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Russian Mafiosi 'Would Benefit' From Cyprus Bailout By EU

A man walks on the seafront promenade in Limassol as the Russian-owned cargo ship "Monchegorsk" is docked offshore. (file photo)
Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine reports that wealthy Russians, including mafiosi, would be the chief beneficiaries of an EU bailout to Cyprus.

The weekly magazine was quoting a report prepared by Germany's BND intelligence agency on money laundering in Cyprus.

Cyprus is a popular offshore tax haven for Russian businesses looking for protection from their country's erratic investment climate.

According to the intelligence report, Russians deposited some 20 billion euros ($26 billion) in Cyprus in 2011.

Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has said it has toughened its laws against money laundering and is in compliance with international regulations.

"Der Spiegel," quoting the BND report and European officials, said major doubts remain over Cypriot implementation of those rules.

Cyprus is in talks over the terms of a reported 10 billion-euro bailout.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP