The acquisition of FCA-regulated e-money institution Monetley Ltd by Cyprus-registered MRCR Holdings Ltd has been kept confidential from the public, raising concerns about transparency and potential financial risks. This is particularly alarming as MRCR Holdings is also the controlling entity behind the Russian-controlled crypto payment processor Mercuryo, with the Russian national Grigory Vaysman acting as director of this Cypriot legal entity.

 

The acquisition took place in February 2023, as confirmed by the UK Companies House register. Mercuryo, which is an FCA-registered agent of Monetley since June 2021, also named MRCR Holdings as the controlling holding in their communication with the Estonian FIU. Therefore, it can be concluded that this Cypriot entity owned by Russian citizens has control over both Monetley Ltd and Mercuryo.

The Estonian FIU revoked Mercuryo’s crypto license and raised concerns about the ownership structure of MRCR Holdings. They found that the Russian Petr Kozyakov could not be the only beneficial owner of Mercuryo or MRCR Holdings. Further investigations revealed that two collective investment schemes in the Cayman Islands, Target Global Selected Opportunities, LLC (Series Mercuryo No 1) and Target Global Selected Opportunities, LLC (Series Mercuryo No 2), were behind the Cypriot entity. However, their beneficial owners could not be determined, raising concerns about potential money laundering and fraud.

Moreover, the Estonian FIU noted that Mercuryo did not disclose all beneficial owners and failed to provide details on how the individual companies operate in relation to each other or the scheme. This lack of transparency and disclosure raises concerns about the potential financial risks associated with these companies.

The acquisition of Monetley Ltd by MRCR Holdings Ltd, with its opaque ownership structure and potential ties to collective investment schemes in the Cayman Islands, raises red flags about transparency, financial risks, and potential involvement in illicit activities. The UK FCA should take these concerns seriously and investigate the ownership structure of Monetley Ltd and MRCR Holdings Ltd to ensure they are complying with all regulatory requirements and are not engaging in any illegal activities.

Due to the difficult new ownership situation around Monetley, we have changed the previously green-rated listing to orange:

Monetley Compliance Rating

Mercuryo Compliance Rating

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