|Last Wednesday, Australia, Canada, the European Commission, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, the UK, and US, agreed to increased cooperation to target Russian assets via a new task force to share information to inform and assist with sanctions, asset freezing, seizures and criminal prosecution.
This comes as reports surfaced about how Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov sold £1bn worth of his shares in Tui, the world’s biggest tourism company, despite being sanctioned. How did he do it? By use of a British Virgin Islands company. This is just another example of how secrecy jurisdictions are helping oligarchs evade sanctions.
Of course, there is also the issue of money spent to influence. Great to see the work of Anti-Corruption Data Collective – supported by TAI members – shed light on oligarch giving in the U.S., showing that over 20 years Russian billionaires gave as much as $435 million to 200 institutions in the United States. Non-profits need to vet their donors, too. Check out this new effort to track down and catalogue the vast wealth held outside Russia by oligarchs and key figures close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”