Former banker Ananyev may be deprived of Cypriot citizenship
Ananyev received the citizenship of Cyprus under the investors’ program – a scheme condemned by the European Union for the lack of transparency and control.
Former owner of Promsvyazbank Dmitry Ananyev is among the 9 Russians whom the Cypriot authorities decided to deprive of their “golden” passports, Open Media’s sources claim.
He Ananyev received the citizenship of Cyprus under the investors’ program – a scheme condemned by the European Union for the lack of transparency and control. In October, the authorities began to verify the validity of issuing citizenship to investors, promising to take away passports from those who received them with violations, are under sanctions, or are suspected of committing crimes.
The fact that the Cypriot authorities launched the procedure of depriving Ananyev of the citizenship was told to Open Media by a source in his circle and the lawyer who worked with him. The Open Media failed to contact Ananyev or his representatives to confirm this information: the ex-banker is hiding from creditors who demand compensation in the courts from him after the collapse of his banking business.
A few days ago, the Minister of the Interior of Cyprus, Konstantinos Petridis, explained that the government would deprive of the Cypriot citizenship 26 foreigners, whose arrests were issued with warrants from their countries or Interpol. Among the investors without a passport, there are 9 Russians who obtained citizenship from 2012 to 2017, Cyprus Mail reports, citing Petridis.
The “citizenship in exchange for investments” scheme was launched in Cyprus in 2007 after an economic collapse and helped attract about € 5 billion to the country. The investors have been particularly active in buying gold passports since 2013, when the country's authorities allowed citizenship under this scheme even to those who do not live in Cyprus. In 2016, the minimum investment level under the program was reduced by more than two times: in order to obtain Cyprus citizenship, it was necessary to invest at least € 2 million over three years in real estate and infrastructure projects or in Cyprus companies or investment funds, or all of this at once.
Dmitry Ananyev, along with his brother and business partner Alexey Ananyev, controlled major Russian banks – Promsvyazbank and Vozrozhdenie, engaged in development. Dmitry was on the Forbes list and ranked 27th in its ranking called “Kings of Russian Real Estate.”
At the end of 2017, Central Bank ordered to reorganize Promsvyazbank, and Vozrozhdenie was bought by VTB in early 2018. After the nationalization of Promsvyazbank, Ananyev moved to London, and then to Cyprus.
The UK investors unsuccessfully try to get $ 40 million from Ananyev for past due credit notes, which were guaranteed by the banker and his companies.
In Russia, in March, a commercial court ordered the Ananyevs to return more than 66 billion rubles ($ 1 billion) to Promsvyazbank, now controlled by the state. And in September, Dmitry and Alexey Ananyevs were arrested in absentia on charges of embezzling 66 billion rubles and $ 575 million of Promsvyazbank’s funds. The businessmen’s property in Russia was seized.