Russian officials funneled billions into offshores
Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Financial Monitoring Service) analyzed the data of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers and discovered thousands of offshore companies through which the Russians laundered billions of rubles. Materials on deputies and governors were handed over to law enforcers.
Russian authorities have analyzed leaks from foreign offshore registrars (including the Panama and Paradise Papers) and revealed illegal financial transactions worth billions of rubles, involving thousands of Russians, with high-ranking officials among them. This was stated by the Director of Rosfinmonitoring Yury Chikhanchin, speaking at the Eurasian anti-corruption forum, an RBC correspondent reports.
The Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers are documents from offshore registrars Mossack Fonseca and Appleby. After the leak, they were at the disposal of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
"The service is constantly dissecting materials - such as the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers, the English Papers and so on. The analysis of this information showed that thousands of foreign companies featured in these papers are controlled by Russians. Many dubious financial transactions for a total of several billion rubles that involve them were unveiled," Chikhanchin stated.
The Head of Rosfinmonitoring added that a connection was established between these companies and "a number of Russian public officials, including from the governor's office, the deputy corps, the executive staff of executive bodies." "The results of the investigation were sent to law enforcement agencies," he summed up.
As it followed from the Panama Papers, among others, offshore companies were controlled by Dmitry Peskov, presidential spokesman, Maxim Liksutov, Vice-Mayor of Moscow, Alexey Ulyukaev, ex-Minister of Economic Development (subsequently convicted of bribe-taking from Rosneft Head Igor Sechin), Andrey Turchak, secretary of the United Russia General Council and former Governor of the Pskov region, cellist Sergey Roldugin, whom President Vladimir Putin called his friend, Igor Zubov, Deputy Interior Minister, and other Russian officials, deputies and senators, as well as 16 out of 77 Russian dollar billionaires.
After the Panama Papers were made public, the Prosecutor General's Office announced its verification, and its conclusions were subsequently classified.
The Paradise Papers mentioned Leonid Mikhelson, Oleg Deripaska, Oleg Tinkov and the wife of First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Olga.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.