The leak reveals how pro-Putin oligarchs are protecting themselves from sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin GAVRIIL GRIGOROVSPUTNIKKRE | EFE

The corruption plot involves juicy contracts, offshore bank accounts and royalty ties

Russian oligarchs Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, friends of Vladimir Putin since their teenage years and under Western sanctions since 2014. managed to protect their wealth through a Russian businessman and former diplomat with ties to Prince Michael of Kentcousin of the late English Queen Elizabeth II.

That’s according to the so-called “Rotenberg Papers,” an investigation by the OCCRTP consortium of journalists based on leaks of more than 50,000 documents and emails from 2013 to 2020 obtained by the independent Russian media outlet IStories and shared by 15 other independent media outlets. .

The two brothers, who grew up in Leningrad, met Putin while attending martial arts classes together, and their relationship continued as the former KGB agent rose in power and also when he became head of state.

The Rotenbergs’ wealth has been multiplied by lucrative contracts that, although sanctioned by Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, have generated a combined fortune of about $4.9 billion, according to the magazine. Forbes.

Leaked documents reveal that one person was instrumental in helping the Rotenberg brothers secure their wealth and distance it from Western regulators. That would be 50-year-old Muscovite Maxim Viktorov, whose Russian company and law firm played a key role in the plan to save the two’s sanctioned investments, such as their actions at the Helsinki Halli stadium.

The Rotenberg family used various techniques to move their wealth “like chess pieces” around the world.opening bank accounts just as they were closed, and ownership structures changing in response to new sanctions or regulatory questions.

Viktorov used trusted corporate service providers to move Rotenberg’s companies to “less demanding jurisdictions” from the Virgin Islands to Cyprus. In Russia, his company Evocorp Management managed part of the brothers’ assets after it was placed under the control of secret investment funds he presented as his own. Abroad, the company ILS Legal Services, registered in Panama, appears, which would work with Víktorov.

The leaked file further reveals that various third parties, including a man said to be Boris Rotenberg’s former bodyguard and a 36-year-old Latvian beautician “who appears to be Arkadi Rotenberg’s secret romantic partner, have taken ownership of some of the assets.” worthy of the brothers”. Viktorov said neither he nor any of his companies had broken any laws, describing the investigation as “flawed”.

Viktorov worked in the KGB in the 1990s, and later began providing legal services to businessmen and officials. In 2012, he became an advisor to the Minister of Defense. I already knew Putin’s environment then. In his work for the Rotenbergs, Viktorov often visited his foreign contacts. In 2018, the Viktorov Investment Program Fund became a shareholder in the British technology company RemitRadar, where businessman Sergei Markov, a former Soviet diplomat, and Prince Michael of Kent, great-nephew of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, were “ambassadors”. “for the company.

The prince “distanced himself from his ties to the Putin regime after the invasion of Ukraine” but remains linked to RemitRadaraccording to the research.

Markov, for his part, was a director in the prince’s charitable foundation and in several companies in which he had shares, and together with Viktorov, he would hire lawyers to try to unfreeze the Rotenbergs’ assets.

Source: La Vozde Galicia

Amelia

Amelia

I am Amelia James, a passionate journalist with a deep-rooted interest in current affairs. I have more than five years of experience in the media industry, working both as an author and editor for 24 Instant News. My main focus lies in international news, particularly regional conflicts and political issues around the world.

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