Dutch Arm of Troika Laundromat Sent Millions to Putin’s Friend
A company registered in a residential row house in a small Dutch town appears to have been part of a recently revealed Russian money laundering scheme that moved billions of dollars to the west, the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw discovered.
Owned by a company with a similar name in the British Virgin Islands, Dutch Quinta Capital Partners B.V. managed the assets of Russian multimillionaire Ruben Vardanyan, the director of the Troika Dialog, once Russia’s largest private investment bank, that found itself in the center of the latest money laundering scandal called the Troika Laundromat.
According to leaked documents, the bank set up a network of offshore companies that blended legitimate payments with millions of dollars of fraudulent Russian capital and private funds of the country’s elite to mask the money’s origins.
The scheme allowed Russian oligarchs and politicians to secretly acquire shares in state-owned companies, to buy real estate both in Russia and abroad, to purchase luxury yachts, to hire music superstars for private parties, to pay medical bills, and much more.
Trouw reporters found that while Quinta is registered in the small town of Wormer – about 20 kilometers from Amsterdam – its employees were Russians who worked at a branch office in Moscow and at the same time for Vardanyan’s Troika bank and used Troika email addresses.
The leaked documents show that Quinta sent over US$100 million across the globe and corresponded about contracts, loan agreements and accounts with the Lithuanian Ukio Bank which Troika used to transfer laundered funds to Europe. The exchanges discussed anonymous companies in tax havens.
In 2010, Quinta sent $5.7 million to cellist Sergei Roldugin, a childhood friend of Vladimir Putin and the godfather of his oldest daughter.
Quinta’s director lives in the row house in Wormer, together with her husband, who happens to be an employee at Briddge Legal & Finance, a service provider that counts Quinta among its clients.
Calling the phone number associated with Quinta, Trouw reporters reached the receptionist of Briddge, who acknowledged that Quinta is a client but said they could not discuss any further details because of privacy laws.
Right after Trouw reporters started asking questions end of last week, the Quinta director resigned and the company moved to an office building in Amsterdam. According to the Chamber of Commerce, Quinta currently has no directors and can therefore not legally function.
The Quinta offices in Russia are in stark contrast with the company’s humble Dutch headquarters. The Russian department still operates from a luxurious office space in the center of Moscow at the same address at which Troika Dialog operated until it was purchased in 2012 by Sberbank, the nation’s largest state-owned lender.