The Council of Ministers has decided to revoke the passports of four Russians and their family members who were granted Cypriot citizenship under the island’s disgraced citizenship-by-investment scheme (also known as the Golden Passports), which was abruptly terminated in November 2020.
Four Russians have been sanctioned by the European Union as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine:
Mikhail Gutseriev, a major Russian businessman who was sanctioned for supporting the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Alexander Ponomarenko, Chairman of the Board of Sheremetyevo, Russia’s largest airport.
Vadim Moskovich, a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, whose net worth is estimated at nearly $2 billion.
Aleksei Kuzmichev, one of the world’s richest men, who EU regulators say has “well-established ties to the Russian president.”
Four of 17 family members were also deprived of Cypriot citizenship and golden passports.
(An investigation into the disgraced citizenship scheme found that more than half—53%—of the 6,779 issued passports were illegal.)
Law firms violate money laundering law
The Cyprus Bar Association fined four unnamed law firms for violating numerous rules, including money laundering.
The head of the Association told Phileleftheros that the fines were imposed as a result of an investigation; further cases are under investigation.
Fines range from €8,000 to €79,000, with a higher fine being imposed on one law firm dealing with a “significant number” of citizenships. The firm has faced 45 allegations of violating money laundering regulations.
To our knowledge, none of the lawyers who violated the rules had their licenses revoked.