Assad Henchmen’s Russian Refuge

Assad Henchmen’s Russian Refuge

An excellent piece of forensic investigation and report by Global Witness, an anti-corruption group. This report provides the background to the source of some of the suspicious transactions between Russia and the EU which are currently subject to separate investigations. Property registration documents show that between 2013 and June of this year, the Assad family and its associates — many of whom are under EU or US sanctions for their roles in the Syrian conflict — purchased the luxury apartments in the City of Capitals complex. In most cases they used a loan structure involving offshore Lebanese companies that now officially own the properties. The 5th Money Laundering Directive, effective from January 2020, should help by allowing public access to the Registers of Beneficial Ownership, thereby helping with the identification of Ultimate Beneficial Owners.

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Ayaz Siddiqui, 11th November 2019

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