Russians Escalate Against Drug-money Laundering

The recent scandals and arrests in Turkey and Iran, targeting a network of gold smugglers and money launderers who were involved in sanction-busting oil deals between the two countries, was the result of intense Russian tracking of money laundering as part of the Putin government’s escalating crackdown on drug trafficking and other criminal syndicates. According to a senior U.S. intelligence official, the Russians have concluded that virtually all of the separatist and jihadist networks waging a terror war against Russia are bankrolled through drug- trafficking and related criminal activities. Therefore, for the Putin government, shutting down the money-laundering apparatus facilitating the drug trade is a top strategic priority. This in no way minimizes the Russian recognition of the dominant role of the Saudi Royal Family, and Anglo-Dutch Empire more broadly, in the escalating campaign of blind terrorism directed against the Caucasus region of southern Russia.

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