The Pandora Papers uncover 3,700 ‘offshore’ companies linked to Russian oligarchs, bankers and politicians

In total, the “Pandora Papers” documented the links about 3,700 companies with more than 4,400 Russian citizens. Today, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which he leads Gerard Ryle from Washington DC, in which laSexta and El País participate exclusively for Spain, uncovered information about more than 800 Russian citizens linked to offshore companiesamong which are at least 42 Russian millionaires whose wealth accounts for 15% of Russia’s gross domestic product.

Among them are Alexei Mordashov, Suleiman Kerimov, Sergey Chemezov, Roman Avdeev, Leonid Reiman, Alexander Winnie, Mikhail Fridman, Mikhail Gutseriev, Knows Salam Gutseriev Yes Victoria Valkovskaya.

Alexei Mordashov, a steel tycoon with an estimated fortune of $29 billion, is the first Russian oligarch to escape sanctions. It has 65 opaque companies in the British Virgin Islands. Mordashov is the most obvious case of seeking schemes to circumvent sanctions.

Suleiman Kerimov, a man from Putin’s inner circle, is also listed in the documents. His fortune is around 10,000 million dollars.

The name of Sergei Chemezovformer partner of Vladimir Poutine in the KGB, he is also on the list. As revealed by the “Pandora Papers Russia”, this oligarch used his wife and daughter-in-law, linked to nine offshore companies which managed a heritage of 350 million dollars, including the luxury yacht of 85 meters immobilized in the port of Barcelona .

Another of the most famous names is the prominent Russian businessman Roman Avdeevan Alpha Consulting client who began selling radio parts and television set-top boxes in the late 1980s.

After the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Avdeev acquired the Moscow Credit Bank, one of the country’s main financial institutions, which has been under US sanctions since last February.

He owns a chain of pharmacies and has interests in the construction sectors, the wood and oil industry. He also bought Moscow football team Torpedo in 2017. Forbes magazine estimates his fortune at $1.3 billion.

Also found in the docs Leonid Reiman, a graduate of St. Petersburg Public University of Telecommunications who worked as an engineer and later moved to the St. Petersburg Public Telephone Company. In 1999 he was appointed Minister of Information and Communications of the Russian Federationthen Minister of Communication and Information Technology, then Advisor to the President.

In 2006, a Swiss arbitration panel found that Reiman was using an investment fund as a front to control interests in the Russian telecommunications industry while was sector minister, facts that Reiman denied. Years later, he was investigated for allegedly running a money laundering scheme with employees of a German bank, but still denied any wrongdoing and was not sentenced.

There is also no shortage of directors of major Russian banks who have spent a decade shifting their money to offshore companies to avoid previous sanctions.

ALSO MICHAIL FRIDMAN, FROM SUPERMARKETS DAY

In “Pandora Papers” there are eight leaders of the five most powerful banks in Russiaincluding the owner of Día supermarkets, Mikhail Fridman.

The files also link offshore entities with Alexander Vinnik, a Russian computer scientist. He worked as a cryptocurrency trader on the BTC-e platform until US authorities arrested him in Greece in 2017. He was extradited to France, where he was sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering. His defense expressed concern that his client could be extradited to the United States after serving his prison sentence.

The documents show that Alpha Consulting sent a report to the Seychelles financial authorities in 2018, informing them that it had learned of the criminal charges against Vinnik during a due diligence review.

businessmen Mikail Gutserievfounder of the Russian oil company RussNeft and former member of the Duma -the chamber of legislators-, and his brother Knows Salam Gutserievalso a former legislator, are linked to 84 offshore companies created by Alcogal and Dadlaw, the most used cabinets. Moreover, Russian politicians own the most offshore companies in the Pandora Papers.

Alpha Consulting data adds to what was already a mountain of information on the elites of Russia in the Offshore Leaks database.

The database contains information on the two “Pandora Papers” service providers with the highest proportions of Russian end recipients: the Panamanian company Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) and the company Fidelity Corporate Services, based in the British Virgin Islands.

Data from all three companies is now available in Offshore Leaks, where information extracted from five leaks is already included over 20 entities with ties to Russia.

ALPHA COUNCIL

Alpha Consulting was created in 2008 by Victoria Valkovskaya, a former Moscow translator who moved to the Seychelles, where she opened the office with her husband, Roy Delcy, a native of the island. As is common in the offshore industry, the company provides paper administrators, whose names appear on corporate documents to obscure the identity of the true owners of the structures.

In 2019, the company reported that 75% of its customers were Russian. Now, documents from Alpha Consulting show Avdeev’s offshore companies registered in the Seychelles, British Virgin Islands and Belize.

One of them, Hi Capital Corp, appears as a personal savings company.

About 40% of more than 2,000 offshore companies, foundations and “trusts” detected in leaked files from Alpha Consulting declare one or more Russian citizens as final beneficiary. Another 23% have Ukrainian citizens among their beneficiaries. The new data also connects offshore companies to other businesses and characters in over 100 other countries and jurisdictions.

Among the prominent clients of Alpha Consulting, one of 14 offshore service providers whose files were leaked to the ICIJ, stand out Elizabeth Dos Santos, the richest woman in Africa; the general Martin Rushmaya, Advisor to the President of Zimbabwe; Yes David Galstyanowner of an Armenian arms company investigated by the Armenian authorities for trafficking ammunition to the United Arab Emirates and then to Liberia, despite an embargo.

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