Cyprus probing residents involved in alleged Russian sanctions evasion

Streaming HUBApril 14, 2023

Cyprus’ government said on Thursday it was investigating how many Cypriot citizens were under a new round of US and UK sanctions targeting the financial networks of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close allies Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich. was included.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides convened an emergency meeting of top officials to investigate the involvement of three Cypriot citizens, three officials holding dual Cypriot-Russian citizenship, a Russian Cypriot-Israeli citizen and another Cypriot resident who lives in Cyprus. -were among officials running registered trusts and other businesses involved in Usmanov’s alleged sanctions bust.

In a statement, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said a number of decisions were taken “for the specific purpose of preserving the name of Cyprus as a reliable, financial and business centre”.

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“The President of the Republic regards the whole matter as particularly serious and has issued instructions to thoroughly investigate it,” the statement said.

Cyprus is investigating several residents' apparent ties to a Russian oligarch's sanctions-busting scheme.

Cyprus is investigating several residents’ apparent ties to a Russian oligarch’s sanctions-busting scheme. (Fox News)

Cyprus has been at pains in recent years to shake off a reputation for being in the pockets of Russian oligarchs who have hidden their wealth through a maze of Cyprus-registered trusts and brass-plate companies. Russian deposits in Cypriot banks have fallen sharply since the 2013 financial crisis, which brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

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Usmanov has been under US and EU sanctions since shortly after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

Abramovich, who amassed wealth in Russia’s oil and aluminum industries following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, was forced to sell Chelsea Football Club last year after being quoted as

US officials said the new designations, which were coordinated with the British government, are aimed at strengthening existing sanctions and further disrupting Russia’s imports of critical technologies used in the war against Ukraine.

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The Departments of State and Treasury announced sanctions on 120 entities and individuals in more than 20 countries and jurisdictions linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United Kingdom nominated 14 individuals and entities.

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