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Head Of Russian Railways Held Property Via Offshore

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  • Head Of Russian Railways Held Property Via Offshore

    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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