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European managers help Putin's friends to circumvent sanctions

Monday, 6 February 2023, 15:36

Gennady Timchenko and Arkady Rotenberg, the Russian oligarchs close to Putin are hiding their assets from the European authorities under sanctions, and certain EU managers are helping them with this.

This is stated in an investigation by Vazhnye Istorii (Important Stories), a Russian outlet.

It is noted that Timchenko's assets are handled by a family of Erie professional managers from Liechtenstein. The companies they own formally owned the assets of the Russian oligarch, in particular, the offshore company from the British Virgin Islands Jardin Developments.

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In 2009, Handelshaus Hoop&Partner, co-owned by Louis Erie, became the owner of Austrian trader Citco. The company was the main trader of Sibur, one of the largest Russian oil and gas companies.

Soon after that, Russian Holding bought out Citco for US$1 billion. 

The Erie family now runs Sequoia, a Liechtenstein-registered trust company that includes the Luxembourg-based Volga Group. As of 2014, thanks to the Volga Group, Timchenko was still able to own most of his assets.

Louis Erie is known to have participated in secret trade and financial transactions that brought currency to the German Democratic Republic; he was also involved in the secret supply of high-tech products to the USSR – equipment for data centres.

Arkady Rotenberg's affairs are handled by Ruslan Goryukhin, a former top manager of Budgazmontazh company; he is the formal owner of RG Development. The real owner of the company is probably the sanctioned Russian oligarch.

The fact that the former manager of Putin's friend buys luxury real estate in Germany was exposed by the German media. In turn, Goryukhin filed lawsuits in German courts, demanding a refutation, confirming under oath that RG development was not connected with Rotenberg, and managed to convince the court it was true.

Kush Amin, Transparency International lawyer, noted that the existence of such schemes based on oral agreements is known all over the world, but so far, they prefer to turn a blind eye to the problem.

In November 2022, the EU declared circumvention of sanctions and assistance in circumventing restrictions and withholding information a criminal offence.

Note:

Despite European sanctions on elite wine, the Kremlin continues to buy hundreds of bottles at a price of tens of thousands of dollars each - this is done by Alexey Repik, a friend of Putin's daughter Ekaterina Tikhonova.

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