Dozens of Russian businessmen and their families have issued Maltese citizenship over the past three years. According to information published on the website of the Government of Malta, the citizens of the country, joined since 2004 in the European Union, have become more than 730 people with well-known in Russia combinations of names, surnames and patronymics.
Among them are people whose surnames, names and patronymics, as well as the names of their family members, completely coincide with the names of Russian entrepreneurs. In particular, the founder and co-owner of Yandex Arkady Volozh and members of his family, the owner of O1 Properties investment and development company Boris Mintz and his family members, full namesake of the members of the family of co-owner ICT Holding Ltd Alexander Nesis, as well as himself, appear on the list. Maltese also became the namesake of the largest vodka producer in Russia, co-owner of the Beluga Group Alexander Mechetin, one of the largest Russian landowners Igor Khudokormov and Alexei Marey, the chief managing director and deputy chairman of Alfa Bank, who in November 2017 left his post in connection with the family's relocation London. At the time of writing, representatives of Mints, Nesis, Mechetin, Khudokormov and Marey did not answer questions about obtaining the citizenship of Malta.
"Arkady Volozh travels a lot around the company, the presence of a European passport allows you to travel in a visa-free regime. As before, he remains a Russian citizen and fulfills all the requirements of the Russian legislation, "Yandex spokesman answered the question of RBC about the presence of Maltese citizenship.
The documents of the Government of Malta also include Arkady Yurievich Volozh, Timofei Arkadievich Volozh, Anna-Esther Arkadievna Volozh, Sifra Leibovna Volozh and Yuri Abramovich Volozh. Earlier in the Finparty material, Timofey Volozh was named the son of the co-founder of Yandex, and Anna-Esther as her daughter.
Arkady's parents - Yuri Abramovich and Sofya Lvovna, follow from the biography of the entrepreneur.
The source of RBC, close to Boris Mints, confirmed that the latter is a citizen of Malta since March 2016.
Also on the list are the family of the owner of a large development company FGC "Leader" Vladimir Voronin, top managers of Kaspersky Lab, general director of the gold mining company "Polyus" Pavel Grachev, included in the rating of the top 25 most highly paid managers of Russia magazine Forbes; top managers of Huawei, Candy-Hoover Group and many others.
"Indeed, my family and I have issued the Maltese citizenship, there is no secret, it's just a matter of the convenience of movement during our travels," Rabin confirmed the information from the website of the Maltese government Voronin. "We chose Malta, because we were approached by their terms of registration."
The head of the Russian representative office of the company Candy-Ho over Group and the former vice-president of Lenovo, Gleb Mishin, also confirmed to RBC that he and his family received the citizenship of Malta. "This citizenship facilitates obtaining visas for free movement around the world, which is important for our family, as my children study abroad. In addition, Malta has loyal conditions for obtaining citizenship. Malta also provides soft tax conditions, which is relevant, "Mishin said. According to him, in the future, he does not exclude the registration of his own business in the Maltese jurisdiction.
A representative of Polyus confirmed RBC's availability of Maltese citizenship in Grachev, but declined to comment on other comments.
The Russians listed on the list received Maltese passports, becoming participants in the program "Citizenship in exchange for investment", operating in Malta since the end of 2013. As it follows from the conditions of participation in the program, the minimum amount of investment required to obtain the citizenship of Malta is € 880 thousand, excluding commissions and fees.
Who else got the citizenship of Malta
In the list published by the Government of Malta, there are several hundred Russians, whose names and patronymics coincide completely with the data of Russian businessmen and top managers. Among the new Maltese, RBC found the following full namesake:
Alexey de Monderik and Tatyana Mramornova - top-managers of Kaspersky Lab (the company's press service said they do not comment on the personal lives of their employees);
Dmitry Doichan and Nikolay Fartushnyak - co-founders of the largest sports goods network "Sportmaster";
Leonid Levitin with his family - the brother of the former minister of transport of Russia, the assistant to the president of Russia Igor Levitin. Leonid Levitin's company "Passenger Service" provided bed linen for passengers of the "Russian Railways" until 2006;
Ekaterina Kibovska - sister of the head of the Moscow Department of Culture Alexander Kibovsky and organizer of numerous art exhibitions. Ekaterina Kibovskaya after the publication of the material contacted RBC and stated that she did not have the citizenship of Malta; she also pointed out that "we are not even talking about a namesake, but about a person with a similar surname" - Ekaterina Kibovoskaya is on the list);
Vladi Veligodskaya - the general director of the Central House of Culture of Railway Workers on the area of three railway stations;
Anna and Elena Rybolovlevs - ex-spouses and daughters of billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev - the owner of the Monaco football club and a lover of painting;
Kirill Syrov and Alexander Chistyakov - businessmen, known for their wives - popular singers Anna Pletneva and Glukoza (respectively);
Igor Mudrik - general director of the management company of the business terminal at Vnukovo-3 airport;
Dmitry Selyuk - a famous Russian football agent representing the interests of midfielder Manchester City Yaya Toure and other famous football players;
Yuri Sivak - landowner and developer in the suburbs, who was called a person "close to the ex-governor of the Moscow region Boris Gromov";
Ilya Zubin - co-owner of a major contractor of the Moscow government MSU-1;
Rostislav Gurevich, owner of the international hotel chain Tavros, a partner of the Hayatt Regency;
Maxim Kocherov and Vladimir Semenikhin - famous Moscow collectors;
Oleg Smirnov, co-owner of the SNA group, one of the largest tobacco distributors in Russia;
Albert Avdolyan - a major investor in technological assets, a member of the Russian Forbes list;
Oleg Mikhailov, the owner of the pharmaceutical company F-Synthesis, received 2 billion rubles from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. on the development of generics.
A complete list of new citizens of Malta is available through two links
The program "Citizenship of Malta for investment" was adopted by the Government of Malta in November 2013 and was approved by the European Commission. According to the program, a private investor can receive the citizenship of Malta (and therefore the European Union, where Malta enters since 2004) in exchange for a donation of € 650,000. The greater part - 70% of this amount - goes to the National Development and Social Policy Fund of Malta, The rest of the money goes directly to the state budget.
In addition to transferring the donation, an applicant for a Maltese passport is required to purchase real estate on the island for at least € 350,000, which he can sell not earlier than five years from now, or arrange a long-term lease for five years for a total of at least € 80,000. for the whole period. In addition, the applicant must acquire Maltese bonds, the list of which is approved by the government of the country, to the amount of not less than € 150 thousand, with maturity no earlier than five years.
The applicant can also issue passports to his family members by paying an additional € 25,000 for each minor child and spouse and € 50,000 for an adult child or his parent.
Decisions on applications are made within four months after filing. In the event of a positive decision, the applicant must pay all amounts of donations and make investments in real estate and paper. After another two months he becomes a passport holder.
The Maltese passport gives the right to visa-free entry to most countries of the world. Its owner does not have to really live in Malta. The decision on the tax residency also remains with him. Children born after a parent acquires Maltese citizenship, regardless of their place of birth, receive Maltese passports - already free of charge, follows from the clarification of the conditions of the program.
In July 2017, the Maltese government approved changes in the terms of the citizenship grant program for investment. In particular, the issue of granting citizenship to family members born or adopted by the applicant after obtaining a passport of Malta was settled. Also, the age limit for the applicants' children was abolished - initially it was possible to obtain citizenship for an additional € 50,000 only for sons or daughters under 27 years of age. The list of persons who could be indicated in the application as relatives and issued citizenship for the same additional € 50,000 was also expanded, it was supplemented by grandfathers, grandmothers and grandchildren, as well as the applicant's brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Launching the program, representatives of the Government of Malta stated that it was designed to attract 1,800 new investors, which together would bring the economy of the island nation more than € 1 billion - that is the number of new citizens under this program that Malta agreed to the European Union. After the limit of the Maltese passport for the program has been exhausted, it will be extended on new, not yet voiced conditions, announced in November 2017, the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat.
According to the Maltese newspaper Independent, by September 2017 applications of 1,500 investors were approved.
The list of naturalized citizens of Malta is published annually on the website of the government of this republic. Each time the list contains the names of people who received Maltese citizenship during the reporting period. The last such list, which contains information about those who received the Maltese passport in 2016, was published in late December 2017. It is in this list that the names of Volozh, Mints and other large Russian businessmen are contained. The list of those who received Maltese citizenship in 2015 (published in August 2016) contains the names of 258 Russians. Among them - the former top manager of Transneft Viktor Vashkevich, the co-owner of Sportmaster Nikolay Fartushnyak, Albert Avdolyan. In the list of 2014 (published in July 2015), RBC did not find well-known businessmen from Russia - it contains the names of women who, judging by their social network profiles, married Maltese and permanently reside in Malta.