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Greek authorities are investigating questionable Russian money flows to Mount Athos

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Greece’s anti-money laundering agency is investigating more than 20 cases of suspicious transfers of significant sums to bank accounts of Athos monasteries as well as individual monks, Kathimerini writes.

The publication understands that the majority of the investigated cases relate to money coming from Russia and that the monasteries have been visited by high-ranking Russian officials only recently. The transfers involved amounts from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of euros, and in one case over a million.

A working hypothesis among investigators is that Russian citizens are siphoning their money abroad to protect themselves against the possibility of an economic collapse or possible appropriation by the Russian government. Although Russia’s economy has fared better than expected in the face of sanctions, many see the future as very uncertain.

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