The Offshore Patriots

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Viktor Zvagelskiy

Member of the State Duma, United Russia Party

Offshore companies

Bariton Consultants Ltd. (British Virgin Islands), Delcroft Real Estates Inc. (Panama)

Connection

Victor Zvagelskiy has been affiliated with Bariton Consultants since 2007 when he was given the general power of attorney to represent the company. However, in 2009 it became clear that he was one of two effective beneficiaries of the offshore company when he signed a declaration allowing a foundation from Panama to manage the BVI company. The Mossack Fonseca database contains a letter stating that this agreement was still in force as of 2014.

Delcroft Real Estates Inc., a Panama-based company, was owned by Zvagelskiy in 2011 and the official company registry still shows it as active.

What’s interesting?

As a Member of Parliament, Zvagelskiy should have stopped all business activities within three months of May 2013 when the law prohibiting the use of foreign financial instruments took force. The Mossack Fonseca documents show that he did not.

The power of attorney granted by Bariton Consultants in 2007 provided Zvagelskiy with a wide range of powers; he was authorized to carry out negotiations, sign off on any transactions, acquire assets in any part of the world, open bank accounts, receive funds, and manage the company’s property, all in the name of the offshore entity. Three other people were given power of attorney but Zvagelskiy was one of the two signatories for the bank account the company opened in Switzerland.

According to experts interviewed by Novaya Gazeta, all of this could be considered entrepreneurial activity, which is expressly banned by the law ‘On the status of Members of Parliament’.

Zvagelskiy was a businessman before his election to the State Duma. His company’s commercial background was in producing spirits, specifically vodka. The company is no longer active but this is an area he now regulates as a Duma Deputy. Zvagelskiy’s declared annual income of less than 4 million rubles (US$ 70,000) is not very high, except for 2011 when he earned more than 17 million rubles (US$ 530,000).

Reporters could not locate any assets of Bariton Consultants or any trace of Delcroft Real Estates Inc.

Zvagelskiy confirmed to Novaya Gazeta that he was affiliated with Bariton and held a power of attorney, but said he had never signed any documents on behalf of the company.

“I bought the company in 2006 or 2007 for a particular project,” he said. “I had a foreign partner who proposed to buy a piece of land in the Moscow region. And the one condition was to do it through a foreign company. It was totally legal that time.”

Zvagelskiy said he did everything he could to cancel his involvement with Bariton Consultants at the end of 2012.

But the documents tell a different story. In 2014, the mediator acting of behalf of the shareholders of Bariton, in a letter to Mossack Fonseca, confirmed that the beneficiary owners had not changed since 2007.

Zvagelskiy also said he did not have a clue about Delcroft Real Estate, the seсond company the Mossack Fonseca documents say he owns. “I dug into the documents, but didn’t find anything about Delcroft Real Estate,” he said.