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On Dublin Backstreet, Hub of Russian Finance Quietly Falls Apart

  • Corporate-service firms helped Russian companies borrow $145b
  • Little-known firm in Dublin among the most active players
The city skyline in Dublin, Ireland.

The city skyline in Dublin, Ireland.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

On a Dublin backstreet, behind a Georgian townhouse where the Irish Red Cross is raising funds to support Ukraine, a once-thriving hub of Russian finance is falling apart.

Here, a little-known firm quietly helped to keep Russia’s global money engine ticking over in recent years. Cafico International set up shell companies for some of the country’s biggest businesses, providing directors and accounts, helping them to sell bonds and raise billions of dollars.