Megayacht Nord, worth $500 million, is reportedly tied to Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov. Recently Nord arrived in Hong Kong.
According to AFP, this shows that the island under the control of the Chinese Communist Party could become a haven for Russian oligarchs and officials evading Western sanctions.
Tycoon Mordashov is among the Russian oligarchs close to Putin, who the United States and the West have sanctioned for waging a war of aggression against Ukraine earlier this year.
Maira Martini, corrupt money flows expert at Transparency International, said that Hong Kong has long been a place for those who “want to hide assets and launder dirty money.”
She added that Hong Kong’s “easy incorporation of shell companies that can be used to layer funds and obscure the real owners.”
Ruggiero, a former US national security advisor, said that Moscow would create a series of front companies to evade sanctions from the West.
Igor Sagitov, Moscow’s consul general in Hong Kong, shared that Hong Kong is a good place for business.
He said, “When the trade volume between Russia and China is growing rapidly, Hong Kong can benefit.”
When asked about the visit of Mordashov’s megayacht to Hong Kong, Sagitov said that he “appreciates the approach the Hong Kong government has taken.”