“Cyprus Dossier”: Who Received the “Golden Passports” of Cyprus; According to The Insider, among the Russian defendants in the “Cyprus dossier” that ended up in the hands of Al-Jazeera, there are top managers of state-owned companies under sanctions, yesterday’s officials and hiding businessmen.
The Al Jazeera Investigation Department received data on 2.5 thousand people who received Cypriot investment citizenship (the required investment is about 2.5 million euros) – mainly from 2017 to 2019. As noted by The Insider , the geography of origin of the recipients of such passports is truly global: there are Hong Kong residents who are afraid of the Chinese authorities, there are representatives of the Saudi Arabian elite, big businessmen from all over the world. Among the 2.5 thousand new citizens of Cyprus (read, the European Union, since investment passports give the same rights as “ordinary ones”), there were also those who are wanted for criminal offenses or who are associated with organizations under sanctions.
In particular, The Insider writes that VTB top managers Vitaly Buzoverya, Alexei Yakovitsky and Victoria Vanurina received Cypriot passports and notes that VTB is under EU sanctions. The “Cyprus dossier” also revealed the name of Maxim Poletaev, a former top manager of Sberbank who received “golden citizenship” in 2017 and is also under EU sanctions. The Insider clarifies that Poletaev in 2018 moved from Sberbank to the structures of Oleg Deripaska.
In 2016, Evgeny Dod, the former head of the RusHydro state corporation, received a Cypriot passport. Now there are no cases against him, but just in 2016 he was a defendant in a criminal case on misappropriation at RusHydro, the criminal prosecution of Dod was terminated only in 2020.
Also, the passports of the island state were received by people who had just left their post in public administration. So, in 2018, Igor Reva became a citizen of Cyprus, a year before that he had resigned from the post of Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. At the same time, a passport was issued to Andrei Oskolkov, co-owner of the Cosmos Group agricultural holding, who until 2017 was a deputy of the State Council of Udmurtia for almost ten years and was a member of the United Russia faction. In 2017, the founder of Rusagro and former senator Vadim Moshkovich became a Cypriot. In the same year, Andrey Molchanov, the founder of the LSR Group, who sat in the Federation Council from 2008 to 2013, received a “golden passport”. Investment citizenship was also found in Mikhail Yurevich, the former governor of the Chelyabinsk region. The Insider notes that criminal cases have been opened against Yurevich in Russia.
Also, the publication found in the “Cyprus dossier” the names of Russian entrepreneurs – defendants in criminal cases and major financial scandals. For example, the former top manager of Gazprom, Nikolai Gornovsky, whom Russia has been looking for since the early 2000s on suspicion of involvement in financial crimes. Former co-owner of Rosgosstrakh, Sergey Khachaturov, was sentenced to 8 years in a fraud case – it is alleged that he received a Cypriot passport on April 18, 2018, on the same day that he was placed under house arrest in Russia.