Bashar al-Assad and his extended family own £31 million worth of property in Moscow's elite sky-scraper district, an anti-corruption charity has claimed.
Global Witness, a UK-based group that investigates corruption linked to human rights abuses, said several members of the Makhlouf family, cousins of Assad, had used the Moscow real estate to secure loans in a complex structure which it claimed could be part of a money laundering scheme because it obscures the origin of the money.
The Makhlouf clan, which is headed by Assad's uncle Mohammed Makhlouf, is considered one of the richest and most powerful families in Syria.
Several of its members have been sanctioned by the European Union and the United States for their involvement with Assad's regime and links to the killing of peaceful protesters.
Six members of the family have bought property in Moscow City, a glitzy business district loosely modelled on the city of London, between 2013 and summer 2019, Global Witness said in a report published on Monday.
Hafez Makhlouf, who until 2014 headed Section 40 of Syria's General Intelligence Directorate, is reported to have spent $22.3 million (£17million) on property in the towers.
He was placed under European Union sanctions in 2011 for is role in the bloody crackdown on protesters that foreshadowed the Syrian Civil War.
Source: The Telegraph.