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Putin signs off on amnesty for hidden assets

09 june 2015, 12:14
0
Russian President Vladimir Putin. ©AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin. ©AFP

 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Monday an amnesty for people who illegally spirited funds out of the country, hoping to counter the capital flight that has contributed to the country's economic crisis, AFP reports.

The law as published on the official government website exempts from criminal prosecution Russians who this year declare assets such as property or shares or foreign bank accounts they have previously hidden from the authorities.

The law aims to "create the legal basis for returning to our economy assets hidden in the shadows," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in March.

The assets would not necessarily need to be repatriated, but would have to be reregistered in countries that are not tax havens, he added.

The amnesty was first announced by Putin in December, when the ruble was plunging under the effect of a slump in global oil prices and the conflict in Ukraine.

The economic crisis accentuated Russia's longstanding problem of capital flight, which topped $150 billion last year.

The delay in approval was due to disagreements within the government on the scope of the measure, according to Russian media, with the final agreement granting amnesty for evading taxes and customs duties but not for money laundering or corruption.


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