“This allowed us to prevent a possible large-scale international money laundering plot. The pre-trial investigation took nearly two years. All this time, a prosecutor applied temporary restriction of property rights to 2.9 million euros held at a Lithuanian banking institution,” Egidijus Zuzevičius, a senior Kaunas prosecutor, told a news conference on Tuesday.
The authorities established that the German company was making the transfers without any economic reasons, with documents without any legal significance submitted to withdraw the money at a bank.
As the legitimate owner of the money was never established, the money was transferred to accounts in Lithuania.
“The pre-trial investigation was launched after receipt of information about 2.9 million euros transferred to an account of a German company. The company’s representatives could not provide proper explanations to the bank about the purpose of the transfer or specify the planed transactions, causing suspicions at the bank,” said Rolandas Urbonas, acting head of the Kaunas unit of the Financial Crime Investigation Service.
The investigation established that the money had traveled from Nigeria to Georgia and was to be transferred to Bulgaria. The money was seized in Georgia, therefore, the money never reached Bulgaria, however, were transferred to Lithuania in the shape of a loan. The recipient in Lithuania was a German company headed by a Lithuanian national.
The authorities believe the purpose of the transfers was to conceal the origin of the cash.