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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

UK sanctions those who have knowingly assisted sanctioned Russian oligarchs

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UK sanctions those who have knowingly assisted sanctioned Russian oligarchs

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The sanctions target financial fixers linked to Abramovich and Usmanov

The UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office announced a new round of sanctions on 12 April, targeting the so-called financial fixers linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov. Among those newly sanctioned are Demetris Ioannides and Christodoulos Vassiliades, both Cypriot professional enablers said to be knowingly involved in activities supporting Abramovich and Usmanov. 

According to the UK government’s press release, which states that UK experts have identified and uncovered the financial networks of those looking to circumvent the financial sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ioannides is responsible for creating the offshore structures which Abramovich reportedly used to hide over £760 million in assets ahead of being sanctioned in May 2022, whilst Vassiliades, a Cypriot lawyer, is said to be at the centre of a network of trusts and offshore companies that link Usmanov and Sutton Place Estate.

Among the newly announced sanctions, the UK is also targeting Vladimir and Varvara Skoch, the father and daughter of Usmanov’s business partner and Andrei Skoch who is considered to be the ‘richest man in the Duma’, as well as Usmanov’s financial network, which includes the following companies: USM, Curzon Square Limited and Hanley Limited. Frozen assets linked to Usmanov, belonging to these companies, include the £90 million Beechwood House mansion in London and Curzon Square Limited, which acted as Usmanov’s London office and as leaseholder of a Grade II listed mansion on Curzon Square. 

Several family members of other previously sanctioned Russian oligarchs, who have reportedly been used as proxies to hide their assets, have also been sanctioned, including: Tatiana Evtushenkova, the acting director of firm Redline Capital which is owned by her father, Vladimir Evtushenkov; Natalia Evtushenkov, wife of Vladimir Evtushenkov who holds board positions in banks and other companies in which her husband owns stakes, including MTS Bank; Felix Evtushenkov, whose father Vladimir transferred 10 per cent of the shares in Russian conglomerate Sistema to Felix at the time of his own designation, bringing Vladimir’s stake to below 50 per cent; Gulnara Kerimova, who holds four luxury villas in France on behalf of her father Suleyman Kerimov; Nariman Gadzhiev, who acts as the beneficiary owner of a series of shell companies connected to Kerimov; and Oksana Marchenko, the wife of Victor Medvedchuk, and owner of luxury properties in Crimea.

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