A team of experts has responded to a request from President Nikos Christodoulides to support authorities in their investigation into the revelations brought to light by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The ICIJ probe, ‘Cyprus Confidential, ‘ concerns Cyprus’ involvement in enabling oligarchs to violate sanctions against Russia.
President revealed that following the publication of the reports, he sought the arrival of a specialised team of foreign experts in such matters.
“Last night, we received a positive response.
“A team is coming to Cyprus expressly to strengthen the Cypriot authorities—those who have already initiated investigations—as part of our zero-tolerance approach to such phenomena,” said Christodoulides.
He said that all aspects mentioned in the reports would be thoroughly examined.
“The reputation and credibility of the country is crucial for attracting investments and building a strong, resilient economy, enabling government to pursue social policies and the desirable policies in education and health.”
Cyprus Confidential claims that in 2014, Moody’s estimated that $31 bln of Russian assets were parked on the island.
Investigators reviewed documents leaked from Cypriot financial service providers to understand how those firms helped wealthy Russians restructure their funds and sometimes hide them altogether.
Nicosia has cracked down on those named by Washington and London for allegedly helping Russian oligarchs bypass sanctions on Moscow because of the Ukraine war.
The government said it has taken action against money laundering and sanctions-busting since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
From late 2018, credit institutions have severed ties with 42,728 shell companies and closed 125,782 suspicious bank accounts, the Central Bank said.