Law firm founded by Cypriot President Anastasiades quoted in Pandora Papers exposes
The law firm founded by Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades, Anastasiades and Partners, was involved in the Pandora Papers exhibit released yesterday, which revealed it was providing bogus owners to a number of offshore companies that were owned in reality to a former Russian politician accused of embezzlement.
Unlike many countries whose main citizens have been implicated in murky financial transactions by the global newspaper publication, the issue has been widely covered by the Cypriot media.
“Philenews” reported that President Anastasiades told the British “Guardian” newspaper that he had no knowledge of the company’s alleged transactions.
“I have no knowledge and it would be impossible for me to know and be able to answer any accusation concerning the management of the affairs of my former company”, the Cypriot president is said to have said in a statement to the Guardian who was one of them. they. news organizations around the world exposed newspaper content to the world.
The Pandora Papers, made up of millions of documents on the actions of 30 national leaders, 100 billionaire businessmen and 300 government officials, have been disclosed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The “Guardian” reported that the law firm which had been founded by the President of Cyprus has been accused of falsely giving the contact details of the owner of four offshore companies to protect the identity of the real owner.
READ MORE: Cyprus toughens to revoke criminals’ golden passports
He reported that in 2015 a Panamanian offshore management company Alcogal complained in a Serious Activity Report (SAR) to financial regulators in the British Virgin Islands that the Cypriot law firm had provided them with information. misleading regarding the ownership of the four companies.
Alcogal claimed that members of the law firm were declared owners of all four companies and that the real owner was businessman and former Russian senator Leonid Lebedev, who left Russia in 2015 after being accused of ‘have concealed assets.
Mr. Lebedev is now a film producer in Hollywood, United States.
According to the Pandora Papers, “Philenews” said the law firm also advised Mr Lebedev to take Cypriot citizenship in 2011.
The Cypriot president denied having any knowledge of the law firm’s activities in a statement to the “Guardian”. He said he did not play any active role in the affairs of the company after becoming Leader of the Opposition in 1997. He added that he held shares in the company until 2013, when he was elected president of the island nation.
In a comment, the Guardian said there was no suspicion that Mr Anastasiades was involved in the activities of the law firm, but added that the use of his name by the firm was not a wise choice.
The “Cyprus Mail”, which also reported on the findings of the documents, said law firm Anastasiades and Partners strongly denied filing false information with the broker.
The company told the “Guardian” that the staff members cited by Algocal were never the beneficial owners of the offshore companies, but had acted as trustees on behalf of the beneficial owner fully in accordance with Cypriot law and that ‘he also kept proper records. .
It does not have to declare whether the beneficial owner was Mr Lebedev and invokes the client’s confidentiality.
The “Cyprus Mail” said that according to the “Guardian” report, shortly after winning the presidential election, Mr. Anastasiades traveled to France aboard Mr. Lebedev’s private jet to meet the then president. , Francois Hollande.
Mr Anastasiades told the newspaper he used the plane for free due to a French air traffic strike and the plane had to go to Geneva for repairs before it took off. He returned to Cyprus on a commercial airline.