US partners get all clear from police

TWO London-based partners of a US firm arrested over an alleged $US50 million money laundering operation have been completely exonerated by the police and the CPS.

The Faegre & Benson partners were also awarded around £20,000 in costs after a Mareva injunction freezing their assets was lifted.

It had been alleged that they had laundered money on behalf of organised crime gangs in Russia.

The lawyers were based at Faegre & Benson's Holborn office when they were arrested in May along with one of their wives, a Russian businesswoman.

Documents, fax machines and computer disks were seized by police who raided the firm and the lawyers' homes in north London and Bedfordshire.

The trio were held for a day for questioning and released on police bail until September. But charges were never brought against them and the restraint order was lifted on 10 August. The bail requirement was also revoked.

They had been questioned over allegations that London financial institutions, including a high street bank, had been used to conceal laundering activities.

It was alleged the money was then put through a Channel Island company.