Source Pravda.Ru

Graff Laundromat

A British company could assist Russian financier Emil Gaynulin in hiding money from US authorities in its valuable diamonds.

In May 2015, the world-famous British jewellery house Graff Diamonds Ltd together with its Russian partners, entrepreneur Emil Gaynulin and philanthropist Rustem Magdeev, opened the doors of its first boutique in Cyprus, in the prestigious new Marina, located in the city of Limassol, which is sometimes called the new playground for "rich Russians."

Two years later, in May 2017, the shareholders of the Cypriot company Equix Group Ltd, which owned the Graff franchise rights, got involved in an internal conflict that led to the closure of the store, the disappearance of diamonds worth tens of millions of euros and the intervention of well-known Russian crime bosses.

London court proceedings, initiated as a result of a filing of a lawsuit by one of the shareholders of Equix Group Ltd against its former owner revealed that the moneys invested in Graff jewellery could belong to an influential Tatar politician and members of the Russian criminal community.

However, the greatest resonance was caused by the fact that a core investor and a shareholder in Equix Group Ltd, Emil Gaynulin, who spent in excess of $ 100 million buying Graff watches and diamonds, could actually be just a nominee, and the capital itself belonged to individuals under US sanctions - it's not by chance that a daughter of an influential financier and art collector  Michael Openheim known for his association with some people on the US sanction list, became one of the preference shareholders in the art gallery owned by Equix Group Ltd, and he himself received Cypriot nationality with Emil Gaynulin' help. Last year Michael Openheim has appeared in money laundering scandal in Germany, linked to elite real estate valued $1 billion.

It is quite possible that the management of Graff Diamonds Ltd was well aware of the origin of Emil Gaynulin funds - that is why, in June 2015, they insisted on some transactions to be carried out via Graff Diamonds Overseas SA, a company owned by the Graff family, which opened accounts in a Swiss bank UBS AG.

According to our sources, US FBI got interested in a number of transactions between Emil Gainulin and Graff Diamonds Ltd, as well as in the involvement of a Swiss Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd, where the funds came from. London could start proper investigation too - British authorities are very sensitive to the origin of Russian money.

On the photo: Michael Openheim

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