Politcally exposed FCA-regulated payment processor

Key Data

Connectum Limited ( is a payment institution with e-money status registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with reference number 624117. The Latvian Edgars Lasmanis established the company in March 2014 together with the British Ivan Leonidovo. Lasmanis subscribed to all shares and was the sole shareholder until March 2015. In May, Estonian Juri Paal (a/k/a Juri Zitin) was appointed as a director and took over 50% of the shares from Lasmanis for a couple of months. In July 2015, Connectum announced that Juri Paal would no longer be a shareholder and director. Well, this guy had an interesting past.

According to the latest Similarweb statistics, Connectum makes a significant part of its payment volume with Russia. Among other things, we noticed that Alexander Gerchik, a trader living in New York, exclusively targets Russian clients who deposit via Connectum through his trading education website


Connectum offers payment solutions and provide your business with global processing.

Connectum service includes:

  •  Visa / Mastercard / Unionpay payment cards processing
  • Multi-currency processing and settlement
  • Pay out on cards (Original credits transactions and MoneySend transactions)
  • Recurring payments and tokens (one-click payments)
  • 3D-Secure
  • e-Invoicing
  • Online banking.


  • Onboarding fee per MID starting from 50 EUR
  • Monthly monitoring fee starting from 10 EUR
  • Reversals 0.50 EUR
  • Chargeback processing starting from 30 EUR
  • Rolling reserve 0-10%
  • Account balance fee 0.6% per annum

Compliance Problems:

From at least 2017 to 2019, Connectumlaundered millions of illegal proceeds of the scams of the cybercrime organization E&G Bulgaria and transferred them to the bank accounts of offshore companies of the cybercrime organization.

Connectum used to have bank accounts at Deutsche Handelsbank and Latvian JSC Rietumu Banka for these transfers (see screenshot left).

Until March 2022, UK-registered Hawex Group Ltd was controlled by the Russian Kirill Baldakov. Since October 2022, it has been controlled through Dubai-based Hawex Investment LLC, owned by Russians and Indian-British Ruchi Rathor. The director registered in the UK entity is Latvian Jevgenijs Marenics. The Similarweb data (right)for the last three months for Connectum suggests that the FCA-authorized payment processor does a significant amount of business with Russia.

According to the documents available to us, Hawex merchants processed more than €81 million through Connectum in June. The merchants come almost exclusively from the high-risk areas of gambling, crypto, or online marketing. Most of these high-risk merchants are based in Cyprus, followed by the UK and Estonia.

According to information available to FinTelegram, Hawex was referred to Connectum through the Russian high-risk payment processor HoneyPay.


In April 2013, the Estonian daily newspaper Post Timees tied Zitin to “the largest money laundering case in Estonia.” The scheme allegedly involved some $75M worth of Russian rubles being transferred to bank accounts in Estonia, where the money would be converted into either euros or dollars and driven back across the border to Russia (Source: Radio Free Asia).

In October 2020, Edgars Lasmanis sold Connectum to the politically exposed person (PEP) Cambodian Sokha Heng, the wife of former Transport Ministry secretary of state Ing Bun Hoaw (UK Companies House). Read more on the background of Heng Sokha here on Radio Free Asia.

Edgars Lasmanis has joined Walletto UAB, a regulated Lithuanian e-money institution, as chairman of the supervisory board. He has held this role since October 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.


Connectum has been heavily involved in scam and cybercrime activities. It laundered the money for the Israeli cybercrime organization E&G Bulgaria and Binex Group LP, for example. Hence, we include Connectum in our “Red Signal” listings.

In Oct 2021,

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