Transfers of money into offshore accounts have decreased by approximately one half. That's what the head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service Yuri Chikhanchin reported at a meeting with Vladimir Putin. They discussed the results of the service's work in recent years — the most impressive figures in the fight against money-laundering. Over 5 years, the amount of money returned to the state as a result of suppression of money-laundering has increased by 6 times. And they're managing to eliminate 500,000 fly-by-night company per year.
Andrey Grigoriev has the details of where shadow money is hidden and how they get it out of the shadow.
Rosfinmonitoring is the Russian financial intelligence service whose activity has an immediate economic effect. They return hundreds of billions of rubles to the budget annually. It's accountable directly to the president.
Vladimir Putin: "The amount of money returned to the state increased by 6 times since 2013".
Yuri Chikhanchin, Head of Rosfinmonitoring: "Yes, as a result of suppression of money-laundering. There are more entities being monitored but also there's less participation in shady transactions. It means that entities are becoming significantly more law-abiding."
When the service was created in the early 2000s, Russia was included in a blacklist as a country whose economy is mainly shadow. Now, Rosfinmonitoring is among the leaders in the world's fight against financial crimes. They have impressive results and use the most modern methods.
Yuri Chikhanchin: "We're working on the creation of artificial intelligence together with the Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education to counteract money-laundering. There's some behavioral model of, let's say, a terrorist. It's already described and submitted to the banks. In the course of further work on criminal cases and financial investigations, the machine selects new features and adds them".
Complex financial schemes aren't necessarily used only to finance drug trafficking and terrorism. Many non-profits cover their trail. And this arouses suspicion.
Yuri Chikhanchin: They still receive foreign funding, and not everything of it is for good purposes. We monitor about 80 billion. We're trying to figure out…
Vladimir Putin: 80 billion came from foreign sources?
- Yes. They include sources which are of a destructive nature. We closely cooperate with the FSB.
The financial intelligence searches for the property of broken credit organizations, others provide advisory services. The government decided that Promsvyazbank will carry out defense procurement and acquisition transactions. It's a new area of business for it. And the same Rosfinmonitoring trains the bank's employees.
Yuri Chikhanchin: We've managed to significantly decrease the number of bogus companies taking part in the defense procurement and acquisition.
Vladimir Putin: Significantly, but they're still many.
- There are certain issues. We and Promsvyazbank are now working on those clients and trying to understand to what extent and how those enterprises can be financially rehabilitated.
- Of course, you need to pay special attention to the companies performing state defense orders which are involved in shady transactions.
Fraud schemes involving regional budgets, fly-by-night firms, 500,000 of which they shut down annually, illegal transactions made in notary offices — Rosfinmonitoring monitors everything connected with illegal money flows. They don't only need to reveal them but also direct toward the state. And the figures show that the service is successfully dealing with it.
Andrey Grigoriev, Irina Kharlamova, Natalia Gubina for Vesti.