News2019.05.03 14:41

Lithuania bans entry to Russian singer Grigory Leps over criminal ties

Saulius Jakučionis 2019.05.03 14:41

Lithuania has blacklisted Grigory Leps, a popular Russian singer, over his alleged ties with the criminal world.

The sanctions were imposed on the singer earlier this week under the so-called Magnitsky Act that allows blacklisting people linked to serious corruption, money laundering or human rights violations.

Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas signed the order to bar entry to Leps upon a request by Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.

“We confirm that Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas signed on Tuesday a decree to ban this individual from entering the Republic of Lithuania,” Ieva Dirmaitė, the interior minister's spokeswoman, told BNS.

Deputy Foreign Minister Darius Skusevičius says that the ministry made the proposal “in view of our allies' public list of undesirable individuals and consultations with them”.

“We believe that what he is charged with in the US is a sufficient reason for him to be on our lists, too,” he told BNS.

Three members of the parliament – Ingrida Šimonytė, Audronius Ažubalis and Laurynas Kasčiūnas – have also called for adding Leps to Lithuania's blacklist.

The singer performed in Lithuania in March.

The US imposed sanctions on Leps in 2013. According to the US Treasury, the singer couriered money on behalf of Vladislav Leontyev, a key member of the Brothers' Circle, a Eurasian crime syndicate.

Leps has been also blacklisted by Ukraine and Israel.

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme

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