Who owns €20bn cash left at Moscow airport for six years?
Chechen gangsters, al-Qaeda and Knights of Malta among groups claiming the money belongs to them
RUSSIAN media are baffled by a mystery cargo of €20bn in cash that has been stashed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport for the last six years.
Ukrainian spies, Chechen gangsters, members of al-Qaeda and even the Knights of Malta have tried to claim the money, but so far nobody has been able to prove that it rightfully belongs to them.
Russian intelligence sources have suggested it could have come from Iran or the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, reports The Independent.
According to the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, security company Brink's flew from Frankfurt to Moscow on 7 August 2007 and delivered 200 wooden pallets containing €20bn (£16.8bn) in €100-notes – enough to cover the EU's predicted budget shortfall for 2013.
A delivery document printed by the newspaper suggests the cargo was owned by 'Farzin Koroorian Motlagh' but the document does not list a recipient. Several Russian intelligence agencies have been in control of the shipment since.
If the money belongs to an individual it would put them among the top 50 richest people in the world, above Mark Zuckerberg and Roman Abramovich.
A Russian intelligence agency source told Moskovsky Komsomolets that it might have belonged to Saddam Hussein but they warned journalists against digging too deep, saying: "This is more dangerous than you can imagine."
In a subsequent article, another intelligence agency source named only as 'Ivan' claimed the money had come from Iran.
The US government sent two Federal Reserve officers to Iran many years ago with a money-printing press to pay for oil, he said. But when US-Iranian relations deteriorated, the Iranians were left with $6 trillion in cash they were unable to use. This was allegedly transported to Frankfurt and converted into €3 trillion. Brink's then delivered this money to 27 countries, including Russia.
Ivan claimed Motlagh was one of three people the Iranian government entrusted with picking up the money, but he tried to steal one of the shipments in Abu Dhabi and then suffered a suspicious heart attack while in the custody of Iranian intelligence. ·