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Mass media / News

"And where would I get such a mother-in-law". Offshore loans and villas in Spain

Radio Liberty 08.03.2019 at 16:43

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

Popular Spanish newspaper "El Periodico" published journalistic investigation about how to keep their money offshore and then invest it in real estate on the coast of Spain in the Russian establishment. This time it featured high official of the state Corporation rostec Vladimir Artyakov. The staff of "El Periodico" participate in International journalistic project to investigate organized crime and corruption in the world which is known with a loud revelations. The authors of the article Antonio Baquero and Max Jimenez is referred to as the data of this project and surveys directly in Spain. They had a suspicion that it is, among other things, about "money" capital, this time the "hero" of their story – the Russians in the past, the head of "AVTOVAZ" and the Samara Governor, and nowadays the first Deputy of the General Director of state Corporation rostec Vladimir Artyakov. The Spaniards believe that he "belongs to the circle of persons enjoying the highest trust of the head of the Russian state". Analyzing documents – Bank transfers, invoices, official registration of sale and based on the opinion of experts, the authors argue that this high-ranking Russian official has taken to his time in Spain for the acquisition of property millions of euros. But the presence in this history of offshore companies, strange of loans and the purchase of a figurehead allowed the journalists to speak about a very questionable transaction. And they suspect that it is, among other things, about the "laundering" of capital. How is the "money" from the point of view of international law? Says the lawyer, Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid cristóbal álvarez: Some 80-year-old citizen of the Russian Federation has received two loans for a total amount of 13 million 120 thousand Euro, the intergovernmental Group development of measures to combat the laundering of money determines the act as a crime aimed to conceal illegal origin of any income. With the help of "laundering" money, obtained illegally turn into quite legal. Thus, the idea is to avoid the confiscation of the money by law enforcement agencies and get the opportunity to use them later – he says. The journalists of "El Periodico" claim that in 2008 and 2009, some 80-year-old citizen of the Russian Federation Anna Kurepina got his name on two loans totaling 13 million 120 thousand euros. Loans entered into her account in a Spanish Bank "Caixa Girona". Creditors who have sent this lady money 27 translations were made by two offshore companies – Delco located in the British virgin Islands, Panama and Dino. These translations immediately come to the attention of the competent Spanish bodies – right here offshore are notorious, and finances, whether Spaniards or foreigners, caught in that resort to their services, invariably, are of particular interest to law enforcement agencies. However, his negative attitude towards the so-called "free zones" the Spaniards are not alone, says financial Advisor of the Madrid people's Bank Daniel Arevalo: – Organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD) has for many years requires to do away with offshore zones, as the international monetary Fund. Wonder why they still exist. I think that these zones should apply strict measures. We are talking not only about the fact that the owners placed there the money goes from taxes. Offshore keep their criminal capital of the mafia and corrupt officials. We, the liberal economists, though, and advocate for full freedom of entrepreneurial activity, however, the required transparency. Should be known to owners of all capital, and how and where the money is "work", – said Daniel Arevalo. The same woman has acquired two adjacent land of a total size of 6 thousand square meters, in the exclusive holiday village so it is not surprising that the transfer of large amounts of offshore companies in the name of a citizen of Korepino has not gone unnoticed by the Spaniards. But their special suspicion, as noted Bakero and Jimenez, called the fact a large loan in the name of an elderly woman, was issued without any security Deposit and any other guarantees. The credit, of course, for a long time in a Spanish Bank is not delayed. On the received money the same woman has acquired two adjacent land of a total size of 6 thousand square meters, in the exclusive holiday village of S'agaró Vell in Girona province. The sections were subsequently built two villas. However, a major Russian investment in those areas, by itself, did not surprise anyone. 30 percent of property owners in S'agaró Vell, according to "El Periodico", immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Tells Montserrat Maseth, an employee of one of the firms real estate in the municipal district of Castel-Platja d'aro, which is located in the said village: – the Russians, our clients – people who are accustomed to luxury, who like to spend a lot of money to go to restaurants, buy houses. They are increasingly going to Spain. It is very beneficial for us. It's one time of the crisis, we even had to reduce real estate prices by 30 percent. Well, the Russians, our estate is quite affordable. So we they are always welcome, she says. We want these people out of Spain. They have nothing to do. We don't want to see in Spain But not all the rich guests and their attachments rejoice in Spain. Many Spaniards and representatives of law enforcement agencies, and ordinary citizens – is clearly concerned about the emergence in their country of dishonest foreigners – all kinds of dealers, criminals, corrupt officials. Among the opponents of such a public include, for example, the journalists participating in the International project for the investigation of organized crime and corruption. Says one of them – Luis Armans: – We want these people out of Spain. They have nothing to do. We don't want to see in Spain. Don't want their dirty money. Because by and large we are talking about the security of the country, its sovereignty. Similar sentiments exist in other EU States. Let him go where you want – they do not want us here, – said the journalist. Six years after the acquisition of all the Spanish property passed from Kurepina to son Artyakov, Dmitry Dealing with the "very strange", according to them, the loan lady Kurepina, journalists got to the bottom, she is a relative of Vladimir Artyakov, most likely, according to "El Periodico," his mother-in-law. In any case, in Moscow, according to the source, and Artyakov, and Kurepina had previously been registered in one apartment. Moreover, in 2014, six years after the acquisition, all the Spanish property passed from Kurepina to Artyakov son – Dmitry. As for the previously mentioned credit, it looks like offshore companies nobody gave. And journalists think is another proof that it was the capital Artyakov. Used in this story is receiving quite well-known, says the Madrid financial expert Antonio viñas: – As a rule, such fraud is resorted to persons possessing large means, and often power. One hundred Euro is not "washed out". We are talking only about very large sums. The scheme is uncomplicated. First, to hide the true owner of a particular acquired property, create a number of anonymous structures. For example, to open a company in Panama, as this offshore zone, with which Spain does not exchange information in the field of investment. You can then create another company, for example, in the Bahamas, also in the offshore. Well, in conclusion for the money Panamanian enterprises formally owned by the Bahamas, you can buy a property in Spain. And thus, the name of the true owner of money and the purchase would be difficult to identify. And to completely confuse everyone, you can make a Spanish property on an inconspicuous and unknown figurehead, said Antonio viñas. Under investigation of money laundering by foreigners there are difficulties, so that the majority of cases before the court does not reach whether there Can be history unearthed by journalists, any continuation? Well, for example, a criminal case in Spain under the article of "laundering" money? Unlikely, experts say. The problem is not only in the difficulty of defining the owner of capital. You still have to prove that the invested money was ill-gotten. It is clear that in the case of foreigners it is not easy. Here it is necessary the cooperation of the Spanish intelligence with the relevant authorities of the country where was produced the money and where they went to travel offshore and then ended up in Spain. If such interaction is not, then legal proceedings against the foreigner is doomed to failure.

The judge speaks from Valencia Joaquim Bosch: – we Have a certain imbalance. On the one hand, the system of detection of "laundering" works well. There are institutions that are obliged to inform the Supervisory authorities about suspicious cash flows. Banks, notaries, real estate sellers. But at the stage of investigation of money laundering by foreigners there are difficulties, so that the majority of cases before the court do not reach, – he said. The Spaniards, although they were confident in the criminal origin of the money of the Russians, to prove this could not the examples are not far to seek. In October last year, the national trial chamber of Spain was forced to justify large group of persons – citizens of Russia, who was accused of money laundering. The investigation found investing tens of million in real and personal property, as well as in different business. The case featured and offshore, and doubtful capital, and surrogates. As the defendants were mostly Russian businessmen with a criminal past and doubtful present connections in the underworld, and in the power structures that allowed the Spaniards to call them mafia. The business was conducted for ten years, but eventually collapsed. According to the testimony of lawyers, it only happened because the Spaniards, although they were confident in the criminal origin of the money of the Russians, to prove it could not. They needed assistance to Russian law enforcement agencies, which could provide concrete facts of criminal acts of the defendants. But the Spaniards did not wait from colleagues any assistance.