Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Islamic group tied to Russian money laundering scheme

Russian police said Monday they believe a black market financing ring may have helped support the Islamic political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, banned since 2003.
Russian police said Monday they arrested seven members of a Central Asian criminal gang suspected of steering funds toward Hizb ut-Tahrir, a political organization banned in Russia since 2003. Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reports authorities seized more than $5 million from the members.
Hizb ut-Tahrir emerged in the 1950s as a Sunni group advocating strict Islamic law. Authorities in Kyrgyzstan told the BBC in 2010 the movement experienced a revival in Central Asia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.
Russian police were quoted by RIA Novosti as saying they suspected the financiers laundered money in Russian through financial channels "in the interests of natives of Central Asia illegally based in Russia."
Voice of Russia, in a separate report Monday, said the ring leaders transferred illegal funds to more than 120 different organizations, including offshore entities. They used so-called shadow bankers to transfer as much as $46 million per month through the illegal accounts.
Russian police provided few details about the arrest, which Voice of Russia said followed an 18-month probe.
Hizb ut-Tahrir claims to seek its objectives through peaceful methods

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 27 years of AML experience can also be found at: www.launderingmoney.com and on twitter at : http://twitter.com/#!/LaunderingMoney as well as his blog at: http://moneylaunderingworld.blogspot.com

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