The Secret Caretaker
Sergey Roldugin isn’t just one of Vladimir Putin's closest friends. He's connected with a group of companies that controlled a significant share of a secret business empire.
Carina Global Assets Ltd., British Virgin Islands
In 2014, Tatiana Navka, now the wife of Dmitry Peskov, became the company’s beneficiary.
The law explicitly prohibits spouses of high-ranking public officials from profiting from any foreign financial instruments, offshore networks included. The law took effect in May of 2013, giving officials three months to dispose of all such properties. Carina Global Assets was not dissolved until November 2015. Whether they violated the law depends on when they married, which is not perfectly clear.
Carina Global Assets was founded in January 2014 with the beneficial owner as Tatiana Navka, professional figure skater. Attached to the application was a copy of Navka’s passport. It also showed that Carina Global Assets planned to manage more than US$ 1 million of assets. The company will “purchase investments on behalf of the beneficial owner” as stated in separate documents describing Navka’s offshore entity.
Peskov and Navka were not publically known to be in a relationship at the time of the company’s registration, however they had a daughter together in August 2014.
The widely-covered wedding of Peskov and Navka took place a year later, in August 2015. But Peskov’s daughter from an earlier marriage, Elizaveta, gave an interview to the Russian independent news channel Dozhd in which she said that “this wedding that everybody knows about in its official sense could not really happen.” She added, “What people saw was just another holiday, another reason to celebrate … [Peskov] told me so.” According to the Sobesednik newspaper, the official civil marriage ceremony took place at a registry office in June 2015.
If this is true, then within three months Dmitry Peskov should have given up either his wife or the public post he holds. Or his wife should have given up the company. Consequently, if the couple were already married by August 2015, then Peskov exceeded the time limit prescribed by law since Carina Global Assets was dissolved only in November last year.
Navka told a reporter for Novaya Gazeta that she knew nothing about any offshore companies:
“I’ve never had any offshore companies or accounts. More than that – I’ve never had any foreign company.”
Asked if it was possible that someone used copies of her documents to register a company without her knowledge, Navka replied: “Of course not. It is absolutely ridiculous to even suggest it. I have no idea who might have done it or how did they acquire the necessary papers. In fact, I’m very interested to understand it myself.”
A few years ago when speaking about offshore networks, Peskov said:
“Overall, this immensely supports corruption practices. Although there are no direct violations of law, it is obvious that these schemes are used for money laundering.”