The publication explains: at the moment, foreigners can obtain citizenship of Cyprus in less than six months, if you invest at least 2 million euros in property in Cyprus or not less than 2.5 million euros in government bonds or Cypriot company.
In April Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said in an interview: for the duration of this rule, the Cypriot authorities issued about 2 million passports. Companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers, which advises the applicants citizenship, claim about half of those passports were received by the Russians. According to the publication, in 2016, it brought to Cyprus 4 billion euros of foreign investment.
The publication cites the story of one of the "newly Cypriot", with whom journalists spoke in April in Limassol. "Former Moscow top Manager of a telecommunications company, who divides his time between this island and other places spoke on condition of anonymity because, um, the concealment of his identity was the goal of his actions," reads the article The Bloomberg.
The first step, according to the source, was the withdrawal of assets from Russia to "firm pad" in the Netherlands. Then the source began to choose a country for second citizenship and chose to Cyprus, considering that this is the easiest and fastest option. In August he bought in Paphos Villa for 5 million euros in total, and in December received the passport.
The consultants confirm that in Cyprus to obtain citizenship faster. In addition, Cyprus is a member of the EU and its citizens can enter in 147 countries without requiring a visa in advance (the Russian citizens — in 105 countries).
Anti-corruption campaigners are concerned that trade with EU passports. "Issuance of residence permits to rich people just because they are rich, contrary to the principle of equality of opportunity," says Miklos Ligeti, legal Director of the Hungarian branch of Transparency International.
The newspaper also quoted Romanian MEP Sebastian Bode: any "gangster or oligarch can do it [get an EU passport] without hindrance, if he has a Bank account".
The authors comment: "it Seems that in the case of Cyprus it is right. The Russians have spare passports in particular, because citizenship of Cyprus helps to hide them from the watchful eye of the Russian government and pay lower taxes. Perhaps it facilitates the transfer of money, as the banks perceive these people as bona fide local residents, and not as potentially suspicious aliens".
Some Russians, according to The Bloomberg, "hire fictitious employees for investment firms established on the island, create the illusion of his physical presence here, says an American accountant who lives in Limassol and said that is a member in dozens of such organizations".
"The most compelling reason for the withdrawal of Russian businessmen of their money in Cyprus or other offshore — the fear of losing the money, — says Svetlana Ledyaev, Professor of Economics at the Aalto University (Finland). — Russia is politically unstable, and rich Russian may one day discover that all of his money confiscated, and he himself was imprisoned".
The Ministry of Finance of Cyprus programme for the issuance of passports and tax incentives are considered a success because it all helps Cyprus to emerge from recession and to keep property prices from collapse. The applicants citizenship, buying property, keep housing prices from falling unrestrained. "According to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Russian investments in Cyprus in the first 9 months of 2016 more than 50% higher than investment in 2015", — writes the edition.
"The return of Russian money to Cyprus important for the world arena, as the money all the time pop up in the news about the relationships of the team trump with Russia. According to the materials of court cases, and according to former top managers of the Bank, where he kept these funds, by Paul Manafort, a former campaign Manager of the trump, used Bank accounts in Cyprus to receive money from the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Ukrainian clients. Manafort and Deripaska stated that accounts were opened in order to legitimate business operations," the authors write.
Wilbur Ross, now Minister of Commerce, invested in the Bank of Cyprus, according to the authors. "The largest individual investor of the Bank — Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. Due to the influx of Russian money investment Ross, though unprofitable, was not a complete failure," reads the article.