However, the truth is much darker and hidden in the company’s documents, which may take several days to appear to the public – Bloomberg reports. “It shows that Russian billionaires are shifting ownership interests, resigning their board positions and ceding control – all in a race to stay ahead of US, UK and EU officials and restructure their assets while still being able to,” the agency wrote.

The first example from the beach is Alexei Mordashov, who is considered the fourth richest person in the Russian Federation. On the same day, when the steel magnate was under sanctions, he handed over to his wife Marina control of a stake in London miner Nordgold, worth about $1.1 billion. – Bloomberg reports. The oligarch also transferred part of the $1.7 billion stake in travel company TUI AG from a Cypriot holding company to a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

Mikhail Friedman, who was covered by the EU sanctions along with Mordashov and his business partner Peter Avin, Two days later, he gave control of at least three companies in the UK. He transferred those shares to a former employee of LetterOne, an investment firm he co-founded, according to Bloomberg.

See also: Sanctions are already paying off. Few are withdrawing from Putin

Time is an ally for the Russian few

Journalists point out Entrepreneurs have plenty of time to hide their assets, even after the sanctions are announced. Because these require, for example, that companies rummage through layers of a company’s holdings to find, freeze, and report on “blacklisted” owners’ accounts. They must act in accordance with all formalities. It continues.

Financial institutions may take time to identify accounts linked to a sanctioned person who are not yet publicly knownSays Howard Mendelson, Director of Customer Affairs at Kharon, the communications network about sanctioned persons, at Bloomberg.

Time is working for the oligarchy, says Mendelssohn. “The person who has been penalized may use this fact as an opportunity to hire attorneys, and to consider ownership changes and other asset transfers,” the expert says.