WASHINGTON: A lawmaker probing Russian efforts to influence last year’s US presidential election said Friday he had traveled to Cyprus to investigate money laundering operations there that could have been utilized by the Kremlin.
Congressman Mike Quigley, a Democrat from the Midwestern state of Illinois who serves on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, called the trip “informative and timely.”
The Mediterranean country is where Russia is suspected of laundering millions of dollars as part of the election interference campaign.
“It is essential for the Intelligence Committee to examine the nature and scope of Russian money laundering and how the use of offshore accounts, like those used in Cyprus, is one of many tools the Kremlin utilizes to exert undue influence abroad,” Quigley said in a statement released following his return to the United States.
“Trips like this help our Committee continue to connect the dots specific to Russia’s election meddling and other nefarious activities they have undertaken around the world.”
US intelligence agencies have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of masterminding a hacking and disinformation campaign to tip the November election results in favor of Republican Donald Trump.
Cyprus has long been seen as a haven for wealthy Russians to stash their funds, converting “black rubles” into “white euros.” AFP