Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Leaks Allege Putin Ally, Russian Offshore Holders Under Investigation

Aleksander Demyanchuk / TASS

President Vladimir Putin’s longtime friend and other Russian holders of alleged offshore assets are reportedly under investigation in Panama, and being scrutinized in Russia, following a high-profile document leak.

The Panama Paper leaks in 2016 implicated members of Putin’s inner circle, including Putin’s childhood friend cellist Sergei Roldugin, in a $2 billion money laundering scheme. The documents were published by a partnership of hundreds of journalists connected to international investigative news organizations, including Russia’s Novaya Gazeta.

The newly released documents show that Panama is now investigating one of Roldugin’s offshore companies for suspected economic mismanagement, Novaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

The new disclosures allege that Roldugin’s offshore companies made millions of dollars “out of thin air” through a series of suspicious transactions.

According to the newly obtained documents, the cellist’s International Media Overseas (IMO) company was compensated after signing simultaneous deals to buy shares for contracts that were promptly terminated. His other firms allegedly sold shares at massive profits immediately after purchasing them and had loans written off for the symbolic sum of $1.

Other Russian nationals implicated in the Panama Papers are facing investigation in Russia for money laundering and corruption.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in partnership with Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s independent newspaper, have since estimated the wealth of Putin’s inner circle, including Roldugin, at $24 billion.

Novaya Gazeta made clear that Russian authorities investigations into people named in the Panama Papers do not prove the guilt of the offshore account owners, but said that pushing the government to investigate them was a milestone in the impact of investigative journalism in Russia.

“Investigative journalists from Russia couldn’t even dream of such interim results. Whatever we wrote, no matter how proven it was, the authorities didn’t react in any way,” the outlet said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more