Cyprus and Magnitsky

Wall Street Journal

There’s an irony in the fact that the grudging bailout of Cyprus by other members of the European Union came at the end of the same week in which the late Sergei Magnitsky was due to go on trial in Russia.

Magnitsky was the Russian lawyer who died in prison in 2009 after pursuing Russian officials who seized companies from his client Hermitage Capital and allegedly perpetrated a $230 million tax fraud. It’s a quirk of Russian law that the dead can be put on trial, with Magnitsky charged with the same offenses as the officials he pursued (The initial hearing on the case was delayed until March 22). His treatment led to U.S. sanctions on those officials in the form of the “Magnitsky list.”

What does this have to do with Cyprus? The Mediterranean nation has become what the good-governance group Global Financial Integrity described in a recent report as a “laundry machine for dirty Russian money.” GFI’s report said $128.8 billion flowed into Russia from Cyprus in 2011, more than five times its gross domestic product.

These flows aren’t new but have become more controversial after scandals such as the Magnitsky death. Five nations, including Cyprus, have been investigating the transfers into their banking systems by those accused of perpetrating the fraud against Hermitage. European governments have been reluctant to bail out criminals pushing funds through Cypriot banks. As part of the bailout, Cyprus agreed to an independent audit of its banking system, while its finance minister is due to travel to Russia this coming week to discuss that country’s role in the imbroglio.

Cyprus may be forced into clamping down on money laundering because of its dire economic situation, but the State Department listed 64 nations as “major money laundering countries” in a recent report and noted that none have been removed from the list since 2011. For those with illicit money to launder, Cyprus is but one option. unshaven girl займ на карту без отказов круглосуточно https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-in-america.php займы без отказа

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