The national institute of finance of Andorra (INAF) appointed two external managing directors in one of five banks of Andorra – Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA) for carrying out internal investigation in response to official charge from the U.S. Treasury Department of money laundering received by BPA from russian criminal groups. As they say in the formal notice of department of financial crimes at the U.S. Treasury Department (FinCEN), BPA transferred through four American correspondent banks hundreds of millions dollars, despite all signs of illegality of this transaction.
Acting as the prime minister of the government of Andorra Antoni Martí (parliamentary elections in Andorra took place on March 1, and the new structure of the government is still finally not approved) declared that the government of Andorra will take all necessary actions to provide a continuity of financial operations of the bank, to protect his clients and to restore a reputation and faultlessness of a financial system of Andorra. “Andorra always fulfilled the obligations in fight against money laundering and actively cooperated with the international organizations”, – he added, having emphasized importance of prompt actions from executive power of Andorra in questions of investigation.
The American authorities, in turn, published the draft of the resolution which has to be executed in 60-day time. In the document it is said about existence of the bases necessary for the conclusion, that top managers of BPA (at least three) were engaged in the activity connected with money laundering and rendering services for natural and legal entities of such countries as Russia, China and Venezuela, involved in organized crime, corruption, fraud and human trafficking.
Among persons involved, in particular, are mentioned of Andrey Petrov — the businessman who immigrated from Russia and used BPA for washing of criminal money by means of false legal entities. In February, 2013 he was arrested by the Spanish authorities on a charge of washing of the sum more, than 50 mln euros. The consequence knows that he acted together with Semyon Mogilevich — one of ten the most searched people by FBI. Participation in illegal transactions is also mentioned in the document FinCEN from the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela of Venezuela, S.A.
After 60-day term the U.S. Treasury Department will have the right to make the decision to forbid financial institutions of the USA to open or operate correspondent and suspense accounts for BPA. And, it is only about office of BPA Andorra and doesn’t extend on the international subsidiaries of bank.
As BPA told all-andorra.com, the bank renders the maximum assistance of INAF in questions of investigation, and such cooperation already began. Thus neither about liquidity threat, nor about possible bankruptcy of bank can be mentioned. The only shareholder of BPA – Banco Madrid is also involved in investigation. The prosecutor’s office and department of financial investigation of Andorra are connected with this case directly.
Earlier in 2014 the authorities of Spain appealed to Andorra to block accounts of members of the Russian criminal group operating in the territory of the Spanish city of Lloret del Mar.