Russian businessmen, oligarchs and officials often use Western banks to store and “launder” the money they have illegally earned in Russia. In the past this was overlooked, but it is now necessary to act and restrict the money flows of Russian citizens.
Cyprus was often used by Russians as a springboard for conducting international business or concealing funds from taxes and “laundering” Russian money. The banks of Cyprus are the most “loyal” to their clients from Russia and do not ask unnecessary questions about the origin of the funds.
As for other countries, the UK, and particularly the Virgin Islands, launder half of all the “dirty” money of Russia. But, London has already begun to actively combat this activity in what has come to be known as “Londongrad”. Since 1 August the Registry of Foreign Corporations has started working in Great Britain; in this registry anonymous foreign companies wishing to buy or already owning real estate in the UK must disclose the ultimate beneficial owners. The purpose of this reform is to help the British government root out Russian oligarchs and kleptocrats who use British territory to hide illicit wealth. According to Transparency International, since 2016, oligarchs close to the Kremlin have “laundered” with the help of the UK, 6.7 billion pounds sterling, of which 1.5 billion pounds sterling comes from real estate.
Belgium has not been spared this problem either. In May 2021 in Antwerp, two Russian citizens confiscated real estate and funds stolen from the Hermitage Capital Management fund. Sergei Medvedev and Irina Terkina were charged with money laundering.
Russian officials and businessmen are fond of money, and this is all the more reason why it is necessary to deprive them of the opportunity to “launder” their funds in Europe. This can only influence the Putin regime’s aggressive policies and stop the terror that Russia is waging both in Ukraine and in other parts of the world.