At least $32 billion left Russia in money laundering schemes last year

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First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov told a reporter on Sunday that the government estimated at least 1 trillion rubles ($32 billion) had left the country last year, Ria Novosti reports.

Zubkov made the admission in an interview with Vesti Nedeli on the state-owned Rossiya TV channel.

Most of this money appears to go to Latvia, Cyprus, Great Britain, Switzerland, France and Hong Kong. The Russian government, meanwhile, is working on ways to cooperate with these foreign governments to stem the outflow of capital.

Zubkov also took note of the large number of international property purchases made by Russians last year.

“…Frequently this money is not quite transparent and legitimate and requires a corresponding investigation,” Zubkov admitted.

A recent report suggested that interest in buying a second home abroad was five times higher than buying one domestically, according to Russia Today.

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