Sliding away their rubles, that’s what Russian oligarchs did via Hoofddorp
Money laundering investigation Rich Russians secured their often shady accumulated assets through the Netherlands. Detectives accurately mapped this out. Nothing happened with the knowledge.
The documents read like a brief history of the sell-out of the former Soviet Union, initiated under Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 2000. One by one the businessmen pass by who in those years grew into great oligarchs. For example, Dekker comes across the name of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who acquired state oil company Yukos and founded the Menatep bank. He encounters Boris Berezovsky, who got his hands on the Russian state broadcaster ORT. And to Roman Abramovich, who, with the help of Berezovsky, took over the oil wells of the state oil company Sibneft for a pittance.
The men paid much less for the communist state enterprises than the real value. According to Dekker, they probably gave bribes to the politicians who allowed this, or they filled their election coffers. The oligarchs then transferred their financial interests abroad, partly through the Netherlands, so that the Russian tax authorities no longer had a grip on them. In this way, Dekker suspects, the Netherlands has contributed to the laundering of ill-gotten assets of oligarchs.
“Russia has a capital flight of $1.5 billion a month,” he writes in a confidential note to the police chief. This is partly done through Dutch trust offices, administrative service providers with offices in various countries, who have dozens of (letterbox) companies at their disposal, prepare annual accounts and assist in transferring money from one letterbox company to another. This often seems to involve money laundering, writes Dekker: “Supervision of the trust sector leaves much to be desired.”