Mysterious email domain: Secret Putin network exposed: How the Kremlin dictator hides his wealth
Vladimir Putin is considered one of the richest people in the world, but this has never been proven. Now journalists have uncovered a network of companies and organizations that apparently protect his assets. Key note: they all use the mysterious LLCInvest.ru email domain.
Is Russian President Vladimir Putin not only extremely powerful, but also extremely rich? Evidence of this has been found over the years. The Moscow battleship is said to have amassed a vast fortune over his many years at the helm of Russia. It is linked to several luxurious properties, including a sprawling Black Sea palace, surrounding vineyards, a ski resort and a villa north of St.
Exciting, but just no time?
Experts estimate: Putin is one of the richest people in the world
According to the American magazine Fortune, some experts estimated Putin’s fortune at $200 billion a few years ago. For comparison: Tesla founder Elon Musk currently tops the list of Forbes magazine. His net worth is said to be $219 billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos followed in second place with $171 billion. If experts’ estimates are correct, Putin would be one of the richest people in the world.
A few years ago, the Kremlin put Putin’s annual salary at around $120,000. According to official information, he owns an 80 square meter apartment, three cars and a trailer. But even as the Panama Papers were being disclosed, there were doubts as to whether this information was accurate. Because at that time international financial transfers were uncovered, in which Arabs from Russia play a role. It also lists Putin’s confidants as straw men.
The problem with such statements: Putin’s fortune is anything but easy to understand. He made sure of that. There is little public evidence of his alleged wealth. A sign can be found in a British court document from 2010. A London judge commented on a financial dispute with a shipping company. In one sentence he wrote of a meeting in a Geneva restaurant where two businessmen “discussed a yacht that Mr. Putin was given as a gift”. However, the yacht named “Olympia” was managed by a company from Cyprus. Company records showed that the real owner was not Putin but the Russian government.
Reporter Mysterious email domain LLCInvest.ru . stumble
The situation is similar with other suspected assets of the Russian President. A thick veil has wrapped itself around him. In fact, after every major journalistic investigation, one of Putin’s old friends has come forward to claim the Russian President’s property. For example, Putin’s partner Arkady Rotenberg claimed ownership of the large Black Sea residence. The mansion north of St. Petersburg was claimed by Sergei Rudnov. He is the son of Putin’s old friend Oleg Rudnov, who died in 2015.
Journalistic research shows that all real estate associated with Putin has one thing in common: they are officially registered under the email domain LLCInvest.ru for companies and non-profit organizations dealing with technical infrastructure. These include Villa Selgrandes, the Black Sea Palace, the Igora ski resort in northwestern Russia, several holiday homes allegedly used by Putin, and a house in a posh neighborhood near Moscow that once belonged to Putin. daughter and her husband. why was it
The network of 86 companies and organizations has over $4.5 billion
Reporters from the Russian weekly Sobednik first linked the LLCInvest.ru domain to a network of non-profit organizations founded in 2017 by Putin’s friends. Now the news site Meduza and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) found a total of 86 companies and non-profit organizations whose employees and owners also use email addresses under this mysterious domain. They are all expressly part of the LLCInvest network. Both are worth at least $4.5 billion. This includes mansions, jets, yachts and large amounts of bank accounts.
Many of these companies have the same directors, addresses and service providers. Some are directly owned by the Russian bank Rossia. Dozens are also owned by the bank’s shareholders, including Putin’s old friend and billionaire Yuri Kovalchuk and Putin’s alleged girlfriend Svetlana Krivonogikh.
Reporters send 100 emails to LLCInvest email address
“The only explanation I see is that these companies are tied to a common management system,” an expert on corruption in Russia told Meduza. The news site also reports that it has shared over 100 emails with LLCInvest’s email address with OCCRP, but has not received a single response from reporters.
Journalists also tried to contact representatives of LLCInvest companies by phone. Four immediately hung up. The fifth, listed as a director of several LLCInvest companies, confirmed that he uses an email address on the domain that was assigned to him after he was hired. He also claimed not to know who owned the companies. “I’ll sign the papers […]without going into details,” he said.
This is how the Kremlin reacted to the confrontation
Meduza and OCCRP journalists confronted the Kremlin with the results of their research. In response, they received this statement: “The President of the Russian Federation is in no way associated or affiliated with the assets and organizations you mentioned.” Bank Rossia did not respond to a request for comment.
At this point, there are still many unknowns about LLCInvest companies. For example, it is not clear how big the LLCInvest universe really is. Overall, however, the research offers a fascinating insight into Putin’s covert conspiracies. It appears that billions of dollars in assets are tied up for the benefit of the Russian President.
The Russian corruption expert told Meduza that the mere ambiguity of certain LLCInvest holdings should prompt a closer investigation. “Such opaque forms of asset ownership associated with politically influential figures indicate an increased risk of corruption and money laundering,” he said.
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