Sanctioned Putin associate ‘laundered millions’ through Barclays
According to recently leaked documents, one of Vladimir Putin’s closest friends may have been laundering money and avoiding sanctions through Barclays Bank in London. The associate, billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, has been close to the president since childhood. Barclays has released a statement claiming that it has met all legal duties following financial restrictions imposed on Rotenberg by the US and the EU in 2014. This means that Western banks could face penalties or consequences for doing business with him.
The confidential files reveal how Rotenberg’s companies kept secret accounts. The document leak has been named the FinCEN Files. In March of 2014, the US imposed economic sanctions amid the annexation of Crimea in Ukraine, designating Rotenberg and his brother Boris members of the Russian leadership’s inner circle. Therefore, the sanctions applied to the two men as well. Throughout the past few years, Rotenberg’s companies used money obtained through contracts awarded by the Russian state to build gas pipelines, roads, and a power station.