Five law firms in Cyprus are under investigation by police in connection with the possible provision of services to sanctioned Russian oligarchs, Philenews reported on Thursday.
At the same time, the Cyprus Bar Association is currently conducting 36 audits of law firms in connection with the same allegations.
Head of the Cyprus Bar Association, Christos Clerides, said there is reasonable suspicion from witness material that four law firms may have violated European Union sanctions.
Specifically, transactions carried out by these law firms are not permitted under the imposed sanctions and evidence has already been sent to the Police for investigations to take place into possible criminal offences.
Moreover, a letter is to be sent to the Police on Thursday regarding another law firm which possibly violated sanctions.
Clerides also said that, last year, after the sanctions were imposed on Russians by the EU and the UN a circular was sent to all members of the Association to state whether they serve oligarchs who were on the list.
A total of 35 law firms initially responded to the circular and another one a bit later. Subsequently, a second questionnaire was sent out asking whether they had been serving clients while the sanctions were in force.
The deadline to respond expired on Wednesday and now a three-member committee of experts will take over to study the responses sent and – if necessary – may conduct on-site audits.