The City of London Police is cracking down on a Russian crime gang thought to have laundered millions through London’s futures market.
A Russian oil firm, a Swiss investment company and a British Virgin Islands investment company are believed to have helped them.
Detective Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police’s Money Laundering Unit, said: “Our investigation points towards a suspected Russian organised crime group using London’s futures market to launder millions of dollars worth of criminal revenue,” in a statement published on Wednesday.
“The City of London Police, working with law enforcement, government and the private sector, are committed to blocking and then stopping this type of behaviour and ensuring that the UK is viewed as a hostile place to launder the proceeds of crime generated both in this country and abroad.”
The City of London Police has so far seized $22 million, six weeks after arresting a City broker on suspicion of money laundering — the result of a four month investigation with Intercontinental Exchange Inc into suspicious trading on the futures market.
The 43-year-old Russian broker was arrested on March 23rd on suspicion of Fraud by Abuse of Position, and Money Laundering, and later released on bail until July. A British national was also interviewed under caution and released.
David Little, head of money laundering at the National Crime Agency said earlier this year that money laundering in the City was a huge business.
“We don’t know what the true amount is but it’s in the tens or hundreds of billions. It’s a truly terrifying number,” he said.