SVT: Swedbank under investigation for possible US sanctions violations

Swedbank ATM in Estonia.
Swedbank ATM in Estonia. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

While United States and European Union sanctions forbid the companies from doing business with each other, major shareholders in Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov have sent almost €1 million to its American counterpart, the owner of Kalashnikov USA, with the help of Swedbank, Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Television (STV) reports.

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the U.S. responded with sanctions against government ministers, companies and oligarchs with ties to the war in Ukraine.

According to SVT, one of the companies placed on the list and prevented from doing business with the EU and U.S. was the crown of the Russian arms industry — the small arms producer Kalashnikov.

SVT has now revealed that the business network of Russian oligarch Iskander Mahkmudov, a shareholder of Kalashnikov Group in Russia and Swedbank Estonia's biggest client, has funneled over €1 million to counterparts at Kalashnikov USA.

The payments were sent in four transactions, from companies registered in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands. The money was deposited in Bank of America accounts controlled by key people at Kalashnikov USA, one of whom is the company's founder and owner, a Russian citizen living in Florida.

According to Swedbank, the information provided by SVT was previously known to the bank and remains under investigation. All conclusions of the bank's internal investigation, which is reviewing 30 billion transactions between the years of 2007 and 2019, are to be published early next year.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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