The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades denied the accusations in his side regarding his involvement in the creation of shell companies, as stated in the Pandora Papers.
At a regular meeting of the House of Representatives, during which the question of Cyprus' involvement in alleged money laundering activities was discussed, Anastasiades called the claims against him unfounded and misleading.
The President of Cyprus stressed that immediately after his election in 2013 and before taking office, he transferred all his shares (60 percent) to his daughters. Since 1997, when he was elected head of DISY, he did not participate at all in the activities of the law firm Nicos Chr. Anastasiades and Partners LLC.
During the Pandora Papers scandal, the BBC and The Guardian called Anastasiades an "offshore president".
Anastasiades pointed out that it is unacceptable to assign responsibility or equate the President of Cyprus with those who are allegedly involved in offshore activities, because the law firm of the same name, from which he left in 2013, represented or represents the interests of the Russian senator.
Pandora Papers is the largest drain in the history of internal documents of 14 offshore registrars from different countries.
A year ago, an anonymous source gave the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) three terabytes of data (almost 12 million documents) containing information about the owners of 30 thousand offshore companies. The archive contained not only registration data, but also internal correspondence of lawyers and other employees of offshore registrars, information about transactions, bank accounts, as well as exchange-traded securities. ICIJ has involved more than 600 journalists in the investigation and analysis of information.
Among them are employees of ABC, The Guardian, BBC, The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Le Monde, La Nacion, Indian Express. Over the course of a year, they studied the largest leak of offshore data from Panama, Cyprus, Monaco, British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Switzerland, Cayman Islands and other tax havens.
In particular, the broker of the Panamanian offshore company Alcogal filed a complaint against the Cyprus law firm Nicos Chr. Anastasiades and Partners LLC, who claimed that four of the offshore companies she managed belonged to her employees. However, in a report filed with the financial regulator of the British Virgin Islands on June 8, 2015, it says that the broker came to the conclusion that it was a fraud, and now considers the true owner to be a Russian businessman and former member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Leonid Lebedev. By the way, Lebedev fled Russia in 2015 after being accused of hiding his assets, which he did not declare. However, he denies the charges and has since become a Hollywood film producer.
In turn, the European Parliament called for a thorough investigation of all violations identified in the Pandora Papers within the jurisdiction of the EU. The European Parliament has identified the most urgent measures that need to be taken to combat "tax evasion and money laundering." The deputies particularly criticized the former heads of government and ministers of the EU countries, whose actions were exposed in this dossier, including Nicos Anastasiades.