A cellist is accused of helping Vladimir Putin pay $50 million into Swiss accounts. 4 bankers are also accused of not having verified the real origin of the money. Some believe that Putin accumulated vast wealth during his tenure as Russian leader. Something is loading.
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Four bankers have been accused of helping Vladimir Putin’s cellist best friend funnel millions of dollars through Swiss bank accounts for the Russian president.
Sergey Roldugin, a concert cellist, is accused by prosecutors of making deposits totaling $50 million with the help of four bankers, who worked as executives in the Swiss offices of Russian bank Gazprombank, reported.
The deposits were made between 2014 and 2016 and there is no plausible explanation as to their origin, according to Swiss prosecutors.
The bankers, three Russians and a Swiss, appeared in court in Zurich on Wednesday, charged with lack of diligence in financial transactions, reported. The four cannot be identified due to restrictions imposed by court reporting in Switzerland.
They pleaded not guilty and the verdict is expected by March 30.
Roldugin is a friend of Putin and godfather to the Russian President’s children. He told the New York Times that he was a musician, not a businessman or a millionaire.
The Russian president has an official salary of around $100,000, but it has long been said that his real wealth is far greater.
“It is well known that Russian President Putin officially has an income of just over 100,000 Swiss francs. [$106,000] and is not wealthy, but in fact has huge assets managed by people close to him,” the indictment by Swiss prosecutors reads.
In addition to the $50 million, Roldugin planned to funnel an additional $10 million per year into accounts, which prosecutors said “was by no means plausible in general as Roldugin’s own asset.”
The Swiss investigation was sparked by the Panama Papers leak from 2017, which indicated that Roldugin was funneling millions through networks of offshore accounts to Swiss banks.
Both Putin and Rodulgin were sanctioned by the European Union after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last year.
Switzerland has put aside its traditional neutrality in conflicts to adopt EU sanctions against Putin, Roldugin and other members of the Russian elite.