they had finished their investigation into Kozlov's murder.

n The Moscow City Court on Monday rejected an appeal by Alexei Frenkel, the CEO of VIP-Bank charged in Kozlov's murder, to declare an earlier ruling by the Basmanny District Court illegal, Interfax reported. That ruling confirmed the charges against him.