Wealthy Ukrainians urgently need to protect their assets: e-declarations, confiscation of property and a ban on electronic money
It is time for wealthy Ukrainians to think about protecting their assets and themselves.
Electronic declaration of income of civil servants-the new Maidan?
At the end of October, the first stage of the declaration of income of civil servants ended. The reaction of the population, frankly, unequivocal and negative. Some experts, such as the director of the sociological service Viktor Nebozhenko, compare the possible consequences with the New Maidan.
According to the declarations, officials have big assets. Even if not huge. But this is not a discovery for the majority, although it caused a wave of anger and disappointment. Most experts and ordinary citizens are sure that not all were indicated in the e-declarations. And most remained hidden behind offshore companies, chuckles, and silly jokes.
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But while ordinary people argue whether there will be any consequences for the officials in the form of taxes and penalties, or whether everything will usually remain at their own, Nebozhenko notes another point.
Hide it hid, but forgot where they entered. If Ukraine remained a part of the USSR or even a full-fledged and recognized member of the “friendship with Russia”, then the chance to “swallow” everything would be. But Ukraine aspires to the West, to the enlightened world of wealth and democratic freedom.
And there, by the way, transparency and tax services with expanded powers now prevail.
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Almost all Ukrainian politicians have forgotten that in the spring of 2016 there were Panamanian papers, and before that – other offshore scandals. They did not take into account the existing agreements on the exchange of information and the upcoming automatic exchange of bank data.
The specialist predicts that Western economic intelligence services will put together information from declarations, from their registers and the data that came out of offshore companies and find out who hid it. What does it mean? One of two things: either pleasant incomes for the foreign treasury due to the lack of evidence of legal origin, or the manipulation of specific politicians in order to preserve those or other incomes.
After all, Ukraine is not yet fully sold out, right? There is still something to profit.
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How does this threaten an ordinary wealthy person who seeks to conduct his business quietly and even legally? First, such declarations can reach ordinary citizens, regardless of the level of their condition. And then you have to prove the legality of the origin of its assets.
Secondly, the hatred of the poor, starving and just crushed people is directed not only against the government as such but against all holders of capital. If you can afford to live as you like, no one will assess the legality of your income, to justify you. At best, they will just hate you. At worst, they will try to harm you or your family.
Therefore, it is necessary to take measures: to open foreign bank accounts for legal assets, so that neither the Ukrainian treasury, nor the foreign tax services, nor ordinary citizens could put a hand in your property. And also help will be getting a second passport – for the freedom of traveling around the world and security if someone decides to track the Ukrainians.
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It is important to choose the right place for future deployment. Total transparency and legality of income is a fixed idea for the whole world. Including for a popular destination among wealthy migrants – London.
The UK plans to confiscate property purchased with unexplained funds
We have already written that both sheiks and oligarchs should be wary of a new bill in the UK. He has already passed the second reading and is committed to the final. It does not matter, the Russian oligarch in London, or Ukrainian. If a property, car or painting costs more than £ 100,000 and the origin of the funds is suspicious, the court will have the right to freeze the asset or even confiscate it.
For a court order, “reasonable suspicion” will suffice. Given the previous point, about the declarations of officials and possible inconsistencies with reality, a wave of frost and seizures can start very quickly. And this is only among Ukrainian officials.
Previously, such an action required a court sentence in England or in the country of the accused. Now only “reasonable suspicions.” Of course, not only Ukrainians own property in London illegally – the capital of the Kingdom is recognized as the most popular place to launder illegal money. Up to 100 billion pounds per year are pumped and laundered in London.
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According to the research of The Guardian, only in the City and Westminster 10% of real estate owned by offshore companies. In some cases, it is legal and reasonable, but in some, it is a way to hide the truth, not too clean owner. Unfortunately, this greatly spoils the reputation of offshore companies. So any offshore property owner may well be the very “reasonable suspicion” for verification and arrest. And then prove that you are not a camel and you are fine.
Some of the “guardians” will say that they say, “Let them take away,” will return home more. However, this is not the case: property is taken away in favor of the state treasury of Great Britain. So even illegally withdrawn funds will not return to their homeland.
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What to do to those who bought an apartment in London, but does not want to lose it? Take care of documentary evidence of the legality of the origin of funds spent on the acquisition of specific real estate, and the legality of the origin of all capital. And although the bill has not yet been adopted, the chance and temptation are too great. In addition, experts almost unanimously say that other countries will cross over this initiative, at least in Europe. And confiscations will begin not only on Bond and Baker Street but also on the shores of Lake Geneva and the Adriatic Sea.
Unless, of course, you prove the legal origin of the funds (along with the payment of taxes).
It is reasonable to create a foreign bank account in a bank that you trust and that you can explain the origin of certain amounts. This will facilitate all subsequent steps.
Why do we pay so much attention to a foreign bank account? Because the opportunities to conduct business adequately outside Ukraine may not remain.
The National Bank of Ukraine has banned Webmoney, Qiwi and Yandex. Money
According to Ukrainian media reports, local banks received a letter stating that the use of the electronic money systems Webmoney, Qiwi and Yandex. Money was banned. According to the Central Bank, these systems did not coordinate the provision of their services with the regulator.
In fact, there remained only WebMoney.UA, which agreed on regulation.
The problem with this letter is that we are talking about a ban, both for the service representatives themselves and for the users. Officially, the punishment for users is not specified, but lawyers believe that with the authority and requirements of the NBU, including blocking of accounts is possible.
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But these systems are actively used for business payments, both by companies and employees. Especially if the employer or customer is located just in Russia. The economy of Ukraine is already far from perfect but also blocked for many the channel of receiving funds for existence.
This channel was cheaper for wealthy individuals for many small transactions and for hiring foreign specialists. Now, only foreign bank accounts will become a convenient alternative, so that the commissions are lower and the speed of sending/receiving money is higher.
But this short list is only a small proportion of prohibited systems. Also banned, but earlier, were the systems “Hummingbird”, “Blizko”, “Anelik”, the Golden Crown, “Leader” and “Unistream.”
How to act wealthy Ukrainians to urgently protect the assets and themselves?
For a wealthy Ukrainian, the dangers can be divided into two groups: those that emanate from the territory of Ukraine and international risks.
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The first group is easiest to level by creating foreign bank accounts. They will not allow the confiscation of assets to the authorities or the hijackers. But at the same time, it is still necessary to prove to a foreign bank as transparently as possible that your money has a legal origin. This is a modern trend and a frank fad at each bank – otherwise sanctions. And it is also the second international problem, which is solved only by documentary evidence and accurate behavior.
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To help there will be second passports. This is a legal document of a neutral state in which you are recognized as a citizen, have the right to live, open accounts and travel, for example, to the same European countries without a visa. In contrast to the Ukrainian passport, which is not in a hurry to take in the “friendly Schengen family.”
How to get a second passport? You can use any program of naturalization, but it is a long time – from 3 to 20 years. This time may simply not be. Therefore, it is wise to use the second citizenship program for investments.
There are several countries that are legally ready to give you a second passport for adequate investments in the country’s economy. Most often we are talking about such countries as Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica (the cheapest passport program for investments), Grenada (the fastest program so far), Cyprus and Malta. New players such as St. Lucia are gradually being added to them.
In the period from 3 to 12 months, you will receive a second passport from a respected country and provide yourself and your family with a new level of comfort and security. Yes, a family in such programs can get passports along with the main applicant!