Igor Makarov, who amassed his wealth from the sale of Russian gas, was included on a list compiled by the United States Department of the Treasury in 2017 that featured oligarchs and political individuals with ties to the Russian government. However, before we can go further with his research, we need some background information about Igor Makarov.
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Igor Makarov: A Brief Overview
Igor Makarov is a well-known and multidimensional character who has a diversified experience that encompasses the domains of professional cycling and the worldwide cycling community as well as the field of business.
His career has spanned all of these spheres. Makarov was born on April 5th, 1962 in Ashkhabad, which was then a part of the Turkmen SSR and the Soviet Union. He is presently the President of ARETI International Group, which was previously known as ITERA International Group.
Before Makarov’s triumphant foray into the world of business, he had a brilliant career as an experienced cyclist and was a member of the Soviet Union’s national cycling team. His accomplishments in bicycling not only helped him become an admired figure in the world of sports but also contributed to the solid reputation he has built for himself.
After Igor Makarov finished his career as a professional cyclist, he moved into a new capacity within the sports industry.
Igor Makarov is famous for sponsoring international cycling events and activities. His contributions have elevated and promoted cycling worldwide. For his efforts, Makarov has been on the UCI Management Committee since 2011. His engagement in the UCI, cycling’s worldwide governing body, has shaped its growth.
Makarov is known for his business and cycling accomplishments. Forbes put his March 2023 net worth at $2.2 billion, demonstrating his financial achievement. This implies he was a successful entrepreneur with several businesses.
In the summer of 2023, Igor Makarov renounced his Russian citizenship to become a Cypriot. A change in citizenship is a personal life issue that is neither good nor bad.
UK sanctions were placed on Makarov on September 26, 2022. The Russo-Ukrainian War prompted these restrictions. While the material did not specify the sanctions’ causes, they affected Makarov’s professional and personal life.
Overall, Igor Makarov had a distinguished life. Business success, professional cycling accomplishments, and worldwide cycling community activities characterize his public presence. His change of residence from Russian to Cypriot and the UK government’s sanctions, possibly owing to the Russo-Ukrainian War, are key events in his life, but they should not be seen negatively.
Igor Makarov: Allegations Exposing Him to Be a Scammer
The Pandora Papers Investigation
In October, members of both political parties in the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would force registered agents to conduct background checks on their customers and report any suspect financial dealings.
Following the release of the Pandora Papers, which are the results of a worldwide investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), The Washington Post, and other media partners, lawmakers crafted the legislation, which was given the name the Enablers Act.
This was done as a response to the findings of the investigation, which revealed how the global elite conceal their wealth from tax authorities, criminal investigations, and public accountability.
Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, the subject has taken on a new sense of urgency, forcing nations to investigate and freeze the assets owned by billionaires who are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A group of experts called on Congress to implement the Enablers Act and other steps shortly after the conflict started on February 24. They pointed to disclosures in the Pandora Papers that Russian billionaire Igor Makarov surreptitiously possessed real estate and a 13-seat private plane via an LLC and trust in Wyoming.
In the past, Igor Makarov has emphasized, via his attorney, that he does not have any personal relationships with Putin and that the confidence was appropriately declared.
“A number of these states haven’t done enough to take steps to make sure that the United States of America is not the biggest destination for illicit funds in the world,” said
Representative Tom Malinowski (D-New Jersey), a major backer of the bill. “If they had been performing what they did, we wouldn’t have had to act in this area.”
Legal practitioners in a Western town that caters to tourists and is famous for its honky-tonk bar provide special financing plans known as the “Cowboy Cocktail.” Taking advantage of Wyoming’s stringent privacy laws and low regulatory scrutiny, this one-of-a-kind financial plan is built on a mix of a Wyoming trust and private firms with ownership that is kept a secret.
This particular financial structure has piqued the interest of millionaires and billionaires from all over the globe. Wyoming has become one of the most prominent tax havens in the world as a result of wealthy families from countries such as India, Italy, and Venezuela moving their financial assets from major international financial centers to the state’s ski resorts and mining communities.
The Pandora Papers, which are a collection of more than 11.9 million documents, revealed the financial actions of a dozen overseas clients who had formed trusts in Wyoming. People like the millionaire Igor Makarov from Moscow, the Baggio family from Argentina, and the late Kalil Haché Malkn from the Dominican Republic are notable examples.
Because of the combination of these Wyoming trusts and layers of private corporations, affluent people can transfer and employ their money with an unparalleled amount of confidentiality. The owners of a trust designate independent administrators to handle its assets, and for more discretion, these managers often work for unregulated private trust businesses.
Over many decades, Wyoming has been a leader in both the promotion and growth of its trust business. In response, state legislators have enacted a plethora of legislation that are intended to facilitate this development.
However, the predicted tax income from this business has not materialized as a result of the fact that politicians did not take into consideration the prospective influx of cash from overseas sources such as oligarchs and dictators from other countries.
The trust sector in Wyoming is built on the concept of trusts, which provide people the ability to shield their assets from their creditors and reduce the amount of tax they are required to pay. The option to put a private corporation under the control of a trust in Wyoming is one of the state’s most distinguishing characteristics.
These companies are often managed by members of the same family, which adds a degree of anonymity to the process. This so-called “Cowboy Cocktail” strategy offers a level of secrecy that is difficult to find in other tax secure havens.
In Wyoming, residents have the option of working with either licensed or unregulated private trust businesses, with the latter providing even greater degrees of confidentiality. In contrast to the regulated option, which is subject to governmental monitoring, the unregulated option is not. The regulated option is intended to assist families in avoiding unforeseen tax concerns and attention.
The trust business in Wyoming has grown dramatically in recent years, despite requests for more control and transparency. Wyoming has become one of the most desirable trust jurisdictions in the world as a result of its asset management company’s current management of more than $31.5 billion in assets.
Customers from all over the globe have come to Wyoming as a result of the state’s privacy rules and financial incentives; in fact, worldwide trust businesses have begun promoting Wyoming as a tax haven destination of choice.
The Pandora Papers reveal recent deals, mostly from 2016 to 2019. Wyoming trusts helped celebrities like Igor Makarov manage their fortune, sometimes with offshore corporations helping them hide.
Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Delaware, and Nevada are economic and corporate secrecy hubs, according to the European Parliament. To keep suspect payments out of the U.S. banking system, legislators are exploring major anti-money laundering rule reforms.
While Wyoming legislators wanted a clean sector that safeguarded respectable customers’ privacy, the state’s privacy rules frequently kept regulators in the shadows. Infrequent tips and media stories are becoming the main sources of trusted industry client information.
Finally, Wyoming’s unique financial structures and strict privacy regulations have made it a worldwide tax haven for affluent foreigners. Calls for more regulation and control are mounting as the state’s economy has not benefited from trust industry growth.
U.S. Penalties for Igor Makarov
US sanctions on businessman Igor Makarov were rumored in 2018. After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2007, Igor Makarov joined Putin’s commercial delegation. Clifford Karchmer was hired to evaluate Igor Makarov’s prospect of the penalty and examine his financial operations.
Russian citizen Igor Makarov is an energy industry leader, according to Karchmer’s 2018 study. After ITERA’s quick development throughout the former Soviet bloc, it called Igor Makarov a ‘Putin-era oligarch.’ The investigation acknowledged that commercial or political conflicts may have driven some assaults on Makarov’s image, but it also raised factual concerns about potentially contentious relationships and economic activity.
After being named one of 96 Russian oligarchs by the U.S. Treasury in 2018, Makarov recruited Karchmer. It turned out to be a copy of Forbes Magazine’s 2017 billionaires list. Igor Makarov had not been prohibited in the U.S. when Karchmer’s team reviewed his public and financial records and found no misconduct.
Canadian and Australian sanctions on Makarov after Russia invaded Ukraine in April 2022. Karchmer felt Igor Makarov was unlikely to be sanctioned in the U.S., but many other high-net-worth persons may be. He noted a lack of proof and suggested that Canada sanctioned Igor Makarov to protest billionaires implicated in the Ukraine incursion.
The I-TEAM approached Makarov’s representatives about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but he refused.
Karchmer denies that Igor Makarov sought out Putin, saying that Putin requested him to participate in a trade mission. Karchmer stated that Igor Makarov joined Putin on the operation before Russia was sanctioned to retain his position since individuals who fell out of favor with Putin feared criminal charges or execution.
Igor Makarov: Other Charges Leveled Against Him
Igor Makarov, a millionaire in the energy industry in Russia, purchased a controlling share in a Canadian oil and gas business called Spartan Delta without going through the required regulatory vetting.
The regulatory monitoring that exists between federal and provincial authorities in Canada was shown to be lacking as a result of this acquisition.
The transaction was organized as an exempt take-over offer, which meant that prospective bidders were not required to reveal their transactions. This allowed Makarov’s group to combine Spartan Delta with Inception Exploration, an oil sand business located in northern Alberta.
Despite Makarov’s participation in a long-running lawsuit in a federal court in the United States involving money laundering, payments, and a former prime minister of Ukraine, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) did not take any action against him for regulatory violations.
In the lawsuit brought by the United States, Igor Makarov was accused of paying bribes to the previous prime minister of Ukraine, Pavel Lazarenko, in exchange for exclusive rights to sell gas in Ukraine. The lawsuit aimed to confiscate around $250 million that had been stashed away in offshore bank accounts, and Igor Makarov was suspected of being involved in intricate money-laundering deals.
Even though Igor Makarov was not named as a defendant in the case brought forward in the United States, it was claimed that he, along with other individuals, had personally benefitted from these schemes involving the laundering of money.
Lazarenko, who had served as Ukraine’s prime minister until 1997, had been imprisoned on money-laundering allegations in Switzerland and subsequently sentenced to nine years in the United States on money-laundering accusations. Lazarenko’s convictions came after he had been sentenced to nine years in the United States. Concerns have been expressed as a result of this case over the low restrictions in Canada, which make the country susceptible to money laundering.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Makarov sold more than half of his shares in Spartan Delta to an unknown third party for the price of $121 million, only moments before the Canadian government sanctioned him for his involvement in the invasion. Regarding Makarov’s penalties and the transactions involving Spartan Delta, federal authorities, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, could not give any explanations.
This case draws attention to what many people believe to be Canada’s regulatory laxity about offshore investments, as well as the country’s appeal to those looking to clean their dirty money.
In the Spartan Delta transaction, Igor Makarov used firms that were registered in Cyprus, which was consistent with questionable investing practices. Igor Makarov, a former champion cyclist of the Soviet Union, started building his gas empire in Turkmenistan in 1992 and has since expanded it all over the world.
Itera International, Makarov’s firm, had obtained a major part of Gazprom’s business in Ukraine and other territories that had belonged to the Soviet Union. This fact raised suspicions as to why Gazprom entrusted Itera International with this advantage.
The attorneys for Gazprom contended that the political climate in the United States was behind the civil forfeiture action. Both the government of Ukraine and the government of Russia did not react to questions on the case.
The consolidation of Makarov’s oil and gas reserves in Alberta was accomplished via the use of a strategy for the acquisition of shares that is known as an exempt take-over bid. This approach did not need considerable disclosure from the investors. The Alberta Securities Commission was not required to participate in these transactions and had the option to opt-out.
In 2016, Igor Makarov and a few other executives became directors of Inception Exploration, a little oil sands firm. This was the beginning of Makarov’s engagement in the Alberta oil industry. Igor Makarov was able to acquire a 21% ownership in Spartan Delta in 2021 as a result of an arrangement made by private investors for Spartan Delta to acquire the Montney property that was owned by Inception Exploration via a share exchange.
The transactions involving cash and shares that resulted in Makarov’s ownership holding in Spartan Delta had a combined value of $148 million. The transfer of Igor Makarov and Areti’s shares in Spartan Delta to Areti International Group, which was established in Cyprus, took place in July 2021.
Within the context of this transaction, organizations connected to the current civil forfeiture lawsuit in the United States were engaged. The acquisition of Velvet Energy by Spartan Delta in the same month propelled the latter company to the position of leading producer in the Montney oil sands.
When questioned whether the ASC had any concerns regarding directors allegedly tied to suspicions of bribes and money laundering, they said that problems relating to money laundering were within the authority of the federal government. The complexity of governing foreign investments in Canada is brought into sharp relief by this case, as is the urgent need for more monitoring.
UK sanctions Russia’s unlawful referendum accomplices
In reaction to the Russian regime’s unlawful fake referendums that took place in Ukraine, the United Kingdom has issued a package of penalties. Sanctions have been placed on “Putin’s favorite PR agency” in addition to senior-level Russian officials who were responsible for implementing the unlawful voting in four areas of Ukraine.
Sanctions also affected board directors of large state-owned institutions as well as oligarchs whose combined wealth was estimated to be £6.3 billion globally. In reaction to the Russian regime’s imposition of fake referendums in four different areas of Ukraine – a blatant breach of international law and the UN charter – the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has today (September 26) announced 92 penalties against Russia.
These phony referendums have been organized by the Russian state in a last-ditch effort to seize territory and legitimize their unjustified war. This procedure is a direct reflection of their strategy in Crimea in 2014, which consisted of mixing misinformation, intimidation, and fabricated outcomes.
The referendums in question do not reflect the proven desire of the Ukrainian people, and they constitute a major breach of Ukraine’s territorial integrity as well as the country’s political independence.
The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, made the following statement:
We will never accept the results of sham referendums that are staged under the threat of physical force because they cannot be free or fair. In the regions of Ukraine that Russia now controls, they adhere to a well-established pattern of using force, intimidation, torture, and forcible deportations.
Those responsible for these phony ballots, as well as the people who continue to back up the Russian regime’s aggressive war, will be the focus of the penalties that are being imposed today. We are standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and our assistance will continue for as long as it takes to reclaim their independence.
The Russian government has sent officials and accomplices to each of these temporarily controlled districts to carry out these fake referendums; 33 of these persons are being sanctioned as of today. These are the following:
Sergei Yeliseyev is now serving as Vice Admiral in the Russian Navy in addition to his role as Head of Government in Kherson. This role was recently established by the Russian government. Ever since he deserted the Ukrainian Navy in 2014, Yeliseyev has been working to undermine Ukraine’s independence.
Ivan Kusov is the Minister of Education and Science of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic. Pasechnik, the head of the LPR, has given Kusov the responsibility of “helping our educational institutions to seamlessly blend in the educational system of Russia.” Kusov’s title is “Minister of Education and Science.”
Yevhen Balytskyi is the Russian-installed leader of the so-called Government in Zaporizhzhia. Since March, he has been publicly supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine by comments on his agreement with the operation. Evgeniy Solntsev, the Deputy Chairman of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, IMA Consulting, nicknamed ‘Putin’s favorite PR firm,’ has also been sanctioned.
It is believed that Balytskyi signed a decree in August to enable a referendum on Zaporizhzhia joining the Russian Federation. According to reports, IMA has been given the contract to organize the public campaigns for these sham referendums. This will allow IMA to facilitate the realization of these referendums inside the four areas that are temporarily under Russian authority as well as promote its fake validity in Russia.
A security papers firm known as Goznak, which is notorious for its monopoly on the manufacturing of ‘tens of millions’ of state documents including expedited passports in the temporarily occupied territory, has also been sanctioned. Goznak has been blacklisted.
Putin continues to depend on his inner circle of billionaires and hand-picked elites to finance his war efforts. During the time that Russia was working to destabilize Ukraine, many other high-net-worth people were also doing business in industries that were of strategic value to the Russian government.
Today, a further four persons, including both oligarchs and high net-worth individuals, have been sanctioned for supporting or gaining benefits from the government of Russia and engaging in areas that are of strategic importance. The aggregate worldwide net worth of these four individuals is estimated to be 6.3 billion pounds. These are the following:
God Nisanov and Zarakh Iliev, also known as the “Kings of Russian real estate,” have a combined worldwide net worth of two billion dollars. Together, they own and manage the Kievskaya Ploshchad Group, which is a significant construction firm that operates throughout Russia.
Iskander Makhmudov is the current President of Ural Mining and Metallurgic Company as well as its founder. Makhmudov is a big metals mogul, and it is believed that he has a worldwide net worth of £2.7 billion.
Igor Makarov is the President and Owner of ARETI International Group, a prominent investor in the oil and gas business. He is also the Founder of Itera, which was Russia’s first independent gas firm until it was purchased by Rosneft, which is controlled by the state. It is believed that Igor Makarov is worth 1.6 billion pounds.
In addition, today’s package contains 55 board members from state-linked organizations that continue to fund the Russian war machine. This serves as a clear reminder of the cost of backing Putin’s operation and includes board members from organizations that continue to fund the Russian war machine. The following have been given sanctions:
23 members of the Board of Directors and the Management Board of Gazprombank
16 directors from Sberbank’s executive board, supervisory board, and other boards
10 representatives of Sovcombank, including the bank’s Deputy Chairman, members of the Supervision Board, and members of the Management Board.
The results of any fraudulent referendums or any efforts to annex Ukraine’s sovereign territory would never be recognized by the United Kingdom. In 1991, the people of Ukraine cast a decisive vote in favor of breaking away from the Soviet Union. Since then, they have steadfastly resisted Russian aggression, which proves unequivocally that they want to maintain their status as an independent sovereign nation.
The inexcusable acts taken by the Russian government are being roundly condemned by the United States and our other foreign allies. We are determined to maintain economic and political pressure on Russia, and along with our allies, we will continue to seek targeted sanctions against the country.
As of right now, the United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on more than 1,200 people and more than 120 businesses, including more than 120 oligarchs who are believed to have a combined worldwide net worth of more than £130 billion.
Igor Makarov: Russian Billionaire Renounces Citizenship Over Ukraine
Igor Makarov, a billionaire in Russia, has renounced his citizenship amid the conflict in Ukraine and the controversy surrounding the “golden passport.”
Igor Makarov, a Russian millionaire, has made the crucial choice to resign his Russian citizenship during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This decision was made when Russia was in the middle of its invasion of Ukraine.
This decision came about as a result of the escalating tensions between the two countries, and it was first reported by Forbes earlier this year. It added his name to the growing list of those who have severed connections with Russia.
It has just come to light that Igor Makarov participated in a scheme known as the “golden passport” to get Cypriot citizenship more than a decade ago. This initiative seeks to target rich businesses as its primary demographic since it expedites the citizenship application procedure for wealthy persons.
The purpose of the “golden passport” program in Cyprus is to entice affluent investors by streamlining the application procedure and providing a speedier path to attaining citizenship. This program is also known as the “golden visa.”
However, concerns have been raised about the possibility that this initiative could enable applicants to sidestep stringent due diligence and monitoring procedures. These worries have led to criticism of the program.
The choice of Igor Makarov to abandon his Russian citizenship is not a unique incident by any means. One year previously, Canada had placed sanctions on him, labeling him as one of 14 “close associates of the Russian regime” who were considered to have had a part in Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine.
This belief is based on the fact that it is believed that Russia invaded Ukraine illegally. These claims were linked to the crisis that occurred in Ukraine in 2014, a war that captured the attention of the world community and resulted in a variety of sanctions being placed on persons affiliated with the Russian government.
Igor Makarov has been subjected to sanctions by many countries throughout the world, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. This highlights the worldwide nature of the allegations made against Igor Makarov in connection with events that occurred in Ukraine.
These penalties are a component of a more comprehensive international reaction to the crisis that is intended to hold people responsible for their involvement in acts that are seen as unsettling and undesirable.
Makarov’s choice to abandon his Russian citizenship and his participation in the “golden passport” scheme put light on the complex dynamics that surround affluent persons seeking membership in other countries, some of which may be problematic. In addition, they highlight the efforts that have been made by the international community to alleviate the impacts of geopolitical wars.
Igor Makarov, a millionaire from Russia, recently gave up his Russian citizenship as a reaction to the crisis in Ukraine and his participation in the notorious “golden passport” scheme in Cyprus.
In short, this decision was made in response to the conflict. This action is part of a larger trend of people cutting links with Russia, which has been going on for some time. The “golden passport” system has been criticized because it can evade the obligations for doing due diligence.
Because of the suspected role he played in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Igor Makarov was subject to sanctions from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. As a result, Makarov’s action was not unprecedented.
These initiatives are representative of the reaction that has been made on a worldwide scale to the crisis. The case of Igor Makarov sheds light on the complicated connections that surround affluent persons seeking citizenship in other countries and highlights the efforts being made internationally to mitigate the implications of geopolitical crises.