A bank has been accused of being a money laundering operation by a new report that has sparked anger among Russian politicians and raised concerns about how the Russian government deals with foreign currency.
The investigation was launched by a parliamentary committee which accused the state-owned bank of running a money-laundering operation by selling assets to the Russians.
“We don’t have any money to spend.
We can’t buy a car,” said one person, referring to a luxury car.
In December last year, the government had banned the use of Russian ruble, the Russian currency, as an international currency.
But it did not stop foreign banks from buying up Russian assets.
Now a report has shown how Russian banks have continued to trade in Russian assets, even as Russia has introduced strict measures to clamp down on the illicit money flows.
The investigation by the Russian parliamentary committee has prompted questions from opposition leaders, who accuse the bank of using Russian rubles as an easy way to launder money.
The report also raises questions about the role of some of Russia’s largest financial institutions.
According to the report, the bank’s Moscow-based subsidiary, Bank Rossiya, made around $9 billion (5.2 billion euros) in sales of assets to foreigners.
It said the sales were conducted with the consent of the bank.
A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment on the report.
Russia has a large, ageing banking sector, with many banks struggling to survive on their own.