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  Friday, October 18, 2019
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Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning Friday that billions of rubles were being channeled into terrorism and the drugs business
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning Friday that billions of rubles were being channeled into terrorism and the drugs business, and called for legislative amendments to counter suspicious bank operations. Putin told a meeting with security and banking officials two days after the Central Bank's leading official in efforts to combat banking-sector crime was fatally shot that the clean-up had to be continued with legislative and other efforts. "I think it is necessary, while observing current banking legislation and market participants' interests, to clarify the normative legal base of banking institutions' work with their clients, which - by a number of objective criteria - arouses suspicions that they are dishonest," Putin said at a conference with senior security and Central Bank officials. Putin also suggested an interdepartmental group be formed to counter crimes in the banking sphere. He said the killing of Andrei Kozlov, the Central Bank's first deputy chairman, showed the situation with economic crime was deteriorating. Kozlov, 41, died Thursday morning after gunmen opened fire on him with semi-automatic weapons late Wednesday as he left a sports stadium in the northeastern Moscow district of Sokolniki. Kozlov's driver was also killed in the attack, which bore all the hallmarks of a contract killing. The central banker had been at the forefront of efforts to close down dozens of banks for violations of banking legislation, particularly on money laundering, and Central Bank regulations. Two high-profile cases centered on the revocation of licenses from Moscow-based Sodbiznesbank in 2004 and Neftyanoi Bank this year, but the CBR has been withdrawing licenses almost by the week in 2006. Putin said billions of rubles were cashed every month in Russia to finance terrorism and drug crime. "What we are witnessing is the cashing of billions of rubles every month that are being used, in particular, for terrorism and operations of the narco-mafia," he said. Russia has more than 1,000 small banks that are often controlled by one interest-group for its own needs, which has led to legislation against money laundering and terrorist financing being enacted in 2001.
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