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The Global Laundromat


The Global Laundromat always sounded like an idea the Communists would be eager to claim as their own. It certainly has a nice ring to it; one Revolution, one leader, one Laundromat. Surprising­ly enough, the concept proved to be a reality, albeit indirectly starting in 2010.

In a Guardian investigat­ion, it was found that $20 billion was moved out of Russia over the course of the next four years, although it is estimated that the number could be as high as $80bn. On March 20, it was revealed that HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts along with 17 other British banks had assisted a Russian criminal gang with ties to the Kremlin and KGB to launder this money.

The following day, the conspiracy only grew tenfold when it was found that Deutsche Bank was involved. This developmen­t immediatel­y thickened the plot of collusion between Russia and the Trump presidenti­al campaign, as it was rightfully pointed out by reporters Luke Harding and Nick Hopkins that said bank had loaned Trump $300m.

Deutsche were implicated in the scheme once the Russian group used UK-registered companies to launder their wads by way of making fake loans between one another. Intentiona­lly defaulting on these loans, the accounts could then be transferre­d to Moldova by way of a group of judges from the Baltic state that enforced judgements against the businesses. Once there, it could be transferre­d to the Latvian bank Trasta Komercbank­a and from there the WORLD! (Queue evil laughter.)

Since Deutsche and Trasta were correspond­ent banks, they were actively involved in providing services to non-resident Russian clients. Unlike many other Wall Street banks, all of which were pulling out of Latvia as the scheme became apparent circa 2014, Deutsche remained on as did Commerzban­k. The former continued as a correspond­ent bank with Trasta until September 2015, or six months prior to the bank’s closure by national regulators.

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Downtown Riga

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