The first meeting between the US sanctions experts and Cypriot authorities took place on Tuesday, in a discussion that lasted well over an hour.

A police spokesperson told the Cyprus Mail the meeting took place at police HQ where the team of specialists discussed good practices for investigations involving financial crimes, and what tools to utilise.

Their arrival comes on the heels of the Cyprus Confidential revelations, for which the US experts will be assisting local investigations, as well as the sanctions on Cypriot individuals and entities for enabling sanctions evasion against Russian oligarchs.

In total, six experts attended the meeting, including FBI agents, the spokesperson said.

Attending the meeting were police chief Stelios Papatheodorou, assistant to the chief in charge of the fight against crime Yiannakis Georgiou, investigators from the financial crime unit and representatives from the legal service and finance ministry.

Police in Cyprus sought to stress that the investigation will be led by local authorities and the experts are here only in an advisory role.

The spokesperson said the US team will not be delving into individual cases, nor will they partake in any questioning.

Cyprus’ attorney general told deputies last month it may be difficult to convict sanctions evaders but pledged there would be thorough investigation over the allegations which came to light through the Cyprus Confidential reports.

The team from the US comes at the behest of President Nikos Christodoulides, the government stressed.