Bill Browder: ‘OM must investigate Russian money launderers’ | NOW

British human rights activist Bill Browder is asking the Public Prosecutor’s Office to launch a criminal investigation into a Russian businessman. According to Browder, this businessman is responsible for the fact that millions have been laundered in the Netherlands.

Browder filed a complaint against businessman Dmitry Klyuev. He is the “mastermind” of a worldwide money laundering operation, according to the U.S. Public Prosecutor’s Office. Klyuev was previously convicted of fraud in Russia, but received only a light sentence. He is said to have raised money by collaborating with what many believe is the ‘deeply corrupt’ Russian government. Klyuev is now on the sanctions list in the United States, Britain, Canada and the Baltic countries.

Real estate was seized in Latvia and Belgium, bank accounts were frozen in Switzerland. French, Spanish, Estonian and Danish authorities are investigating the case.

According to Browder, Klyuev has placed fifteen million dollars in eight different bank accounts in the Netherlands, including ABN AMRO. As early as 2017, Browder reported for the first time money laundering and participation in a criminal organization, but never received a response from the prosecution. “After five years of waiting, I am disappointed with the Dutch government,” he told NU.nl.

Last week, sanctions coordinator Stef Blok stated that there is not much more to do when it comes to imposing sanctions on Russia. Browder expressed strong criticism of NU.nl: “Block has to dig deeper.” Browder also believes that Prime Minister Rutte “has been prioritizing business relations with Russia for far too long”.

Browder wrote bestseller about his fight against corruption

Bill Browder achieved world fame for his years-long fight against corruption in Russia. His book was recently published Pursued by the state mafia, storms bestseller lists worldwide.

In his book, Browder describes how he was declared a persona non grata in 2006. His firm Hermitage Capital came into the hands of rogue officials in Russia. They received a tax refund of no less than $ 230 million in their pockets.

Browder’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky paid for his investigation into this abuse with death. Browder promised Magnitsky’s relatives that the perpetrators would pay.

Who is Bill Browser?

  • Browder is one of the harshest critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Browder accuses Putin of pocketing money on a large scale.
  • He has called for severe sanctions against people guilty of corrupt practices for 12 years.
  • These sanctions laws bear the name of Sergei Magnitsky, Browder’s former employee who was on the trail of a major corruption scandal.
  • On November 16, 2009, Magnitsky was murdered in a Russian cell after severe torture.
  • The then US President Barack Obama signed the Magnitsky Act, a US law full of measures against senior Russians involved in corruption.
  • According to the US judiciary, Russian businessman Dmitry Klyuev is a key figure in the corruption case that Magnitsky was on the trail.
  • According to Browder, Klyuev laundered some of the stolen money in the Netherlands.

Browder launched a worldwide campaign to pass the so-called Magnitsky Act. Under this law, countries can put people guilty of corruption or human rights violations on sanction lists. For example, their financial assets can be frozen and it is no longer possible to travel to the country imposing the sanctions. In 2012, the United States was the first country to pass the Magnitsky Act.

In December 2020, the European Union introduced a sanctions law that allows for the freezing of financial assets and the introduction of entry bans. Under pressure from Hungary, the law does not bear Magnitsky’s name. Under the law, only human rights violators can be sanctioned and not persons guilty of corruption.

The stolen money also ended up in the Netherlands via via

According to Browder, the $ 230 million was laundered by Klyuev and his accomplices through a jumble of companies. It then ended up in Western Europe and the United States. One of the channels was the now defunct Universal Savings Bank. That bank belonged to Klyuev. According to the US investigating authorities, $ 97 million has been laundered here alone.

According to a detailed study conducted by Browder and his team, a total of more than 15 million euros were transferred to eight different accounts in the Netherlands through companies and frontrunners under Klyuev’s control. These are bank accounts in ABN AMRO, MUFG Bank, Garantibank and Amsterdam Trade Bank, which have since been declared bankrupt, which was a subsidiary of the Russian Alfa Bank.

Amsterdam Trade Bank was previously investigated by the FIOD (Tax and Customs Investigation Service) because it is said that there is insufficient supervision of possible money laundering practices. Browder suspects that this Alpha Bank “deliberately participated in the criminal network or was deliberately negligent”. In addition, the prosecution has recently launched an investigation into ABN AMRO. There, too, the money laundering investigation would have been inadequate.

In 2020, attorney Van Straaten again filed a complaint against Klyuev on behalf of Browder because much new evidence has emerged in the intervening years. But neither the 2017 statement nor the 2020 statement, according to Van Straaten, has ever received a response.

The public prosecutor’s office can not make any announcements about the Klyuev case, a spokesman told NU.nl.

How this article came about

  • NU.nl interviewed Bill Browder and his lawyer Barbara van Straaten for this piece.
  • We also reviewed several U.S. legal documents and public sources.
  • And we were able to see the statement against Klyuev from 2020. Complemented by further research from Browder.
  • Klyuev has repeatedly denied his involvement in money laundering in recent years.

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