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Breaking up stolen funds into ever-smaller amounts is standard money-laundering practice (Photo: Mohd Fazlin)

Investigation

Smurfing: How Russians laundered €4m in Belgium

It was 'just' €4m.

It paid for a flat in the Belgian city of Antwerp, some 10 carats' worth of diamonds, designer clothes, a lot of fruit, and a mixed bag of construction and engineering equipment.

The money was part of a €200m fortune which was stolen by a Russian group in Moscow, moved out via Danish and Cypriot banks, and spent in similar ways all over Europe.

The method is called "Smurfing" by money-laundering experts - using minions, like the little blue men in the po...

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Author Bio

Andrew Rettman is EUobserver's Foreign Affairs Editor. He has been writing about foreign and security affairs for EUobserver since 2005. He is Polish but grew up in the UK. He has also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Times of London.

Breaking up stolen funds into ever-smaller amounts is standard money-laundering practice (Photo: Mohd Fazlin)

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Author Bio

Andrew Rettman is EUobserver's Foreign Affairs Editor. He has been writing about foreign and security affairs for EUobserver since 2005. He is Polish but grew up in the UK. He has also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Times of London.

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