Western banks in Russian corruption scandal

15 September 1999

The FBI and US Congress are investigating allegations that the Bank of New York, the Republic National Bank and other Western financial institutions were involved in laundering IMF loans siphoned out of Russia by the mafia helped by top Kremlin officials. Amongst those being investigated is the former Russian Executive Director to the IMF, Konstantin Kagalovsky. It is believed that US$10bn, nearly half the IMF‘s loans to Russia since 1992, were siphoned out of the country. The US government has stated that it will not support release of the next US$640m slice of the $4.5 billion promised by the IMF in July until the laundering case is fully investigated. IMF officials are unhappy with the slow progress of the Russian authorities’ investigation into the case.