The list of holders of "golden passports" consists of 34 people. It includes the owner of the Spar retail chain in Russia and the Tula Meat Processing Plant Anton Belobragin, Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoisky and his family members, the owner of the ESN group of companies Grigory Berezkin, CEO of BFA-Development, widow of the ex-owner of Uralsib Bank »Lyudmila Kogan, First Deputy Chairman of VEB.RF Mikhail Kuzovlev.
According to Kommersant , the list also includes the first deputy head of the financial and economic department of Gazprom Igor Shatalov, former board member of Eurofinance Mosnarbank Vladimir Stolyarenko, chairman of the board of the VID group of companies Alexei Ushamirsky, president of the Areti international group of companies Igor Makarov, co-owners of Evraz, Sintez and Privat Group Alexander Frolov, Leonid Lebedev and Gennady Bogolyubov and many others.
As noted by RBC, earlier information about who received the "golden passports" in exchange for investments in 2008-2012 was classified. However, now they decided to open this data for public access. This became known from the letter of the President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis.
“It says that in total 141 people received Cypriot citizenship during this period. 34 of them at the time of application were “included in the high-risk group”, in particular: Mikhail Kuzovlev - First Deputy Head, Member of the Board of the State Corporation VEB.RF; Alexey Ushamirsky - Chairman of the Board of VID Group of Companies; Leonid Lebedev - ex-senator from Chuvashia and co-owner of the Sintez group; Igor Shatalov - Member of the Board of Directors of Belgazprombank and First Deputy Head of the Financial and Economic Department of Gazprom; Alexey Matveev and Alexander Muranov are deputy chairmen of the board of Gazprombank and others", - RBC notes.
The first data on the Russians who received the Cypriot "golden passports", said the publication Al Jazeera. The publication indicated data on 33 wealthy Russian citizens who acquired Cypriot citizenship in 2017-2019. At the same time, the names of the passport holders were not indicated.
However, RBC investigators, by analyzing public data, were able to calculate that the closed part of the list included the owners of Kievskaya Square, God Nisanov and Zarakh Iliev, co-owner of Globaltrans Konstantin Nikolaev, member of the LetterOne board of directors and the supervisory board of Alfa Group Alexey Kuzmichev, as well as the owner Azimut Hotels, Metropol Hotel and Karat Plant Alexander Klyachin.
Along with Spain, Portugal, Great Britain and Hungary, Cyprus is one of the five European countries that receive the maximum income from the issuance of "golden passports" to foreigners in exchange for investment. In 2007-2009, the EU issued over 100,000 passports and residence permits. On this, the most active EU countries earn up to a billion dollars. However, two years ago, a number of countries began revising the program for issuing "golden passports" in connection with suspicions of the corruption origin of capital.
According to Vedomosti, in 2019 the Cypriot authorities decided to revoke their citizenship from 26 foreigners who received the so-called “golden passports” for investing in the country's economy, including nine Russians. The reason for the investigation was the scandal with the citizen of Malaysia Joe Lowe, suspected of involvement in the illegal withdrawal of funds from the Malaysian investment fund, and who received the "golden passport" of Cyprus in 2015.
In August 2020, Cyprus decided to change the conditions of the citizenship in exchange for investment program. Now applicants for the citizenship of this country, included in the list of "politically exposed persons", must prove the origin of the capital and provide a certificate of no criminal record. The list of "significant" includes high-ranking officials, judges, deputies, mayors of cities, members of the armed forces, representatives of diplomatic missions and others.