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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Panama Papers journalists expose riches of Putin relative

Vladimir Putin has denied helping his entourage to get rich (AP)
Vladimir Putin has denied helping his entourage to get rich (AP)

A group of journalists behind the Panama Papers offshore accounts expose have published an investigation detailing how a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a fortune.

The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project published a piece claiming that Mikhail Shelomov, the son of Mr Putin's cousin, has amassed nearly £450 million in assets.

Investigative journalists have written about Mr Putin's childhood friends and distant relatives amassing fortunes before, but he has denied helping his entourage to get rich.

Wednesday's piece detailed how Mr Shelomov's company amassed stakes in lucrative businesses run by Mr Putin's inner circle.

The OCCRP was one of the media outlets that brought to life documents of a Panamanian law firm showing how hundreds of rich and powerful people registered companies in tax havens.

Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper published a piece this summer about Mr Shelomov, who it described as a mid-level clerk in a shipping company.

In an interview with the newspaper, he confirmed that Accept, a company registered in his name, owns a broad range of assets including a share in Bank Rossii, which is co-owned by Mr Putin's childhood friends.

He refused to comment on a suggestion that his company was a front for somebody else.

PA Media

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