KYC 360 on 18th June carried an article that started by saying that the tenants in buildings 6-9 of the prestigious Europort complex in Gibraltar might be surprised to learn that, until recently, their offices were owned indirectly by a close relative of Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad.  Rifaat al Assad has been nicknamed the Butcher of Hama for his role in the brutal 1982 Hama massacre in which tens of thousands of Syrians were killed.  It says that it is understood that no freeze has yet been placed on Assad’s Gibraltar properties, and the trustees are moving swiftly to sell the company which owns the buildings.  However, the article says that the trustees are selling the assets to another trust of which they and their family members are themselves the beneficial shareholders; and furthermore the beneficiaries of the purchasing trust are said to include both Gibraltar’s Financial Services Minister and a Member of the Board of Gibraltar’s Financial Services Commission, who happen to be brothers.  The public became aware of the deal through a recent Supreme Court judgement, which ruled that the sale could proceed.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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