Interior Minister : USD 9 billion has been illegally taken out of Russia in 2003

USD 9 billion has been illegally taken out of the country in 2003 by using forged documents. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by the press office of the Russian Interior Ministry, this was announced yesterday by Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov. He said that billions of dollars are taken out of the country by forging contracts, usually by offering financial services. 'These operations are carried out by about twenty different Russian banks,' Mr Gryzlov said.

Another way of taking money out of the country is by illegally reimbursing VAT and about 30-40 banks employ this method. 'These banks make a deal with those who are able to take the money out of the country on the basis of a forged contract for financial services,' Mr Gryzlov said.

The minister stressed that it is very important to protect the financial resources of the banking system from this form of criminal activity. He said that the Interior Ministry and the Russian Central Bank had decided to create a joint working group as a result of this. 'We think it is essential to work together with the Central Bank and commercial banks which can help to prevent money from leaving the country,' Mr Gryzlov said.

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