UK sanctioned Cypriot lawyers for assisting Russian oligarchs

On Wednesday, the UK government imposed sanctions on two Cypriot financial experts for assisting sanctioned Russian oligarchs, Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov, in concealing their assets in complex financial networks.

The Cyprus lawyers Mr. Demetris Ioannides and Mr. Christodoulos Vassiliades were named in a statement for aiding the oligarchs and have been hit with an asset freeze, travel ban, and trust services sanctions by the UK government.

A document released by the commonwealth office contains accusation of Mr. Vassiliades of being at the center of a network of trusts and offshore companies that connect Mr. Usmanov and Sutton Place Estate.  At the same time, Mr. Ioannides is believed to have crafted the murky offshore structures that Mr. Roman Abramovich used to hide over £760 million assets ahead of being sanctioned.

Other individuals with Russian and Cypriot nationalities were also named on the sanctions list. The UK government is enforcing sanctions in partnership with Whitehall, FCDO, HMRC, NCA, OFSI, and DfT, according to the Cyprus Mail.