Money Laundering Taking Heavy Toll on Russian Economy

Russia lost 413 million rubles ($16 million) in the first five months of 2007 as a result of money laundering, RIA-Novosti quoted a Russian  Interior Ministry official Tuesday.

Yevgeny Shkolov, head of the ministry's economic security department, said his unit alone tracked down some 2,680 money-laundering incidents between January and May of this year - a 14% increase year-on-year.

The total number of such crimes detected across the nation was 4,390, he said.

"Some 4,390 crimes related to money laundering were tracked in the Russian Federation in the first five months of this year, including 1,257 on a large scale," Shkolov said.

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