Russia, “Putin’s money in Switzerland”: bankers hid millions of francs

The West continues to hunt for Vladimir Putin’s assets. Four bankers have appeared in a Swiss court accused of helping to hide tens of millions of francs on behalf of the Russian president. The men, who held high-ranking positions at the Swiss branch of Russia’s Gazprombank, are accused of helping Sergei Roldugin – a friend of the Russian president who has been called “Putin’s wallet” – move millions into Swiss bank accounts without proper checks. The bankers – three Russians and one Swiss whose names are kept confidential under Swiss law – appeared in Zurich district court denying the allegations. Roldugin, godfather of Putin’s eldest daughter Maria, allegedly poured $50 million into Swiss accounts between 2014 and 2016 without any credible explanation as to where the money came from.

He reportedly also planned to pour an additional $10 million a year into Swiss accounts through a complex network of shell companies. Swiss prosecutors told the court that the bankers had not done enough to determine the identity of the true beneficiary of the funds. Roldugin was the officially named owner of two accounts opened at Gazprombank Switzerland in 2014. However, there was no evidence to prove the source of Roldugin’s funds. Roldugin, a cellist and conductor, had previously told the New York Times that he was not a businessman and certainly not a millionaire, thus dismissing reconstructions of his proximity to the system set up by the Kremlin’s number one.

Source: IL Tempo