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Russia – Switzerland. Four bankers convicted of helping Sergei Roldugin, friend of Putin

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Four bankers who helped Sergey Roldugin transfer millions of Swiss francs to accounts in Switzerland have been convicted of negligence in financial transactions. Rołdugin is considered a friend of Vladimir Putin, he is the godfather of his eldest daughter Maria.

A court in Zurich, Switzerland, found four bankers – three Russians and a Swiss – guilty of negligence on Thursday. The bankers were sentenced to suspended fines of hundreds of thousands of francs. The prosecution asked for a suspended sentence of seven months’ imprisonment.

Four bankers helped Sergey Roldugin

The convicts helped the cellist Sergey Rołdugin to run two accounts in the Swiss branch of the Russian bank Gazprombank, where 30 million Swiss francs were placed in the years 2014-2016. Rołdugin was called “Putin’s wallet” by the Swiss government.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin presents an order to businessman and cellist Sergei Roldugin during the state awards ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, September 22, 2016. Getty Images Europe

The bankers did not take sufficient action to establish the identity of the beneficial owner of these sums, the court ruled.

The judgment shows how people like Rołdugin are used as pillars to hide the real owners of the investment Switzerland assets, Reuters reported. It was reminded that in Switzerland, banks are obliged to refuse or terminate services if there is doubt about the identity of the customer.

Rołdugin belongs to the inner circle of Putin’s confidants, who after the invasion Russia to Ukraine were subject to Western, including Swiss, sanctions. He is also the godfather of the eldest daughter Maria.

“Guardian” of Vladimir Putin’s estate

Since 2016, when the documents of the so-called Panama Papers, the cellist is considered one of the key “guardians” of Putin’s assets – he formally owned assets of billions of dollars, although he publicly declared that he was not involved in business.

– Everything indicated that Rołdugin is not the real owner of these funds (…) the bankers did not comply with the procedures and should be punished for this – argued the prosecutor’s office.

Defenders of the Russian musician maintained that the money deposited in Swiss accounts really belonged to Rołdugin, who could have acquired considerable wealth thanks to his friendship with Putin.

Main photo source: Getty Images Europe

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