Daily US Times: Leaked documents have suggested one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest friends may have used Barclays Bank in London to launder money and dodge sanctions.
Billionaire Arkady Rotenberg has known Mr Putin since childhood.
Financial sanctions or restrictions, were imposed on Mr Rotenberg by the EU and the US in 2014, which means Western banks could face serious consequences for doing business with him.
Barclays says it met all its legal and regulatory duties.
A leak of confidential files reveal how companies believed to be controlled by Mr Rotenberg kept the secret accounts.
The documents, banks’ “suspicious activity reports”, known as the FinCEN Files, have been seen by the BBC’s Panorama programme.
In March 2014 following the annexation of Crimea in Ukraine, the US hit Russia with economic sanctions.
The Treasury Department designated the 68-year-old Mr Rotenberg and his brother Boris, 63, “members of the Russian leadership’s inner circle”.
The brothers had sparred and trained in the same judo gym as Putin when they were young.
In recent years, Arkady Rotenberg’s companies built a gas pipeline, roads, and a power station through contracts awarded by the Russian state.
The US Treasury said the brothers “provided support to Putin’s pet projects” and “made billions of dollars in contracts for Gazprom and the Sochi Winter Olympics awarded to them by Putin”.
Ihe US added Arkady Rotenberg’s son Igor to its list of sanctioned individuals in 2018.
The aim of the sanctions against him is to cut off named people from the entire Western financial system.
Yet the Rotenberg brothers appear to have continued moving cash through the UK and US.
Barclays opened an account in 2008 for a company called Advantage Alliance. The leaked documents show between 2012 and 2016, the company moved £60m. Many of the transactions occurred after the Rotenberg brothers had been sanctioned.