Cyprus accounts of Deripaska and Vekselberg frozen
According to the estimates of the US Treasury, businessmen suffered losses of billions of dollars.
Cyprus froze the accounts of Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, RBC reports referring to the report of the US Treasury on countering the illegal financial flows associated with Russia.
As stated in the document, Cyprus remains “a jurisdiction of concern in terms of money laundering.” The accounts of Deripaska and Vekselberg were frozen in April of this year, after the US Treasury imposed sanctions in relation to the businessmen.
The publication specifies that so far the Central Bank of Cyprus has not confirmed this information. Deripaska has Cypriot citizenship, and Vekselberg, through Renova’s entities, owns almost 10% of the Bank of Cyprus. In March this year, Guardian reported that Vekselberg was also offered to purchase a Cypriot passport but he refused.
The US Treasury admitted that since early 2017, the US authorities have put serious pressure on the Cypriot authorities to resolve the problem of “significant amounts of suspicious Russian funds and investments” flowing through the country’s banking sector.
Alexander Zakharov, a lawyer and partner of Paragon Advice Group, confirmed to RBC that after April 6, the banking system of Cyprus was completely closed for the Russians under sanctions.
The report of the US Treasury notes that the sanctions against Deripaska and Vekselberg inflicted significant financial losses on them. In particular, Vekselberg's fortune declined by almost $ 3 billion, from an estimated $ 16.4 billion as of April 5 to $ 13.5 billion as of July 26, 2018, the agency said, citing “reliable media reports.”