On this day, the bank “Menatep” came in sight of the prosecutor’s office of Luxembourg

On this day, the bank “Menatep” came in sight of the prosecutor’s office of Luxembourg

“Menatep” turned out to be involved in a scandal connected with money laundering through accounts of the clearing company Cleanstream International. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 12, 2001.

On this day 22 years ago, on July 12, 2001 it became known that the bank “Menatep” turned out to be in sight of the prosecutor’s office of Luxembourg. The question was about a loud scandal connected with shady turnovers and money laundering through accounts of the clearing company Clearstream International, which had emerged in 1999 after the merger of the company Cedel and one of the subdivisions of Deutsche Boerse. Among other dubious clients of this company, dealing with transfer of money and securities, happened to be also the bank “Menatep”.

According to the French newspaper “Le Monde”, on February 26, 2001, the Prosecutor Office paid attention to articles in the press, presenting the book “Revelation$” written by Denis Robert and Ernest Backes. The authors presupposed that through a system of secret accounts of the company Cedel (nowadays Clearstream) operations of money laundering had been carries out. The authors bring a series of international financial names and scandals, and itemize the Russian bank “Menatep” (Les auteurs cites un certain nombre de noms et scadales financiers international dont celui de “Menatep” (une banque russe).

The Prosecutor’s Office started a pre-trial investigation in order to find answers to following questions – Were there violations of the criminal law in general and rules on struggle against money laundering, in particular”, said Carlos Zeyen, a deputy prosecutor in the Service dealing with the struggle against money laundering of the Economic and Finance Prosecution of Luxembourg.

(See the edition of the newspaper “Le Mond” from May 26, 2001, page 15.

Having said that “the case in the hands of an investigative judge”, and “secrecy of the investigation should be guaranteed”, the vice prosecutor Carlos Zeyen also pointed out that the Prosecutor’s Office “can express its attitude only when rights for defense, privacy protection and requirements of investigation are respected”. He also presented, so to say, a general picture of the case, with no particular details.


According to the press release of the Prosecutor’s Office of Luxembourg on “Cleastream” case, the question was about possible manipulations with money and securities. To be more precise, “about hiding connections between securities, put on an account, and assets used for their acquisition”, that could be regarded as some tricks of money laundering. The bank “Menatep” was connected to the case at a tangent, so to say – a prosecution investigation was being carried out on possible complicity of “Menatep” to the pumping up through its account in Cedel “10 billion dollars of a credit from the IMF. To put in simpler, the version of the authors of the book-investigation “Revelation$” was being verified.

However, the authors of the book, which perturbed financial circles of Europe, devoted an episode of it to “Menatep” and, in all likelihood, came into their own “logical trap”, as during the work on this book, a scandal was rattling in the United States around the “Bank of New York”. “Menatep” was also looming there, and “the lost credit of the IMF for Russian to the tune of 4.8 billion was threading through it. To put it simpler, a version of the authors of the book “Revelation$” was being checked out.

(See also the article “On this day, Khodorkovsky “leaked” his Russian henchmen from the government”. The Unites States federal investigators study the question of whether the bank "Menatep” legally transferred pecuniary assets through the Bank of New York).

(The Americans had questions to the bank “Menatep” in connection with scandals around the offshore bank EUB in Antigua, as well as in connection with the borrowed money that it had received from the administration of the City of Moscow “for support of the bank” to the amount of 120 million US dollars. Instead of using this money inside Russia, Khodorkovsky “syphoned” it to the Bank of New York by three tranches of $ 40 million each. As to the theme of the bank in Antigua, American officials, it has to be said, were right – but they decided not to do anything about it. The false guaranty on behalf of the “European Union Bank” was found out by Russian investigation. The swindler Lebedev and Khodorkovsky” cobbled together this “guaranty” during the affair of the acquiring of the industrial complex “Apatit” – Prigovor.ru).

And, it is apparent, what kind of picture could emerged in the heads of the investigative authors, who had at their disposal several dozens of thousands of accounting records with considerable, but unclear (beyond the rules of the service) transactions and murky operations with securities. Apart from that, “Menatep” had an account No 81738 in Cedel, opened on May 15, 1997. It was “closed” on December 8, 2000. According to the newspaper “Kommersant” with reference to the Prosecutor’s Office in Luxembourg, through this account had come $10 billion, although this sum was falsely itemized in the version as “the money of the IMF’s credit”.

For the authors of this unflattering book revengeful boys from “Menatep” created a juridical hell and prosecutions in court for several years.

(See also the article “On this day the bank “Menatep” forbade its own “Unmasking”).


The reaction of “Menatep” to the actions of the Prosecutor’s Office of Luxembourg was not slow in coming. In a typical boorish manner, “Menatep” demanded from the leadership of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Luxembourg to suspend from duty Carlos Zeyen and to institute criminal proceedings against him “for slander and deep insults made by the executive officer in the course of his duties”, and that had been made in an insulting form which posed a question of his “psychic health.

Platon Lebedev, who was later recognized by the court as a financial swindler, insolently rode roughshod over the deputy prosecutor Carlson Zeyen in a letter from 23.07.2007 addressed to the Prosecutor General within the Supreme Court of Luxembourg:

“In all likelihood, this “tension” that experienced Mr. Carlos Zeyen during the investigation of the so-called case of Clearstream Banking/Cedel”, and also from the “revelations” splashed out by the authors of the book plunged him into an eclipse of reason.

Mr. Prosecutor General, from human reasons, I allow myself to recommend You to immediately suspend Mr. Carlos Zeyen from the investigation and send him for treatment. I am ready to be a sponsor and to pay his treatment in best European hospitals. I cannot be at law with a “sick man”, it’s laughable.

Mr. Prosecutor General, I propose not to bring up this conflict to the level of an Absurdist theatre” and I assume that You personally can find a civilized solution of this situation and make a corresponding public statement.

In case Mr. Carlos Zeyen is not ill, I ask to institute criminal proceedings against him for slander and grave insults made in the cause of his duties”. (Our lawyers will contact you on this question)”, sniped the swindler Platon Lebedev “on nehalf and at the behest of the shareholders of the bank “Menatep”.

It’s like this that the bank “Menatep”, without much scruples, was sending boorish letters to European law enforcement agencies. It was a working style of the robber-barons of “the most transparent” finance and oil empire headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Later, Western press tried to convince all that the robbers “corrected themselves”. By the way, nowadays, by similar boorishness has distinguished himself the Ukrainian ambassador in Germany Melnik).

In Russia, “the shareholders” acted in a simpler way – those who stood in the way of “Menatep” or Yukos, were transferred to the responsibility of a “killing brigade’ under the leadership of the organizers of contract killings and attempted murders Leonid Nevzlin and Alexey Pichugin. (Both were sentenced to life long imprisonment. Pichhugin has been serving his sentence. Nevzlin fled to Israel where, after generous monetary infusions, all turned a blind eyes to that fact that the sponsor Nevzlin is a fugitive ordering customer of murders with regard to which there is a court’s verdict that has come into force).

“So, one can say this employee of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Luxembourg is a lucky guy. Obviously, these sponsors of the “civil society” and “champions of democracy” from Yukos and Menatep have abstained from killing people in Europe”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, against the backdrop of searches, Khodorkovsky flew to the United States”. Trying to find traces of shares of the company “Apatit” in Yukos archive. The robber baron flew to a closed business party with participation of the head of the CIA. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 11, 2003).

*On May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of physical persons executing functions of a foreign agent.

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