Reliable sources in the Moscow financial community have advised that the Government of Russia is seriously considering imposing economic sanctions upon the United Kingdom, upon the grounds that the UK is facilitating tax evasion by Russian nationals. Apparently, many affluent Russian taxpayers are artfully evading income tax upon their earnings, and Russia intends to hold the UK responsible, as the scheme involves two British Overseas Territories, the British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands.
According to individuals who are privy to the investigation, Russian nationals are purchasing BVI companies, and using the total anonymity associated with a BVI company, and its bearer shares, opening corporate accounts in the Cayman islands. The next result is that cash is transferred into, and held by, an entity, whose beneficial ownership cannot be determined, under any circumstances.
A financial services firm in Road Town, Tortola, is known to refer all its "corporate" clients to its office in Grand Cayman, where a bank account is arranged through a local financial services provider. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been hidden from view in this manner, and Russian law enforcement, and regulatory agencies, cannot ascertain beneficial ownership, even when they have the name of the corporation.
Russia is blaming the United Kingdom for failing to terminate local legislation that allows companies with bearer shares to exist in the British Virgin Islands, and to allow Non-UK nationals to form such entities. Additionally, the Cayman laws on banking & corporation secrecy and confidentiality, and for allowing foreign entities to hold accounts there, are blamed as well. Though both the BVI and the Cayman islands enjoy local autonomy, Russian considers the UK to be ultimate responsible, as both territories are British possessions, and under British sovereignty. The extent of sanctions, and when they will be imposed upon the UK, is not known.