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Sergei Roldugin is a Russian cellist and one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest friends.
He was dubbed “the secret caretaker” of Putin’s wealth after the Panama Papers shed light on the musician’s offshore companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“In any case I am indeed rich,” he told Russian state television at the time. ”I am rich with the talent of Russia.”
The Panama Papers investigation revealed that Rodulgin’s companies bought and sold shares in state-owned Russian businesses such as Rosneft, the energy giant, and often benefited financially even when contracts were canceled. However until now, the scale of these operations was unknown.
The Troika Laundromat leak reveals that Roldugin-linked offshores received more than US$69 million from a multi-billion financial network operated by the investment bank Troika Dialog, a system used by Russian elites in part to move money out of the country, buy luxury goods, and avoid taxes.
Between June 2008 and September 2010, a company connected to Roldugin through a business associate received $31.7 million from the Troika Dialog system, including almost $5.8 million in compensation for canceled share deals. Sandalwood Continental Ltd., based in the British Virgin Islands, was the recipient. Also during that time frame, Roldugin’s International Media Overseas was paid $37.5 million by Troika-controlled companies, including $5.8 million in compensation for canceled share deals.
Roldugin didn’t respond to requests for comment.