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Frankfurt Prosecutors Indict Five Men in Money-Laundering Probe

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Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Frankfurt’s prosecutor indicted five men for laundering 150 million euros ($195.5 million) they claim are proceeds from crime in Russia.

Among the indicted are current and former employees of Commerzbank AG and a Danish attorney. The suspects, who weren’t identified, are accused of diverting money from Russian companies between 1995 and 2008, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The men colluded with a former Russian telecommunications minister, who is also being investigated, according to the statement.

The probe has been pending for years and resulted in Commerzbank offices being raided in 2005. Commerzbank in 2008 paid a 7.3 million-euro sanction on claims it violated compliance rules. German financial regulator Bafin also found “flaws” in Commerzbank’s procedures for uncovering questionable transactions. Prosecutors previously identified the former Russian telecommunications minister as being Leonid Reiman.

Commerzbank spokesman Nils Hendrik Happich declined to comment. Efforts to reach Reiman through calls to an aide were unsuccessful.

-With assistance from Lyubov Pronina in Moscow. Editors: Christopher Scinta, Peter Chapman

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@Bloomberg.net.

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