Son of Russian Railways’ ex-Head becomes Cyprian citizen, opens business in London 

Son of Russian Railways’ ex-Head becomes Cyprian citizen, opens business in London
Andrey Yakunin, the eldest son of the former Head of Russian Railways

The younger son of former Russian Railways Head Vladimir Yakunin, 37-year-old Victor, has received second citizenship and started to invest in a computer games development company. The businessman confirmed that he had become a Cyprian citizen "to facilitate doing business around the world."

The sons of the x-Head of Russian Railways acquired dual citizenship. Last year it was reported that the eldest son of Vladimir Yakunin, Andrey, had become a British citizen. According to Life, the official’s youngest son also has dual citizenship. Businessman Victor Yakunin is a Cypriot, who owns a computer games development company abroad.

Виктор Якунин

According to the UK corporate registry, a company called Newfound Future Investments Limited was established in London in August 2016. The company is registered in the heart of the British capital, 21 Bedford Square. Hundreds of other companies have also found their home there, such as those of the notorious British musician Pete Doherty, DJ James Zabiela’s Facepalm Ltd., and an office of the French cosmetic holding L'Occitane.

Constituent documents show that Newfound Future Investments Limited is led and owned solely by Victor Yakunin.

In addition to the name, the company’s director and Vladimir Yakunin’s youngest son also share the birth date (June 16, 1979). In an interview with Life, Victor Yakunin confirmed that he was indeed the owner of the company. He claimed that he had long wanted to do "venture capital projects related to information technology and the Internet," and so the London company had been created to search for them and develop them. The businessman clarified that the company did not have an office in London as such: "Registration site was chosen based on the fact that London is one of the key centers for such projects, as well as for the investors interested in them, and allows to promote services worldwide."

In addition, Victor Yakunin confirmed that a year ago, he received dual citizenship, explaining that it was necessary "for the convenience of doing business around the world" and making business trips.

As of later, citizenship in European countries has become popular among many Russian businessmen with Cyprus, Malta, and Switzerland being the main destinations. This is associated with the fact that a law on controlled foreign companies came into force in 2015. In accordance with the said law, the Russians have to declare and pay tax on retained earnings transferred to offshore. At the same time, however, it is necessary to declare a second citizenship and spend more than six months abroad to suspend the status of a Russian tax resident.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Victor Yakunin was a lawyer in the Russian divisions of Arthur Andersen and Ernst and Young. Then he worked in the Geneva office of Gunvor trading company, led the Department of investments in Infrastructure in the company of his older brother, Venture Investments and Yield Management, and headed its Russian subsidiary. In 2011, the youngest son of ex-president of Russian Railways opened Veritas Investments.

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