The anti-money laundering unit Mokas said Wednesday it had already asked President Nicos Anastasiades’ former law firm for information regarding a report linking the company with the Troika Laudromat, a network of shell companies that operated from 2006 to 2013 moving at least $4.6bn.
The head of Mokas, Eva Papakyriakou, told the Cyprus News Agency that they had asked the firm for information about a report by the Organised Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) last Monday week, August 19.
On Tuesday, the firm’s CEO Stathis Lemis said Mokas had contacted them for further clarification on the claims of the non-governmental organisation.
Lemis said: “We call on them [Mokas] to conduct an investigation immediately.”
The OCCRP report, released on August 14, implied a link between the president and his law firm with the Troika Laundromat, a network of shell companies that operated from 2006 to 2013 moving at least $4.6bn and enabling its users to hide assets, evade taxes or launder money, mainly for the benefit of senior leaders of politics and business in Russia.
Anastasiades remained co-owner of the law firm he established in the 1970s until February 2013. His two daughters are currently shareholders.
Citing the contents from leaked documents of the now-defunct Lithuanian Ukio Bankas, OCCRP said that during the period when Anastasiades was a partner at the firm, it facilitated transactions carried out by four companies who were major players in the Troika Laundromat.
The case is proving a major headache for the president, with main opposition Akel keeping up the pressure on a daily basis.
On Wednesday, the party suggested it was difficult for Anastasiades and ruling Disy to reply on the substance of the report.
“How else can we explain the fact that the Presidential Palace and Disy respond to anything apart from what President Anastasiades is accused of,” the party said. “Doesn’t Nikos Anastasiadis himself feel the duty to speak in person and give an answer to the society?
On the Mokas probe, Akel said it would only mean something if it is not limited to the firm’s claims but if it also seeks information from OCCRP and the central bank.