Police are investigating how £6.6m from a Russian organised crime group has been allegedly traced to a banking agency within the UK, the BBC has discovered.
US courtroom papers have linked among the so-called “Magnitsky cash” – a £150m tax fraud scheme in Russia – to Renaissance Capital.
The data has been handed to police by Hermitage Capital, the unique sufferer of the Russian fraud.
Metropolis of London Police say an energetic investigation is below approach.
Sergei Magnitsky was an auditor at a Moscow regulation agency when he found what he mentioned was a large fraud by Russian tax officers and law enforcement officials.
After reporting the alleged theft of $230m (£150m) to the authorities, he was himself detained in 2008 on suspicion of aiding tax evasion and died in custody in November 2009.
He acted as a authorized adviser for London-based Hermitage Capital Administration (HCM), the place colleagues insist the case towards him was fabricated to make him halt his investigations.
Regardless of his demise Russian prosecutors determined to place him on trial – a case dismissed as a “circus” by his household and by HCM founder Invoice Browder, who was himself tried in absentia.
The US Justice Division highlighted the UK connection to suspected illicit funds after investigating how proceeds of the Russian tax fraud had been allegedly laundered into luxurious flats in New York.
US courtroom paperwork, seen by the BBC, present alleged wire transfers from the Russian organised crime group going into the UK checking account of Renaissance Capital – a Russian funding banking agency, which has workplaces in London.
The US investigation led to $6m being recovered by the New York district legal professional.
The recordsdata given to British police spotlight a lot of “cash laundering pink flags” over Renaissance Capital’s actions, though the US authorities haven’t advised Renaissance performed a job in, or had been conscious of, the unique Russian tax fraud.
Renaissance Capital has been contacted by the BBC however has not offered a response.
Mr Browder, who has campaigned for authorities to research the place the Magnitsky cash went, and who benefitted from the fraud, says the end result within the US ought to now immediate UK authorities to behave.
“This could present different regulation enforcement businesses world wide that this can be a strong case which ends up in huge monetary recoveries and it is worthwhile to pursue,” he mentioned.
“It ought to present the Metropolis of London Police that the knowledge led to a major monetary restoration for the US and there’s a robust argument for them to commit assets to struggle a a lot bigger attainable discovery of cash laundering within the UK.”
The US legal professional’s workplace of New York mentioned the organised Russian crime group, together with corrupt Russian authorities officers, “engaged in a broad sample of cash laundering with a view to conceal the proceeds of the fraud scheme”.
It mentioned in a posh collection of transfers by means of shell firms, the $230m from the Russian treasury was laundered into quite a few accounts in Russia and different nations.
Mr Browder and different anti-corruption campaigners have urged authorities to do extra to clamp down on suspected “soiled cash”.
He mentioned corrupt international officers should be prevented from having fun with lavish life in locations like London and New York with the suspected proceeds of crime.
“It is a scary factor for the Russian authorities to see that their cash just isn’t protected within the West,” he mentioned.
A brand new Legal Funds Invoice was handed within the UK in April 2017 giving authorities stronger powers to freeze property the place suspected illicit wealth is flowing into the UK.
Duncan Hames from marketing campaign group Transparency Worldwide mentioned it was now time for authorities to “flip up the warmth”.
“The strongest legal guidelines are solely paper with out a real dedication to implement them. We need to the police to actively examine cash laundering and it’s important they’re correctly resourced to take action.”