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Cablegate: Murdered Russian Central Banker's Visit To

VZCZCXRO6217
RR RUEHLN
DE RUEHTL #1009 3171222
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131222Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9231
INFO RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2453
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 1264

UNCLAS TALLINN 001009

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN KCRM PREL PGOV PHUM RS EN
SUBJECT: MURDERED RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANKER'S VISIT TO
ESTONIA


1. (U) In early October, Estonian investigative paper
Eesti Ekspress published an article noting that recently-
murdered Russian Central Bank Vice-President Andrei Kozlov
visited Tallinn in June to meet with the Estonian Financial
Supervision Authority (FSA). According to the article,
Kozlov verbally demand the closing of several bank accounts
at Sampo Bank and Uhispank. He claimed that the accounts
were being used to launder large sums of Russian money
destined for the West. He alleged that the money
represented proceeds from tax evasion and money-laundering
schemes. Kozlov only made oral accusations; he did not
offer a written account. Since the October Eesti Ekspress
article was published, news regarding Kozlov's trip to
Estonia has dropped out of the Estonian press.

2. (SBU) GOE officials tell us that they have not found
any evidence of money laundering related to Kozlov's
warning. Andres Palumaa, financial auditor for the FSA,
told Poleconoff that, despite Kozlov's warning, the FSA
considers the accounts in question to be lawful and
reflective of normal volumes and activity. Palumaa
stressed that investigations were ongoing. While
contending that there is the possibility that something
illegal may be going on with the accounts at some level,
Palumaa said there is currently no evidence of wrongdoing
specifically tied to the Estonian accounts. Palumaa
speculated that the Estonian accounts could be one link in
a long chain of international financial transactions. As
to why Kozlov issued his warning orally instead of in
written correspondence, Palumaa stated that no Memorandum
of Understanding (MOA) exists between Russia and Estonia
concerning money laundering matters. As such, there was no
"official" method in place for Kozlov to give information
to the FSA. Palumaa said that after Kozlov's warning, the
FSA followed up with their Russian counterparts in Moscow,
but the Russians said that they had no information to
substantiate Kozlov's accusations.

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3. (SBU) According to MFA Russia Desk Officers Lauri
Kuusing and Marge Mardisalu-Kahar, the MFA considers
Kozlov's money-laundering warning a non-issue due to lack
of proof. However, Kuusing and Mardisalu-Kahar expressed
concern about the contract-style killing. They stressed
that the murder of a public official on city streets
underlines Russia's instability, specifically in the areas
of human rights and democracy. These issues, they stated,
not Kozlov's unproven allegations concerning Estonian bank
accounts, are Estonia's biggest worries about its neighbor.

WOS

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