Russian President Vladimir Putin's mistress has an estimated new worth of $100 million and is linked to undisclosed assets in Monaco that includes opulent property, according to one of the biggest ever leaks of financial data known as Pandora Papers. Svetlana Krivonogikh, now 46, according to the documents, bought a $4 million villa in Monaco through an offshore shell company in the British Virgin Islands.
Besides she has a number of swanky apartments and a yacht, despite her modest background, the leaked documents reveal. Besides, the Pandora Papers also show how 35 other current and former world leaders used accounts in tax havens to accrue huge amounts of wealth and carry out transactions.
His Mistress' Wealth
Although Putin is not mentioned directly in the documents, several of his aides and close friends, including a childhood buddy and his mistress have been named in the leaked documents claimed. Krivonogikh, who has been romantically linked with Putin since he was the deputy mayor of her hometown of St. Petersburg, and reportedly has a daughter with him, allegedly made the deal through an offshore shell company in the British Virgin Islands, created just weeks after she gave birth to the girl.
The secret transaction allegedly took place in Monaco in 2003 wherein an apartment was purchased for $4.1 million below the principality's casino. Krivonogikh was 28 at that time and had given birth to Elizaveta, or Luiza, in March of the same year.
The official "purchaser" was an offshore company listed in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), named Brockville Development Ltd, reports said.
The company was in turn allegedly owned by two further Panama-registered entities – Sefton Securities and, later, Radnor Investments SA.
Amassing Assets Illegally
The opulent apartment bought in 2003 by Krivonogikh, now raises questions of how the woman from humble origins netted not only a pad in a building advertised as "highly sought after by the world's wealthiest," but also stakes in a Russian bank and ski resort both linked to Putin, along with a yacht.
Krivonogikh was a mere cleaner when she became friends with Putin but since has amassed a total of $100 million in assets. Buying property in Monaco also has a political angle. Prince Albert, Monaco's ruler, has good relations with Putin, according to reports, and that was used to purchase this apartment through the shell company.
Also, over the past two decades, Russian influence in Monaco has grown. Dominique Anastasis, a local lawyer was quoted by The Guardian as saying, "It has become Moscow-on-Sea. The mentality is to show off."
That said, Putin has denied ties to the companies detailed in the Pandora Papers. However, Krivonogikh is not the only person linked to Putin has been named in the papers. There are several others who have close ties with the Russian strong man has been named in the Pandora papers.
Also, Putin and Russians aren't the only ones to have been named in the documents. The Pandora Papers obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) show that over 130 billionaires and celebrities from Russia, the United States, India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Mexico used shell companies and incognito bank accounts to buy secret assets and conduct secret financial transactions.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie have also been mentioned in the leaked papers, wherein the couple is said to have saved around $434,000 in stamp duty when they bought an office in London by purchasing the offshore company that owned it.
The King of Jordan was also allegedly able to secretly add $100 million worth of property to his portfolios in Malibu, United States and the UK, the papers showed.