Second US report on Cypriot ‘fixers’

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The US have sent the Republic of Cyprus a second report containing details on Cypriot sanction busters, following an 800-page report sent earlier in the month, while some 400 employees of sanctioned firms are frustrated as they have not been paid wages for April.

The two reports contain details on how a number of Cypriot alleged ‘fixers’ helped Russian oligarchs hide their assets following sanctions imposed on Moscow over its war on Ukraine.

A total of ten Cypriots and 13 foreign-born Cyprus nationals, “oligarch enablers,” have been sanctioned by the US and the UK, with authorities fearing that more Cypriot entities will find themselves on the list due to exposure to Russia.

Phileleftheros daily quoted administration sources that, “the government has received documents justifying why sanctions were imposed on the Cypriot firms and their officials”.

Speaking on CyBC radion on Friday, President Christodoulides’ spokesman, Victoras Papadopoulos, confirmed receipt of the 800-page dossier.

Damage control

Nicosia has been in damage-control mode since sanctions were imposed by the US and UK last month on Cypriot ‘fixers’ for allegedly helping Russian oligarchs hide their assets following sanctions imposed on Moscow over Ukraine.

The latest round of restrictions connected to the Ukraine war includes asset freezes and travel bans on a Limassol-based advisory firm and a leading Nicosia law firm.

The UK government has accused the two Cypriots of knowingly assisting the billionaire Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov in hiding their assets.

Meanwhile, as reported by Phileleftheros, some 400 employees working for companies imposed with sanctions, have not been paid for April, as the firms’ accounts and assets have been frozen.

The employees affected work for the Limassol-based corporate service provider Meritservus and Nicosia-based law firm Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co. LLC.

Meritservus has been sanctioned by the UK for its alleged assistance to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, to hide assets following US and UK sanctions.

Meanwhile, the Nicosia law firm has been included on both the UK and US lists on the grounds of providing services to Russian oligarch Alistair Usmanov.

Both big firms are unable to carry out financial transactions as the commercial banks in Cyprus have ‘blocked’ their accounts.

The Cyprus Bar Association officials has asked the state to take action to address the problem.

Meritservus has requested that an amount close to €500,000 be released in order to pay employees’ salaries.

According to reports, both firms are appealing the sanctions in UK courts.