Money laundering gang detained

  • 2008-09-29
  • In cooperation with BNS
VILNIUS - The Lithuanian Financial Crime InvestigationService detained persons belonging to an international gang suspected oflaundering more than 36 million litas (10.43 million euros) in Latvia andLithuania.

Officers of the FCIS Siauliai county unit detained two residents ofRadviliskis, a small town 200 kilometers north of Vilnius, outside acommercial bank. The suspects, aged 26 and 27, were apprehended in aninvestigation into fraud and legalization of illegal cash.

The suspects were detained as they were walking out of the bank aftercashing out 53,000 Latvian lats. Later searches at homes and cars of thedetained suspects revealed documents and other items belonging to Latviancompanies, as well as another 100 lats and 1,500 litas.

The two men are suspected of using forged letters of authorization ofLatvia-registered companies (at least 12, according to preliminaryinformation), which enabled them to manage bank accounts of the Latviancompanies, which carried out no economic or financial activities. Thelaw-enforcement suspects that the companies were used to conceal andlegalize money through financial transactions.

Upon receipt of the cash to bank accounts of the Latvian companies, thesuspects divided the sums and made bank transfers to accounts of otherLatvian companies. The money was later cashed and returned to Latviancitizens.