The story which has been making headlines and even toppling governments recently, namely the leak of the so called Panama Papers, which had demonstrated how a series of suspicious-looking transactions went through Panama, Russia, Switzerland, and Cyprus, with hundreds of millions in unsecured loans ending up with companies allegedly controlled by individuals in Russian President Putin’s close circle, has effects that are felt in Cyprus.
On top of featuring in the suspicious money routes and a hub for intermediaries Cyprus was embroiled in the story also because Mossack Fonseca (Cyprus) Ltd, a representative office of the Panamanian company, was registered in Cyprus in 2003. The company asked to be deleted from the registry of companies registered in Cyprus only last month.
In view of all the above, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) has called on all its regulated entities to inform it if they have or had any link with Mossack Fonseca, the law firm which gained global prominence after the leak of Panama papers. CySEC gave the said entities a deadline up to April 20th, in order to look through their records and inform CySec if they maintain or maintained any relationship with the Panama firm or a third person acting or representing it.
According to the relevant circular, which was released on 12th April 2016, entities should also inform the Commission if they have or had any business relationship with customers introduced or managed by Mossack Fonseca or any person who appeared to be included in the Panama papers.
As the Commission notes, this move is in line with article 58(d) of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws of 2007-2016 and falls within the scope of its mandate for market supervision and ensuring the compliance of Regulated Entities with the legislation in force as well as acting preventively.