This is the first interview with John Christmas, author of KGB Banker, co-authored with William Burton McCormick. I’m currently promoting KGB Banker as part of Dar Camilleri’s collection and the reason why I chose this book is the importance of the author’s story on which he bases his novel. John explains more in the interview where he recounts his story as an employee at Parex and how eventually he blew the whistle to the auditors, government officials, and ministers on the bank’s criminal activity.
Parex Bank was the main European conduit for dirty Russian money and serviced criminal organisations connected to the Kremlin and the Russian secret services. Surprisingly, John Christmas had to leave Latvia altogether after blowing the whistle as the bank began threatening him in 2004. Eventually, Parex Bank imploded during the financial crisis of 2008 and closed down in 2010. One of its successors, ABLV continued much of Parex Bank’s previous criminal activity until it had to close down as well. In this part of the interview, John Christmas describes his story in brief and explains how the Kremlin could successfully control Latvia’s most important bank.
The book is available for sale on our website (international shipping provided.