'Secret billionaire': Vladimir Putin

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'Secret billionaire': Vladimir Putin

Bericht  Admin op ma dec 24 2007, 20:26

Russian president 'secretly stockpiles £20billion in foreign bank accounts'
Last updated at 18:50pm on 21st December 2007

Russian president Vladimir Putin has amassed a £20billion personal fortune during his time in the Kremlin, it was claimed today.
Mr Putin, who is stepping down in May after eight years in power, is reported to have stockpiled holdings in a string of state-run corporations.
The money, held in banks in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, is enough to make him Europe's richest man.
The revelations about his fortune have emerged as Mr Putin prepares to hand over the reins to his chosen successor Dmitry Medvedev.
Mr Putin has said he is willing to serve as prime minister under Mr Medvedev's presidency.
But the handover has provoked a scramble by Russia's political elite for control of state assets.
Political expert Stanislav Belkovsky says Mr Putin has holds in three Russian oil and gas companies hidden behind a “non-transparent network of offshore trusts”.
He is alleged to have a 37 per cent stake in Surgutneftegaz, Russia's third largest oil producer, worth an estimated £10billion, plus 4.5 per cent of Gazprom, and “at least” 75 per cent of Gunvor, a Swiss-based oil trading company.
Gunvor recently posted profits of $8billion (£4billion) on a turnover of $43billion (£21.5billion).
Mr Belkovsky says Mr Putin is worth at least $40billion (£20billion). “Maximum we cannot know.
I suspect there are some businesses I know nothing about,” he told the Guardian.
“It may be more, it may be much more. Putin's name doesn't appear on any shareholders' register, of course.”
The power struggle has led to the emergence of two camps in the Kremlin — the “liberals”, said to include Mr Medvedev, Alisher Usmanov and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and the hardline “siloviki” group who have rallied around Igor Sechin, Mr Putin's chief of staff.
Insiders say the infighting is not about ideology but who gets control of oil and gas assets.
According to Transparency International, the Putin era has been characterised by “systemic” corruption.
One Russian MP said the “crown jewels” of the country's wealth has ended up in the hands of Mr Putin's inner circle.
Mr Medvedev is chairman of Gazprom, while Mr Sechin runs Rosneft.
Other ministers are chairmen of Aerof lot, Russian railways and a nuclear fuel company.
Mr Abramovich has an estimated fortune of £10 billion, making him Europe's seventh richest man.
Europe's richest man — if Putin is excluded — is Lakshmi Mittal, the UK-based steel magnate, worth an estimated £19.2billion.

bron: dailymail.co.uk...


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