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Belgium. The government and the royal family fly planes of a company with ties to the Russians

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Private jets used by the government and members of the royal family are operated by Luxaviation, to which Russian money flows, the daily De Tijd revealed.

These are two Dassault Falcon 7X planes that are used for flights with the king, prime minister, foreign minister and high-ranking EU officials, the newspaper reports.

Log investigation

At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Defense signed a 12-year contract for leasing them for EUR 124.5 million from Luxaviation, which is the second largest private air transport company in Belgium.

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“De Tijd” reports that the main shareholder of the company, Patrick Hansen, is associated with 90 companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and Belize. “Some of them are hidden by Russians who have transferred him millions of euros,” the daily reads.

In 2013, Luxaviation acquired the Belgian aviation group Abelag. Hansen stated that the purchase was paid for solely with “own funds and bank loans”.

Who is behind the company?

Thanks to the documents Pandora Papers however, journalists found out that the funds for this purpose (20.5 million euros) were donated by the Ackerfield Overseas company from the British Virgin Islands, behind which the Russian “AK”, the son of a Russian billionaire, is hiding, who in 2016 received a decoration from Vladimir Putin.

In recent years, Luxaviation has received numerous other multi-million-dollar loans from the British Virgin Islands through Ackerfield and similar companies owned by the same Russian.

“We were not aware of Luxaviation’s Russian connections,” Cédric Maes, a spokesman for the Belgian Ministry of Defence, told the newspaper.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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