Moscow bank raided in money laundering probe

18 October 2006

The Russian authorities have raided Vek Bank in central Moscow as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering, media reports claim.

Russian interior ministry officers carried out the raid on the bank, a commercial operation which specializes in financing Russian publishing projects, following claims that it laundered up to $500 million, AFX News reports.

Interior ministry officials also confirmed to the news agency that several executives of the bank had been included as suspects in the investigation, along with other high-profile figures from New Economic Position bank – also implicated in the money laundering.

In a statement, the officials said that several organizations were used by New Economic Position to launder the money, leading to the cooperation of law enforcement agencies across Europe.

The raid comes as Russian authorities attempt to crack down on illegal activity within the country's financial sector.

Last month, central banker Andrei Kozlov appeared to pay the price for his drive to clean up the sector when he was shot dead by gunmen.

Three people have since been arrested for the killing.

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