Four bankers will stand trial in Switzerland this week on suspicion of helping the man known as “Vladimir Putin’s wallet” deposit millions of Swiss francs. The prosecution requests a suspended sentence of seven months for each of them.
The “Bahadari Haredim” website published that the four suspects are senior managers at the bank whose identity has not been published, and worked at Gazprombank. They were accused of ignoring the procedures in financial transactions and that they did not take due diligence to verify the identity of the owners of the funds. It was announced in the Swiss media that it is about 50 million Swiss francs (about 53 million dollars).
According to the indictment, two accounts were opened at Gazprombank in 2014 with the owner identified as Sergei Roldugin, a musician by profession, confidant and friend of the Russian president. His role as a “wallet” for Putin was revealed in 2016 by the Panama Papers, an investigation published by the Guardian in collaboration with other media outlets.
According to the claim, the bankers did not check whether Roldujin is the real owner of the assets, or where the money came from. In the bank documents, only Roldojin’s professional activity as a musician was recorded – “which makes his ownership and involvement improbable”.
The banks in Switzerland are obliged to reject business relations if there are doubts about the identity of the depositor. Both accounts were closed in September 2016. Roldojin was the target of US sanctions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and he also faced sanctions in Switzerland. A spokesperson for Gazprombank refused to comment on an ongoing trial, but claimed the bankers’ presumption of innocence.
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