$4.5 billion assets include large cash deposits

The Guardian writes that the palaces, yachts and vineyards were provided to Vladimir Putin by friends and oligarchs.

The Guardian writes that the palaces, yachts and vineyards were provided to Vladimir Putin by friends and oligarchs. / Photo: Collage: Today

Russian emails reveal likely ‘network’ containing $4.5 billion in assets linked to international criminal and part-time Russian president Vladimir Putin.

About it writes The Guardian.

Dictator’s money?

Palaces, yachts and vineyards reportedly lent to Vladimir Putin by friends and oligarchs may now be linked to an informal “network” with more than $4.5bn (£3.7bn) in assets, the publication writes. ).

“The digital documentary trail appears to suggest that a number of vacation homes and other assets reportedly used by the Russian president, which are known to be owned or owned by individuals, companies and charities, are linked through a common domain email address LLCInvest.ru,” the message reads..

For example, a snapshot of a leaked email from last September suggests that directors and administrators associated with some of the individual entities that own and operate these assets discussed day-to-day business issues “as if they were part of a single organization.”

Photo courtesy of Reuters.

Photo courtesy of Reuters.

However, an expert on fighting corruption in Russia, who asked not to be named, said the findings raise questions about whether there was a level of “general control”.

“OOO” Invest “most of all looks like a cooperative or association in which its members can exchange benefits and property,” he suggested.

So, after a year-long investigation, the Organized Crime and Corruption Research Project (OCCRP) and the Meduza website identified 86 companies and non-profit organizations whose representatives use the common domain name LLCInvest, often along with corporate ones. At the same time, claims of a secret presidential status are rejected, and the chain of ownership leading to the Russian president has not been established. The Kremlin spokesman said that Putin “is in no way connected or affiliated with the objects and organizations you named.”

According to OCCRP and Meduza, assets associated with organizations or corporate entities around them that appear to have used the LLCInvest.ru email domain include:

  • palace worth £1 billion. Corporate records held in the Spark database in Russia as of June indicate that the property is owned by Kompleks, whose parent company is Binom. Until July last year, the director of the Binom company, apparently, had registered the electronic domain LLCInvest.ru. The LLCinvest.ru address is still listed in Spark as a contact person;
  • acres of vineyards around the Gelendzhik Palace. The vineyards around the palace are owned by a non-profit organization founded by two of Putin’s associates, Gennady Timchenko and Vladimir Kolbin, who are also under Western sanctions. Kolbin and others associated with the vineyards have LLCInvest.ru email accounts;
  • ski resort “Igora” in the Leningrad region. According to land documents, it belongs to the Ozon company, which houses Putin’s friend, chairman and largest shareholder of Rossiya Bank, Yuri Kovalchuk, who is under Western control. The LLCInvest.ru email account is the contact person in the Spark records of Ozon’s parent company, Relax. That being said, Ozon is not affiliated with the Nasdaq-listed e-commerce giant of the same name;
  • villa north of St. Petersburg. Villa Sellgren was owned by Oleg Rudnov, Putin’s childhood friend, and inherited by his son Sergei Rudnov through North. According to Spark records, Rudnov uses LLCInvest.ru email addresses;
  • a wooden building north of St. Petersburg, known as the Fisherman’s Hut. Emails leaked from the construction firm suggest that three different companies using the domain name owned different parcels of land around the complex, and a fourth entity, LLCInvest, the non-profit organization Maritime Tradition Revival, was in charge of the construction. The same foundation, recently hit by Western sanctions, owns two yachts, Shellest and Nega, that the US Treasury claims are linked to Putin.

Where are the assets

According to the publication, the assets of LLCInvest companies in the amount of $4.5 billion include large cash deposits. Two non-profit foundations co-founded by Timchenko and Kolbin that use the domain name according to Spark’s corporate records have significant funds at their disposal.

At the end of 2020, Development of Agricultural Initiatives had RUB 17bn (£248m) in its deposit account, while Efficient Investment Market Development had over RUB 20bn (£292m) in long-term deposits and ​Nearly RUB5bn (£73m) in short-term deposits at the end of 2020, according to public accounts.

However, LLCinvest is not a standard public email provider like Yahoo, but a domain on a server owned by Moskomsvyaz, a telecommunications company with close ties to Rossiya Bank.

For example, the discovery of a shared email domain was made by analyzing leaked metadata from Moskomsvyaz’s servers, which apparently show the names of senders and recipients of LLCinvest.ru emails, the subject and time of the correspondence. This has been cross-checked with open source records and a separate leak of the contents of some of the full messages.

“Moskomsvyaz and all but one of the individuals who appear to have used LLCInvest.ru email addresses did not respond to requests for comment. Neither the purpose of the shared email service nor the motivation for the apparent collaboration on personnel and logistical matters is clear,” notes the publication.

Also, there is no suggestion that all users of OOO “Invest.ru” are involved in the management of assets that were associated in the reports with Vladimir Putin. Only one person, who uses an LLCinvest.ru email account as a director of several companies, was on the phone when he received the call. He declared ignorance of the nature of his work.

Earlier, political scientist Pavel Luzin said that Vladimir Putin does not control Russia fully. Also psychic and tarot reader Max Gordeev called the decisive date for the President of the Russian Federation and explained why fate would not let him go.