Dirty Money and State Collapse
2015 July 25
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This is a really good bit of work. The interplay of Russian and European businesses, particularly in the tech sector, and the role of current and/or former intelligence officers and agents, is likely behind some portion of the activity we call Kremlin Trolls. This skanky business in Switzerland comes to mind.

Dirty Money and State Collapse
Dirty money from the US computer company Hewlett-Packard helped Russia’s autocrat Vladimir Putin secure his power
. (PDF archive)

Here is a taste:
...Before long, the officials come across suspicious dealings relating to 21 million Euros that had been written off, but do not fit into the small business’s regular dealings. The computer salesman had accounted for contracts worth millions of Euros in Russia even though his company has neither the staff nor the means for such deals.

Something is wrong. The public prosecutor’s office is called in, along with INES, the “Saxony Integrated Investigation Unit” which is specialized in complex corruption cases. The police rummage through piles of documents, finding ever more connections, accounts and abysses. As if they were peeling an onion. Before long, the tax evasion of a small business owner in Delitzsch turns into a corruption case that leads to the top of the Russian state.

The source of the money is soon uncovered: the American computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP). Prosecutors allege that Ralf K. established a slush fund in early 2004 in cooperation with HP. First, a German subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard delivered computers and software for around 11 million Euros to Ralf K. And then Ralf K., according to state investigators, sold the same goods back to HP for around 21 million Euros. The profit, after provisions and expenses: around 9.3 million Euros.

But Ralf K. is only a henchman, one cog in a larger game. He does not receive orders from HP, but from the Russian Sergej B, according to state prosecutors. He has been friends with Ralf K. since the early 1990s when Sergej B. did an internship in Saxony. After that, the Russian and the German established companies with almost identical names and did business together across the former Soviet empire...

Hie thee hence and read it all

© 2015 Andrew Aaron Weisburd