British newspaper The Guardian wrote about The Panama Papers stressing that the flow of Money starts in Panama, continues in Russia, Switzerland and South Cyprus.
A network of secret offshore deals and vast loans worth $2bn has laid a trail to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.
An unprecedented leak of documents shows how this money has made members of Putin’s close circle fabulously wealthy.
Though the president’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage.
The documents suggest Putin’s family has benefited from this money – his friends’ fortunes appear his to spend.
The offshore trail starts in Panama, darts through Russia, Switzerland and Cyprus – and includes a private ski resort where Putin’s younger daughter, Katerina, got married in 2013.
The Panama Papers shine a particular spotlight on Sergei Roldugin, who is Putin’s best friend. A professional musician, he has apparently accumulated a fortune – having been placed in ostensible control of a series of assets worth at least $100m, possibly more.
Yet the files reveal Putin’s longstanding intimate has a 12.5% stake in Russia’s biggest TV advertising agency, Video International, which has annual revenues of more than £800m. Previously, its ownership was a closely guarded secret.
Roldugin was also secretly given an option to buy a minority stake in the Russian truck manufacturer Kamaz, which makes army vehicles, and has 15% of a Cyprus-registered company called Raytar.