Letter to President Juncker on the Troika Laundromat case
To: Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Brussels, 14 March 2019
Dear President Juncker,
We, Members of the European Parliament, are addressing you in order to express our great concerns regarding the Troika Laundromat case and ask for appropriate measures to be taken by the European Commission.
As you may know, according to the latest banking leak, revealed by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) investigation, a now defunct Lithuania’s bank called Ūkio bankas along with other European banks transfered $4.6 billion into the European Union and the United States for a Russia’s largest investment bank called Troika Dialog which has now been merged with Sberbank, one of Russia’s national banks.
According to the accounts obtained by the investigation, the staff of Troika’s investment bank used Ūkio bankas’ accounts held by 70 offshore Troika Laundromat companies to launder the money. According to the data which was previously disclosed by the Panama leaks, millions of payments have been made to the offshore companies belonging to such notorious figures as Sergey Roldugin, the cellist and godfather to one of children of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. In addition, some of the transfers came from companies involved in the infamous $230 million theft from Russia’s Treasury that was uncovered by Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, before his death in the Russian jail custody.
Having said this, we are extremely concerned about this unprecedented scandal following previous Panama Leaks and other cases which have revealed the EU’s vulnerability and unpreparedness to fight financial fraud and money laundering. We acknowledge the efforts Commission has been taking such as the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and strengthening of European Banking authority. However, this case shows that much more still needs to be done.
We believe that an EU-wide anti-money laundering supervisory authority should be set up as a matter of urgency. In addition, we call on the Commission to help the Lithuanian and other authorities who are conducting the investigations to this case.
Furthermore, we believe that it is necessary to take urgent measures against the private individuals involved in this case such as Ruben Vardanyan who led the Troika Dialog and Vladimir Romanov, the ex-president of the now defunct Ūkio bankas, who has fled from Lithuania in 2013 and is now living in Russia under its authority’s legal protection. We urge the Commission to immediately start all necessary procedures in order to ensure that these and other persons involved in the Troika Laundromat case are put under the EU sanctions.
Taking into account your commitments to fight the money laundering across the borders we hope for your urgent action and attention to the issue.
Petras Auštrevičius, ALDE, Lithuania
Anna Fotyga, ECR, Poland
Gunnar Hökmark, EPP, Sweden
Rebecca Harms, Greens/EFA, Germany
Ana Maria Gomes, S&D, Portugal
Julie Ward, S&D, United Kingdom
Morten Helveg Petersen, ALDE, Denmark
Laima Liucija Andrikienė, EPP, Lithuania
Roberts Zīle, ECR, Latvia
Monica Macovei, ECR, Romania
Hans Reinhard Bütikofer, Greens/EFA, Germany
Ivan Štefanec, EPP, Slovakia
Wolf Klinz, ALDE, Germany
José Inácio Faria, EPP, Portugal
Mark Demesmaeker, ECR, Belgium
Petri Sarvamaa, EPP, Finland
Sandra Kalniete, EPP, Latvia
Bronis Ropė, Greens/EFA, Lithuania
Margrete Auken, Greens/EFA, Denmark
Milan Zver, EPP, Slovenia
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, S&D, Lithuania
Indrek Tarand, Greens/EFA, Estonia