Kremlin finds nothing special in reports about hidden wealth of Putin’s circle
The Kremlin sees no reason to conduct an audit following the publication of the Pandora Papers, the largest ever investigation into hidden wealth, tax evasion and, in some cases, money laundering by the world's rich and powerful.
"To be honest, we did not see any hidden wealth of Putin's inner circle there," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press briefing.
According to him, the Kremlin has not yet noticed "anything special" in the data published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which includes more than 600 journalists from 117 countries.
"These are just some statements. It is not clear what they are based on. Of course, this is not a reason for any checks," Peskov said.
Peskov added that this is just a collection of quite unfounded statements. "There are a lot of them and often this is abused. Often there is a substitution of one information for another. Information is overused. Therefore, this cannot and should not be the basis for any checks," Interfax quoted Peskov as saying.
At the same time, according to Peskov, it is striking that the world's largest offshore tax haven is the United States.
"This is not correlated at all with declarations of intent to fight corruption, tax evasion, money laundering. But this is the reality," Peskov said.
The Pandora Papers, which include 6.4 million documents, nearly three million images, more than a million emails and nearly half a million spreadsheets, feature at least 46 Russians.
Among them are the stepdaughter of the head of Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, Anastasia Ignatova; son-in-law of Transneft ‘s head Nikolai Tokarev, Andrey Bolotov; the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, relatives of the Vice-Mayor of Moscow Natalya Sergunina, the wife of Senator Oleg Tkach, ex-State Duma deputy Alexei Chepa, the general director of Channel One Konstantin Ernst, Svetlana Krivonogikh (the alleged mother of Putin's daughter), the head of Sberbank, German Gref, as well as the son-in-law of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the son of the first deputy head of the Russian Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko.
The documents include more than 100 billionaires, as well as celebrities, rock stars and more than 330 politicians from 90 countries.