Kleptocracy Daily: March 14, 2017

News

A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, stands to receive more than $400 million from a prominent Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, for a Manhattan office tower; Anbang’s murky links to the Chinese power structure have raised national security concerns over its U.S. investments. (Bloomberg)

French authorities have searched a villa on the Cote d’Azur, allegedly belonging to Russian senator Suleiman Kerimov. The search took place as part of an investigation into the acquisition of real estate in France. Kerimov is one of the largest owners of real estate on the Cote d’Azur; his family heads the companies Nafta Moscow and Polyus Gold, and since 2008, Kerimov has represented Dagestan in Russia’s Federation Council. (Nice-Matin, in French)

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s fight against corruption has prompted multinationals to rethink how they lobby in China. (Bloomberg)

A Kiev court has upheld the two-month pretrial detention of Roman Nasirov, Ukraine’s suspended tax and customs service chief, on embezzlement charges. (RFE/RL)

The EU commissioner has ruled that Gazprom, multiple subsidiaries of which are still under sanction by the U.S., has finally met “important improvements to ensure the free flow of gas at competitive prices” following a s 5-year anti-trust battle with the EU. (RFE/RL)

Features

A Reuters columnist argues that though Hong Kong is considering forcing private firms to disclose their true owners, which would shed light on a lucrative web of shell companies and help combat money laundering, they are merely doing so to avoid international censure.  

A fellow at Chatham House argues that Western sanctions imposed on Russian leadership are merely helping them ride out the poor economic situation in Russia.