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There are also reports that attempts to clean up money laundering and improve financial transparency stalled, and that as of 2016, “Geldwasching” may be back, not only in Cyrus as a whole, but also at the Bank of Cyprus. Senate approves Ross’s nomination, it is essential to get to the bottom of these curious relationships. THE ‘BANKRUPTCY KING’ SWOOPS IN In July 2014, Ross became Vice Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus.So this is the fundamental question: How did a prospective U. Commerce Secretary come to play a lead role in what turns out to be one of the world’s leading haven banks for laundering Russian money, precisely at a time when the U. Government and the EU have been trying so hard to enforce economic sanctions against Russia and Putin’s wealthy allies? Unfortunately, no one bothered to ask Ross even a single question about them, the Bank of Cyprus, or dirty Russian money at his January 18 confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee, where he received unanimous approval along with a ringing endorsement from his Florida Senator. At that point the bank was in deep financial trouble, having nearly failed in 2013.Of course, Trump has reiterated time and again—most recently at his White House press conference on Feb. Significantly, Trump said nothing about Russians, investors from other former Soviet Union states like the Ukraine or Kazakhstan, or ventures with Russians outside of Russia and the former Soviet Union.In the past, even Trump has boasted repeatedly about raking in many millions from Russian oligarchs who bought luxury Trump apartments and joined his golf clubs.This profit were earned at a time, when by Trump’s own account, the U. real estate market was a “disaster”—so dead that he actually sued Deutsche Bank, his one remaining global creditor, in a failed effort to avoid repaying a million real estate loan.DESIGNER HAVEN In Ross, we see an indirect beneficiary of the 1990s Russian debacle.
As we have recently explored elsewhere, from the mid-1990s on, this massive re-concentration of wealth gave way to an extraordinary outflow of flight capital, and the proliferation of tax dodging and criminal enterprises.
Furthermore, as noted below, one Russian oligarch shelled out at least million to Trump in one Florida real estate deal.
This allowed Trump to more than double his million investment in that property in four years.
As one leading newspaper put it, “Russian money is in fact at the heart of the island’s economy.” Nor is Ross’ Bank of Cyprus in particular – now probably at least half owned by Russians, as we‘ll see — any stranger to money laundering, tax dodging, or odious finance.
With a market share of 30 percent, Bank of Cyprus has long been the market leader in Cypriot financial chicanery: There are also disturbing reports of several recent high-profile money laundering cases in Cyprus.