The use of offshore companies including Arivust Holdings in Cyprus by Russian government officials, including many from the FSB, to stash their stolen taxes is well known. When Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitsky exposed a €175 million tax theft by tax department husband and wife team Olga Stepanova and Vladlen Stepanov he was promptly murdered.
The EU in this case has been the irritant the Kremlin has tried hard to disregard. Von Rumpy's Human Rights Council's working group has been carrying out its own investigations into Magnitsky's murder, and the fragrant Catherine Ashton's External Action Service has been dogging the steps of the stolen taxes from Russia into EU banks and then into property. The Russians have treated Ashton's enquiries as risible; in response to requests, Russian interior ministry spokeswoman Irina Dudukina said the state
cannot trace any of the funds in the Magnitsky-exposed tax fraud because
a truck containing the relevant documents had "exploded."
However, a haircut on Cypriot accounts will be taking money directly from the pockets of Russia's most senior corrupt officials - and the FSB are involved up to their necks.
With no fear of carrying out high-profile international assassinations to underscore their point, they may be considering how much the West would care if either, say, Catherine Ashton or Herr Von Rumpy were tied to a chair and thrown into a swimming pool ...