On 30 September, Interfax in Ukraine reported that an investigation by Canadian TV company CBC, Radio Canada and Latvia’s Nekā Personīga has revealed an apparent connection between the activities of the Russian special services and the massive laundering of Russian money through shell companies in other countries. The investigation was related to the sinking of the Ukrainian fishing vessel Ivan Golubets in 2019 off the coast of Mauritania. The ship belonged to the Ukrainian state-owned company Service, but was leased to a Canadian offshore company associated with a Latvian fisheries company. It flew under the Georgian flag and was included in the lists of ships of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. The insurer of the vessel was Russia’s Ingosstrakh, and the insurance policy entered into force only 5 hours before the fire on board. The authors of the material note that 30 years ago Ukraine owned a large number of ocean-going fishing vessels. After the occupation of Crimea, their number dropped to 11. The vessels based in the port of Sevastopol were leased to companies registered in Cyprus with unknown owners. The report links vessels to illegal fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, and claims they have become an instrument of money laundering by the Russian state-controlled international mafia.
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