Head Of Russian Railways Held Property Via Offshore

22:59, June 26, 2013

The president of Russian Railways may run a state-owned company but he
enjoys a posh dacha in suburban Moscow owned by companies set up in
Cyprus and Panama by people with connections to him.

By Roman Anin

A few lines posted earlier this month on a popular Russian online
forum saying the president of the Russian Railways owns a chunk of
land with a luxurious dacha on it, in a posh suburban area of Moscow
ignited a heated discussion in the Russian blogosphere.

The post prompted Russian blogger Alexei Navalny to follow up, and he
published a document identifying rail president Vladimir Yakunin as
the former owner of the same plot where the dacha is situated. The
document, retrieved from the Federal Service for State Registration,
Cadastral Records and Cartography, showed that Yakunin owned the land
from 2007 to 2011. Beginning in February 2011, a nested structure of
offshore Cyprus and Panamanian replaced him as the landowner.

OCCRP partner Novaya Gazeta took up the story from there to find out
who the new owners are. The paper found a series of connections
between Yakunin's family and the offshore companies that took over the

The 70,000-square-meter plot the country house stands on is located in
one of the most popular areas of the Moscow suburbs, in the village of
Akulinino. According to similar listings from real estate agencies
that work in the area, the price of 100 square meters of land near
Akulinino starts at $3,000, putting the current value of the plot at
more than $2 million. Based on information from persons familiar with
construction expenses, it could cost tens of millions of dollars to
build such a structure given the size of the dacha, the infrastructure
and the expensive decorative work.

According to land records, the current land owner is the Cyprus-based
company Mirolo Investments Ltd. The company obtained the rights to the
plot Feb. 25, 2011, the same day Yakunin officially ceased to be its

According to documents from the Cyprus registry of companies, Mirolo
Investments is owned by the Panama-based Skiron Holdings S.A.. The
trail goes cold in Panama as Skiron Holdings is owned by proxies --
designated shareholders who serve to obscure the real ownership of a
company. However, multiple searches through the Russian registrar of
commercial enterprises revealed that the Mirolo Investments is
connected to the Yakunin family.

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