Nick Shaxson ■ Russia and Ukraine: how secrecy jurisdictions undermine international sanctions


From the Financial Times:

“Wealthy Russians and Ukrainians are trying to shift more cash into London property, say estate agents, amid indications that eastern European oligarchs are using the capital’s housing market to conceal their assets from international sanctions.”

They are using offshore corporate structures – see an in-depth investigation of wealthy London’s offshore-fed property market here – not so much for tax reasons, especially since the UK took some limited tax moves against foreigners holding UK real estate via offshore companies – but

“Many eastern Europeans still buy their London homes through a company structure to preserve their anonymity, according to tax advisers and housing market agents.
. . .
Charles McDowell, a property finder for wealthy buyers, said buying through a company structure was popular because “should there be any freezing of assets or something similar, they are as protected as they can be”.

As we never tire of mentioning, offshore secrecy, not to mention the several other offerings of secrecy jurisdictions (or tax havens) have a number of negative national security implications.

Read more about this broad topic here, and see also our widely read analysis of how the City of London is one reason why Russia no longer fears the West.

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