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Russian money returning from tax havens

Russian money returning from tax havens
The Kremlin policy of capital amnesty has started to pay off, as recent data from the Central Bank shows more money is returning to Russia from overseas tax havens.

The last two years saw a major inflow to Russia. In 2015, $5.2 billion came from the Bahamas and $1.9 billion from Bermuda, which is a 43 and 9 percent increase, respectively, Vedomosti daily reports, quoting Central Bank data.

Investment from the British Virgin Islands decreased, but that jurisdiction retained second place for direct investment in Russia, the newspaper added.

In December, businessman Gennady Timchenko reportedly restructured the ownership of his Volga Group. He now owns 99.9 percent of the company shares and the firm will pay taxes in Russia. Earlier, the investment company belonged to a Cyprus-based Volga Resources Ltd and Luxembourg’s VRN Sarl.

In 2014, another Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov and his partners restructured assets of the British Virgin Islands-based USM Holdings, transferring the controlling stake of the mining and metals company Metalloinvest and cellphone operator MegaFon to Russian subsidiaries.

READ MORE: Russia warns time ticking away on businesses tax amnesty

The Russian amnesty on capital expires on July 1. Before that date, taxpayers who declare their foreign assets and bank accounts will be exempt from sanctions by the state for non-payment of taxes.

In May, Russia’s Federal Tax Service signed an international agreement on the automatic exchange of financial information, which will allow it to obtain data on the financial accounts of taxpayers from more than 80 jurisdictions, including offshore tax havens.