Updated US sanctions list has several Cyprus-based firms

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The USA has updated its sanctions list on pro-Kremlin Russian oligarchs and facilitators, adding three Cyprus-based companies to the 300 entities hit with restrictions on Friday.

No additional Cypriot individuals were added to the updated sanctions list.

According to the list, the added companies based in Nicosia and Limassol are Robarin Ltd, Aquila Capital Group, and Huriya Private Cyprus Ltd.

On the list is also Huriya Private FZE LLE, headquartered in Dubai but connected with Cyprus.

According to the report by the US Office of foreign assets control (OFAC), Huriya was used to facilitate the movement of Russian money into the UAE.

The company’s CEO, John Desmond Hanafin, an Irish national, “with assistance from corrupt government officials, also procured fraudulent passports for Russian clients wanting to hide their Russian nationality.”

Carried out in coordination with the G7 and other international partners, a department of treasury statement described Huriya Private Cyprus as sanctioned for being owned or controlled by Hanafin.

Aquila Capital Group was founded and led by Russian Federation national Sergey Yevgenyevich Velichko.

As reported, it is a Moscow, Russia-based investment banking firm.

ACG and its Russian Federation national employee Yulia Aleksandrovna Sergeeva worked with Hanafin to start operations in the UAE and open accounts with UAE banks.

The latest update of the list comes as a continuation of sanctions and other restrictive economic measures to degrade further the Russian Federation’s capacity to wage war against Ukraine.

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.

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.