A Russian investor has been allowed to purchase a luxury New Zealand property after explaining his connection with the Panama Papers.
Leonid Kiryakov, who owns a heating and air conditioning firm in Russia, has bought a $5m property with its own beach in Matakana, a wealthy seaside settlement north of Auckland.
The transaction required approval by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), which must be satisfied he is of good character among other criteria.
Kiryakov’s name appears in documents leaked in bulk from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca earlier this year.
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In the documents he is connected to a company called Climatic Trading Corp registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2006 and a company called Leningradskoe Moscow. Climatic is one of Kiryakov’s trademarks.
The leak of 11.5 million emails, cash transfers and company incorporation details revealed a hidden financial system used by world leaders, wealthy business people, football stars, drug lords, and fraudsters.
More than half of the offshore companies in the leaked files were incorporated in the BVI. Many offshore companies and trusts have legitimate uses.
Kiryakov’s New Zealand lawyer Alan Lear said his client had been asked to explain the link by the OIO and had satisfied it nothing untoward had occurred.
“There is nothing really to disclose. The Panama Papers cast a wide net and covered a lot of legitimate and possibly illegitimate activities.
“It was identified as an issue and an explanation was provided. I don’t really want to go into what the explanation is but there was very little to it.
Lear said Kiryakov had applied to migrate to New Zealand as an investor. He had investments in New Zealand and was looking for others.
The Matakana property has sea and rural views and a sandy beach with riparian rights. The main house is on three levels with three guest rooms. The property also contains a two bedroom cottage.