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Cablegate: Demarche to Austria On Questionable Transactions

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T VIENNA 003833

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/AGS - VIKMANIS-KELLER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2015
TAGS: PARM PREL MNUC KCRM KTFN KNNP EU AU
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE TO AUSTRIA ON QUESTIONABLE TRANSACTIONS
BY TWO AUSTRIAN BANKS

REF: STATE 220738

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Scott F. Kilner. Reasons: 1.4 (b) an
d (d).

1. (SBU) On December 7, Charge was able to reach Chancellery
Diplomatic Advisor Hans-Peter Manz by telephone as Manz was
about to leave with the Chancellor for Washington. Charge
presented the unclassified portions of reftel demarche, and
undertook to arrange for the classified portions to reach
Manz in Washington. Manz listened attentively to the points,
and said he would consider them carefully and inform the
Chancellor.

2. (S) In the absence of the Finance Minister, EconPolCouns
and Econ Unit Chief presented reftel points on December 7 to
xxxxx told us that
Austrian authorities welcomed our information, and wanted to
pursue cases that merited further action. They noted that
our list of incidents involved several diverse issues: some
were money laundering cases, some involved terrorist
financing, and others involved proliferation financing. This
involved different enforcement entities and legal frameworks.
xxxxx said they would consult with the various
Austrian agencies with a stake in these cases.

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3. (S) Many of the incidents we discussed were well known to
Austrian authorities, according to xxxxx, and in
some cases had been the subject of thorough investigations.
For instance, in the case related to Russian crime boss
Semyon Mogilevich, Austrian authorities had investigated the
Austrian head of Raiffeisen Investment AG in Kiev, but were
unable to prove that he had knowledge of the illegal
transactions. Therefore, Austrian authorities would be
"eager" to receive more evidence on this and other cases.
The Austrian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which resides
in the Federal Criminal Office, and the Financial Market
Authority (FMA), which oversees the banking sector, would
welcome concrete evidence, xxxxx said.

4. (S) Some terrorist finance cases concerned entities which
are not on the EU or UN lists, and therefore not subject to
legal sanctions.xxxxx noted that Austria, the
U.S. and Israel had worked for years on the case of the
Palestinian Association of Austria (PVOE), but there was
insufficient evidence to support listing. The PVOE was now
the subject of a pending court case.

5. (S)xxxxx said they would review our list of
cases with a view toward identifying specific information
requests. However, they added that the U.S. Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network (FinCEN) should work closely with the
Austrian FIU to identify concerns. This was especially the
case regarding questions arising from suspicious transactions.

6, (SBU) Post will continue to pursue this matter with
Austrian financial authorities.
Kilner

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