Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Money-Laundering Story

This is a little 'dirty' affair, which is likely now to drag itself out in public, and involve the court system.  It also exposes the corruption within the German society, and the government.

ARD (public German TV, Channel One) tells most of the story.

Five years ago....the state of Bavaria bundled up 32,000 public-owned/Bavaria-state owned apartments, and sold them to an investor group.  The amount of money at the center of this....comes to roughly 2.5 billion Euro....a fair sum of money. 

It was Bavarian state property....not private residences.

At the time, some questions were asked about the logic of this.....why it needed to be operated by a private group, instead of the state operation.  But that was not the end of the questions.  The method of payment led to speculation of money-laundering.

So there is now an investigation that ARD is confirming, and centering upon this group who bought the 32,000 apartments.

Why any of this matters now?  Well...the guy who signed off on the deal in 2013 was Markus Soder....the new Premier President of Bavaria, who was the finance chief back in 2013.

Yeah, if money-laundering is proven....did Soder know about this?  If he'll be a big issue.

At the heart of this....27 private investors who came together to acquire the holding company and laid out the money.  Russian money-laundering?  Well....that's the accusation.  It's suggested that money moved quietly out of Russia, without state knowledge....into Germany....paying the 2.5 billion Euro.

It's the kind of case that will drag out slowly and likely be at least a year....maybe even two years....before charges occur.  Maybe the Russian government will come up front and say no....they knew all about the money going into Bavaria, and there is no money-laundering.  Whole lot of speculation....but limited facts.  For Markus Soder, he could be totally innocent, and this was a honest property deal. 

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