Special counsel seeks Manafort documents from defunct Cyprus bank: report
Special counsel Robert Mueller and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, composite image.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort may be leading the probe to the eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, according to a new report by The Guardian.


Multiple sources told the British newspaper that the United States Treasury Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation have asked officials in Cyprus for information about the Federal Bank of the Middle East. The FBME presence in Cyprus had Lebanese incorporation, that was shifted to the Cayman Islands in 1986 and then to Tanzania in 2003.

From 1993 until it's collapse in May, FBME operated a Russian office.

One source told The Guardian the document request appeared connected to Mueller's focus on Manafort.

In October, Manafort and his longtime colleague Rick Gates were indicted on 12 counts including money laundering and tax evasion.

"It is not clear why Mueller and his team of investigators appear to be interested in FBME’s financial data. But it indicates that the special counsel is continuing to examine money flows from Cyprus," The Guardian explained.

Earlier in December, Bloomberg News reported that federal prosecutors in Brooklyn were investigating FBME. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are also investigating FBME over how stolen Russian government funds wound up invested in New York real estate.

President Donald Trump was a New York City real estate developer before his election to public office.