The UK Foreign Office said on Wednesday that new Russian penalties target people who deliberately helped sanctioned billionaires conceal their assets in intricate banking networks.
The UK government imposed sanctions on Demetris Ioannides and Christodoulos Vassiliades, two Cypriot professional facilitators who assisted Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov in concealing their assets, the Foreign Office announced in a news statement on Wednesday. The use of oligarchs’ relatives as go-betweens to conceal money was also forbidden.
Ioannides is in charge of creating the offshore entities that Abramovich used to conceal more than £760 million in assets prior to being penalized. Usmanov and Sutton Place Estate are connected by a labyrinth of trusts and offshore businesses that is at the center of Vassiliades, a Cypriot attorney.
According to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, “We are closing the net on the Russian elite and those who try to help them hide their money for war.”
Russian and other assets worth over £18 billion have been frozen by the UK.
In the meantime, the US slapped penalties against over 120 people and organizations globally for their involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“There is nowhere to run. We’ll keep cutting them off from the resources they believed they had effectively hidden”, Cleverly warned.