|06MOSCOW10248||2006-09-14 12:20:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Moscow|
VZCZCXYZ0002 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHMO #0248 2571220 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 141220Z SEP 06 FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2281 RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 010248
1. (C) The Central Bank of Russia's (CBR) First Deputy
Chairman Andrei Kozlov was fatally shot on September 13.
Kozlov was a key figure in the GOR's efforts to crack down on
money laundering, insider trading, and other illegal banking
activity. His death is most likely connected to his efforts
to strengthen anti-money laundering regulations and
practices. End Summary.
2. (U) Press reports state that two gunmen fired on Kozlov
and his bodyguard after Kozlov had finished playing in a CBR
soccer match and was nearing the stadium exit. The bodyguard
was killed trying to protect the First Deputy Chairman, and
Kozlov was shot in the head. Kozlov's CBR teammates took him
to a nearby hospital where he underwent surgery for hours
before succumbing to the wound.
3. (U) Moscow's chief prosecutor issued an all-points
bulletin for the two suspects and the city's security forces
initiated the "Volcano-5" plan that deploys the capital's
police force to aid in the search. Law enforcement sources
were quoted in the press as saying that they will investigate
the mode as well as the motive for Kozlov's murder. Central
Bank spokesmen did not offer any comments on possible
suspects, noting only that "there are so many banks, and
suspects could be from outside the banking community."
4. (U) Kozlov was instrumental in developing a deposit
insurance system, the implementation of which required
determining whether banks were eligible to participate.
Excluded banks, in many cases, lost their operating licenses.
Kozlov advocated strict anti-money laundering governance
and, more recently, focused attention on insider trading as
well as connected lending in Russia's state-owned
corporations. At a conference in Sochi last week, Kozlov
discussed an initiative to ban individuals involved in tax
evasion and money laundering from occupying a formal position
within the banking profession.
5. (U) Kozlov was a well-known contact of the Embassy. He
was the Russian counterpart in the anti-money laundering
efforts of the USAID-supported Financial Services Volunteer
Corps. Kozlov recently sent letters to the Federal Reserve's
Banking Supervision Division as well as the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency, seeking to formalize bilateral
cooperation in anti-money laundering activity. Post
considered Kozlov a key crusader and driving force in the
GOR's efforts to combat illicit financial activity. The
murder of Kozlov is the first act of violence against the
country's financial officials since former CBR Chairman
Sergei Dubinin's office window was shot and First Deputy
Finance Minister Andrei Vavilov's car was detonated in 1997.
6. (C) Our contacts echo press speculation that the murder
was likely connected to recent bank license revocations as
well as Kozlov's efforts to strengthen anti-money laundering
regulations and practices. Kozlov was known to enjoy support
from the Kremlin as well as the Duma Committee on Banks and
Credit Organizations. The question going forward is whether
the GOR will find new resolve to crack down even harder on
suspect banks and individuals in retaliation for Kozlov's
assassination, or proceed more cautiously given that lives
may be at stake. End Comment.