News Local US sees Cyprus progress in combating illicit finance

US sees Cyprus progress in combating illicit finance

Although Cyprus remains a jurisdiction of concern from the perspective of Russian money laundering,  progress is being made, the US Treasury has told Congress.

In a report on US efforts to combat illicit finance relating to the Russian Federation, the US Treasury said it has prioritised engagement with jurisdictions with high volumes of Russian financial flows, including the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and Latvia.

In the section on Cyprus, it said that senior officials from the Departments of State and Treasury have engaged Cypriot authorities extensively over the past year and a half to underscore concerns that Cyprus continues to host a large volume of suspicious Russian funds and investments, and have pressed Cypriot officials to harden its financial system against these threats.

“Vulnerabilities Cyprus presents include its permissive citizenship by investment program, its weak supervision of
Administrative Service Providers, and lax company formation requirements, which are exploited by illicit actors to set up front companies and to use these fronts to open bank accounts and access the international financial system,” the report said.

And it added: “Although Cyprus remains a jurisdiction of concern from the perspective of Russian money laundering, the Administration is seeing some signs of progress.”

It said that following the April 6 oligarch designations, Oleg Deripaska and Victor Vekselberg both had bank accounts frozen. In May 2018 Cyprus issued a circular instructing its banks to address certain illicit finance risks from shell companies, in particular the challenges in verifying customers’ background, it added.

On April 6, 2018, the US Treasury sanctioned 38 individuals and entities, comprised of seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and Russia’s primary state-owned arms trading concern along with its bank subsidiary.

Among those sanctioned were Deripaska an Vekselberg with the US Treasury saying that as a result of the sanctions Deripaska’s personal net worth has dropped by more than 50% while Vekselberg’s net worth has dropped nearly USD 3 billion.

Top Stories

Partly cloudy on Tuesday, possible afternoon showers

Partly cloudy on Tuesday with isolated showers and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. Winds will be light to moderate in the morning, force 3 to...

43 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday

The Health Ministry announced 43 new COVID-19 cases on 19 October, out of 2,558 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 2, 687. The break-down of...

1420 only for emergencies regarding COVID-19

Due to the increased number of telephone calls to the telephone center 1420 of the Ambulance Service, it is pointed out that the center...

Anastasiades-Tatar to meet in UN premises

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Ersin Tatar, will meet in the UN premises in Nicosia. Government Spokesman,...

Four people sentenced to imprisonment for abduction

The Larnaca District Court today sentenced four people aged 42, 22, 24, and 19 to imprisonment for abducting a 27-year old last August in...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...