A few blocks from the water, in the heart of Miami’s glitzy South Beach, is a drugstore not like the others. Tourists buying sunscreen and straw hats from the CVS on Washington Avenue are financing a Middle Eastern kleptocrat.
The plexiglass building housing the roughly 12,000-square-foot pharmacy is worth $18.3 million and, because of favorable rent terms negotiated with CVS, should generate significant profit for its landlord. In 2019, based on Miami property records, local press credited a Virginia-based real estate company, KLNB, with purchasing the building. But the Virginia firm’s inclusion in the property registrar was a diversion. “KLNB is not the owner of this property and had no involvement in the transaction,” a company representative said.
The actual purchase was made by an anonymous Delaware shell company. Buried in incorporation documents for this Delaware company’s Florida branch is the name of the building’s real owner: Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan.