Pandora Papers Crop Up Dirty Wealth Of Putin’s Oligarchs

Suleiman Kerimov
Credit: BBC

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Pandora Papers Russia Project documents have been revealed that have shown a sanctioned oligarch that belongs to Putin’s “inner circle”. The proofs show that he had hidden his wealth.

They reveal that the Swiss tattoo artist has been falsely named as the owner of a company that has transferred over $300m (£230m) to various firms linked to Suleiman Kerimov.

The documents also proved that $700m worth of transactions has been revealed. The secret ownership of the luxury properties has been undetected. The investigation has exposed that the failures of the banking system and the impeding Western sanctions have been a concern. 

Pandora Papers Russia Project Investigation Led by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists 

The Pandora Papers Russia project report has been revealed which has brought some hidden information out in the open. The investigation is led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Evidence of the transactions worth $700m has been linked to Suleiman Kerimov. 

Some of his closest business associates have also been reported as suspicious by banks in the years 2010 and 2015. The Swiss accountant Alexander Studhalter has been posing as the owner of properties that are owned by Mr Kerimov. 

Mr Kerimov behind Putin
Credit: Getty Images

The Pandora papers list has revealed that Mr Kerimov is the secret owner of properties located on the French Riviera and London. This includes his most expensive terraced property which is sold in the UK.

The Western countries are trying to sanction shell companies. Pandora paper leaks have urged the teams to go beyond seizing their yachts and houses located in Belgravia. Suleiman Kerimov appeared in February with many other billionaires. Putin has been the subject of the US sanctions since 2018. 

He is the official of the government of the Russian Oligarchs and the Federation and has served as a member of the lower and upper houses of parliament. Mr. Kerimov made his fortune buying up energy assets and has stocked money in the Russian banks. 

He has reportedly made $21bn investing in a gas company Gazprom. In November 2006, he almost died after getting into an accident in southern France. 

A simple Yet Comprehensive Guide To Pandora Papers

Various corporate records reveal how fake owners are using their ways to enhance secrecy. Even the banks do not know who is making transactions of US dollars all this time. The Government seems to fail regarding this issue and identify or seize the assets. Many are trying to target in the aftermath, especially after the invasion.

US President Joe Biden recently pledged everyone at his annual State of the Union Speech. In the meantime, the US has come up with a major intergovernmental program that will work to find the hidden assets. However, that may not seem to be an easy task and Kerimov highlights this case further.

Western Countries are planning to work harder for many years to come. They are taking a lax approach when it comes to fighting against all the hidden and dirty money. Sometimes it is not easy to investigate this thing due to no hold over the banks.

 According to Julia Friedlander, the experts may have a lot to catch up on, especially if they want to follow through with all this. Julia is a former US Treasury Department sanctions advisor who is now working for the Atlantic Council think tank.

During the investigation that exposes all the failures in the international banking system, everyone is wondering what’s next. It may seem challenging to identify Russia Oligarch who is behind the transactions of millions of dollars. Mr. Kerimov is also among the 4,000 Russian Oligarch list whose names are appearing in the confidential data. 

The French investigation

The recent secret French document reveals that the Oligarchs of Russia have hidden their wealth with one of his close associates. If we talk about Mr. Kerimov he was arrested in November 2017 in France. The suspicions are common as he is involved in laundering the money and tax invasions too. 

Villa Hier in France
Credit: ALAMY

Alexander Studhalter who is a Swiss accountant and businessman who is also arrested. He claims to be the owner of Swiru Holding and four other villas. However they are owned by Russians originally.

A new investigation held by ICU and global partners sheds light on the conversion of financial transactions too. These transactions are linked with the oligarchs and others closer to the Kremlin. During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, things are getting intense everywhere. The Pandora Papers Russia Project is recently coming to light and everyone will be curious to know what’s next.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.