Estonian crook's Al-Qaida connection

  • 2008-01-10
  • By Mike Collier

TALLINN -- Press reports in Estonia say that five young Russian Estonians have been charged with money-laundering in a case that may involve connections to the international terrorist organization, Al-Qaida.

The Eesti Ekspress newspaper says that Estonian police have been investigating the men ever since British police contacted them in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings in which 56 people were killed.

One of the suspected ringleaders of the bombing was found to have had an Estonian telephone number on his mobile phone, and to have made at least two money transfers to Estonia.

The paper says that the amounts transferred to Tallinn were significant.

Police targeted IT expert I.K.* and uncovered a sophisticated money-laundering operation. A search of his apartment reportedly discovered around half a million kroons (40,000 euros) in cash.

K. was sentenced to five years in prison of which he will serve eight months.



*This information has been changed due to the amount of time which has passed since the incident occurred.