Several high level officials of the Russian government have hidden offshore companies in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, according to documents obtained from a Panama-based offshore services provider called Mossack Fonseca.
According to Russian law, these officials have been barred from engaging in foreign business activities since May 2013, when a Russian law on foreign financial instruments took effect. In addition, they may be in violation of the Russian de-offshoring law, which took effect on 1 April 2015, which requires Russian residents and companies to inform authorities of any foreign holdings above 10 percent. Further, parliamentarians are expressly forbidden from engaging in ‘entrepeneurial activities’.
Analysis done by Novaya Gazeta and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project suggests that these limitations have done little to deter the Russian offshore patriots.
An $8 million villa on Dubai’s luxurious Palm Jumeirah has been controlled for years by the family of Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s former first deputy prime minister. Its ownership structure shows how the wealthy use offshores to obscure their assets.
Documents obtained by Reuters and the Daphne Project show two Panamanian companies owned by two Maltese politicians – one the Energy Minister and one the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff -- expected to get payments from an offshore company connected to the man who won a key government concession to build a large power plant.