Posts Tagged ‘levin holle’

April 2013

UK fund boss warned Germany about Russian money in Cyprus


UK fund manager Bill Browder, one of the Kremlin’s harshest critics, briefed German officials on Russian money laundering in Cyprus just before the European Union set tough terms for the island’s bailout.

He said at least $31 million was laundered through Cyprus bank accounts, funds that were part of a $230 million fraud his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky discovered before his death in a Moscow prison in 2009.

Browder said the Mediterranean island, one of the most important conduits for Russian money transfers, opened an investigation in December into the allegations the businessman first made in 2008.

Once the largest fund manager in Russia through his $4 billion Hermitage fund, Britain-based Browder is currently on trial in absentia in Russia on fraud charges. He denies any wrongdoing and says the charges are politically motivated.

“When Cyprus started to ask the Europeans for a 17 billion euro bailout, it seemed to me absurd that we should be bailing out Cyprus if they are unwilling to investigate the most well documented money laundering cases,” Browder said.

Browder spoke with Levin Holle, director general of financial markets policy at Germany’s ministry of finance, at a meeting last month confirmed by the ministry.

“There was a German team of people at a fairly senior level that were involved in structuring the Cyprus bailout. And they were very interested in what we had to say about this,” Browder said.

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