Over 66,000 people hide from Russian justice in various parts of the world. Alexander Zvyagintsev, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, said that wealthy fugitives prefer countries with liberal legislation and seek political asylum there although it usually goes about economic crimes.
“We are concerned about refusals based on political motives, when other countries provide shelter on the basis of far-fetched reasons in violation of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Many of such fugitives found shelter in Great Britain. There are similar problems with Austria and Sweden. Last year we received far-fetches, as we believe, refusals from Germany and Finland,” the official said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper.
The majority of outlaws settled in Israel and Britain, the official said. The British capital has become known as Londongrad for that reason.
“It seems that London, being a large financial center of the world, is becoming a large laundry house for criminally accumulated funds,” Zvyagintsev said.
The geography of the countries, where Russian economic criminals are trying to hide, has been expanded recently owing to exotic states, with which Russia has no adequate agreements on delivery of economic criminals.
“There are problems with so-called offshore zones. They are, for example, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands and some other territories that refuse to cooperate with Russia claiming that they have no adequate agreements with us,” the official said.
Last year it was agreed to deliver 289 economic criminals to Russia. This number is larger than that in 2008. Nevertheless, the amounts of the laundered money, which foreign countries returned to Russia, pales in comparison with what was embezzled and taken out of Russia during the recent decades.