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Monaco: Putin’s Money Launderette

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The Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, launched a two-part investigative series on Russian money-laundering in Monaco and how it connects to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Robert Eringer, head of intelligence to Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2002-2007, is the primary source of the story. Below, selected excerpts from Eringer’s blog:

Monaco scrupulously honours banking secrets and anonymity and does not tax individuals, which is why members of political and business elites from various countries can be spotted among the owners of luxury yachts berthed in Monaco harbour. If you spend a few hours watching the Monaco port, the chances are you will see more than a few prominent Russians.

Much of Robert Eringer’s complaint is devoted to people from Russia who had come within the Monaco intelligence director’s purview on account of their shady financial activities. They include prominent Russian businessmen, State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council and the Government, special service officers, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin himself.

One of Eringer’s memoranda on Putin referred to a Monaco-based company called Sotrama, which had links with the Tambov crime gang from St Petersburg and with Putin personally. Sotrama was a link in the network of oil trading companies created all over Europe by Putin and his cronies in order to steal money from Russia and launder it by investing in property in Europe.

Eringer has set up a blog where he posts documents he gathered during his time as intelligence officer. He insists that he is ready to testify under oath. To prove his unselfish motives, Eringer agreed to give Novaya Gazeta access to part of his huge archive containing Monaco police operational reports, secret messages from friendly special services, and other documents.

Read the whole article (in Russian):



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