A recently revealed Russian money laundering scheme involves a company registered in a residential row house in a small Dutch town, used to move billions of dollars to the west, the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw discovered.
According to an investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Troika Laundromat was a system that allowed Russian oligarchs and politicians to hide dirty money through complex banking transactions.
Owned by a company with a similar name in the British Virgin Islands, Quinta Capital Partners B.V. managed the assets of Russian multimillionaire Ruben Vardanyan, the director of the Troika Dialog, once Russia’s largest private investment bank, that found itself in the center of the latest money laundering scandal called the Troika Laundromat.
Leaked documents reveal the bank set up a network of offshore companies that blended legitimate payments with millions of dollars of fraudulent Russian capital and private funds of the country’s elite to mask the money’s origins.
The scheme allowed Russian oligarchs and politicians to secretly acquire shares in state-owned companies, to buy real estate both in Russia and abroad, to purchase luxury yachts, to hire music superstars for private parties, to pay medical bills, and much more.
Trouw reporters found that while Quinta is registered in the small town of Wormer – about 20 kilometers from Amsterdam – its employees were Russians who worked at a branch office in Moscow and at the same time for Vardanyan’s Troika bank and used Troika email addresses.
The leaked documents show that Quinta sent over $100 million across the globe and corresponded about contracts, loan agreements and accounts with the Lithuanian Ukio Bank which Troika used to transfer laundered funds to Europe. The exchanges discussed anonymous companies in tax havens.
In 2010, Quinta sent $5.7 million to cellist Sergei Roldugin, a childhood friend of Vladimir Putin and the godfather of his oldest daughter, the investigation revealed.
The Quinta offices in Russia are in stark contrast with the company’s humble Dutch headquarters. The Russian department still operates from a luxurious office space in the center of Moscow at the same address at which Troika Dialog operated until it was purchased in 2012 by Sberbank, the nation’s largest state-owned lender.