Markets-Based Money Laundering: Spotting the Signs Early

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The Russian Laundromat case – in which several Russian individuals bought securities through Deutsche Bank’s Moscow office and concurrently sold the same through the bank’s London office – is one of few cases of money laundering involving the markets to make headlines in recent years. These ‘mirror trades’ transferred billions in roubles originating in Russia to dollars paid into offshore companies based in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands between 2011 and 2015. The case resulted in the largest fine ever handed out by the FCA (£163 million) and revealed how large market players without adequate controls may be exploited to launder billions of pounds using relatively simple techniques.

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