Police have opened a criminal case involving clients of a bank owned by Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, over the reported laundering of almost $1 billion, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The All-Russian Regional Development Bank was the vehicle for three large transfers to Belarus - one of $290 million and two of $300 million – that took place in 2011 and 2012 as part of ostensible import deals, according to a report by the Vedomosti newspaper. Making payments for fictitious imported goods from foreign companies is a common way of illegally extracting money from Russia. The foreign companies later move the money they receive to offshore locations. The criminal case is "not against the bank or its employees, but in relation to unnamed clients of the bank," a spokesman for the main investigative department of the Russian Interior Ministry in Moscow said Friday.