The whereabouts of Russian hedge fund manager German Lillevyali are currently unknown, but his possible location in Cyprus is shrouded in even more mystery as people are looking to get their money back.
(Click here for an update to the story)
Reports say Lillevyali, the president of GL Financial Group that managed assets in Cyprus and other countries, disappeared without a trace.
The investor, who had €215 million under management last year according to Bloomberg, is also Chairman of the Public Council of GreenCyprusCom, a tree-panting non-profit organisation trying to restore forests on the island.
But he came under fierce criticism as worried investors were expressing concerns over GL Financial Group facing bankruptcy threats.
Bloomberg also said that employees were resigning en masse and investors were attempting to redeem their money but to no avail.
Is Lillevyali in Cyprus?
In a recent Facebook post, Lillevyali told investors from specific companies that he was in Cyprus and that he would be back in Moscow soon.
One disgruntled investor is reportedly an executive who worked for Oleg Deripaska
“I promise you the money is safe. I will return it personally, there is nothing to worry about. Please send me a personal message if you want more information,” the investor posted back in April.
But there are reports that the Facebook post was fake, according to Bloomberg, adding to the mystery of Lillevyali’s whereabouts.
Experts believe that Lillevyali may have disappeared to Cyprus or another nation that maintains friendly relations with Russia.
One disgruntled investor is reportedly an executive who worked for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian super wealthy industrialist who received a Republic of Cyprus passport.
In a recent chat on the WhatsApp application, Lillevyali reportedly refused to give out his exact location.
He also dismissed allegations that he is withholding money from his investors, citing US restrictions and sanctions which he says ended up freezing about $35 million that belong to about 30 individuals.
Bloomberg says that US and European sanctions affect only a few dozen Russians, none of whom are known clients.
Lillevyali says “a large number of clients” are getting their money back but gave no specific details.