Russian Mafia Laundered EUR 1 B through Bulgarian Firm - Report
The money was channeled through the company, and was deposited into Bulgarian banks. Some EUR 500 M were transferred to a financial company in Estonia, where the cash was withdrawn.
Most of the money belonged to organized crime groups from St. Petersburg, which used the channel to launder it, to evade taxes, and to execute illegal financial operations, according to the 24 Chasa Daily, which cites investigation data from Russia.
The investigation, which is going on in Bulgaria, is secret. Two persons were detained in Bulgaria on May 23, 2008, for this case - Elizabet Elena Von Messing and Dmitriy Abramkin. Von Messing is a Russian with Finish citizenship, and Abramkin had acted as her proxy. The court hearings on the detention of the two Russians are not open to the public.
Von Messing was the owner and manager of the Optima Ka Single Member Ltd, whose bank accounts were used to channel over EUR 1 B of money transfers coming from Russia. The firm's head office is located in downtown Sofia, at Vasil Levski 3 Blvd, but is currently sealed.
The Bulgarian prosecutors have charged Von Messing and Abramkin with money laundering and illegal financial transactions of about EUR 500 M by the Bulgarian prosecutors.
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"Von Messing had once been married to a member of the Saint Petersburg mafia, but von Messing denied the information, saying her first husband worked for the Russian intelligence services."
A close friend of Putin from KGB days? Is this money Putin's retirement stash?
According to the daily 24 Hours, about a billion euros of dirty Russian money were first transferred to a real estate and financial services company in Bulgaria, called Optima Ca.
That firm then wired half of the money to the Estonian financial house AS Tavid, which sent the cash back to Russia.
The rest of the money was transferred to accounts in Cyprus, Dubai, Hong Kong and other countries, according to the newspaper.
Optima Ca's owner Elisabeth Elena Von Messing, a Russian woman with a Finnish passport, told the newspaper that "the sum of one billion euros is the company's turnover" and that she didn't know why she was being accused.
Sofia's court spokeswoman Elena Trifonova confirmed that Von Messing and Optima Ca's executive director Dmitri Abramkin had been arrested on the prosecutors' request.
Von Messing was released on bail Dec. 23, but forbidden from leaving Bulgaria while Abramkin remains in detention.
Von Messin was convicted of tax fraud in Finland more than 10 years ago.
The newspaper alleged that she had once been married to a member of the Saint Petersburg mafia, but von Messing denied the information, saying her first husband worked for the Russian intelligence services.
Well the essence of the fraud is different - these are mafia money legalized, whereas Madoff is pure theft pyramid style.
Anything with Abram is Jewish - Abramovich, Abramov, Abramkin.
I am only assuming that Von Messing is also based on association and the fact that this isn't exactly a Russian name.
How do you know they are Russian Jews?
What is amazing is not the amount of money but the fact that it was done in less than a year. Mr. Made-off took 25 years to do what he did. 50 billion/25 years is not that much - only 2 billion/year, which is a very small amount of US GDP (gross domestic product). What percent is 500 million/year of Russian GDP? Or Bulgarian GDP? You can't evaluate the amount out of context.
you've got to agree that those two Russian Jews are small potatoes compare to what American ones are up to.
Just that one Medoff took them in for 50 billion (consider - the US debt to the Middle Eastern oil countries is 133 Billion, just as PO reference).
Right before that was Sam Israel, who actually attempted to fake suicide, by leaving his car by a bridge. (he only took half of billion)...