Date
17 December 2017
Reuters reports on how people linked to the Kremlin profit from state contracts in the era of President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Bloomberg
Reuters reports on how people linked to the Kremlin profit from state contracts in the era of President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Bloomberg

‘Putin’s palace’ and profiting from the Kremlin

It’s a property fit for a president. A luxury pied-a-terre near the Black Sea called “Putin’s palace” was built — at least in part — with €35 million (US$48 million) in proceeds from the sale of expensive medical equipment, Reuters reported Thursday.

The report said that two wealthy associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin sold medical equipment for at least US$195 million to Russia and sent a total of US$84 million in proceeds to Swiss bank accounts.

Some of the money from those accounts was diverted to a company that then helped build the luxury property, which was given its nickname “after a businessman alleged the estate was built for Putin”, the report said.

Putin has denied any link to the property.

The revelations come just two years after the police ministry charged more than 100 people in connection with overpriced scanners sold to Russian hospitals under a scheme to improve healthcare, the report said. Several local officials and business executives were imprisoned for fraud.

But Reuters said two wealthy associates of Putin engaged in the same profiteering and suffered no penalty, revealing how people linked to the Kremlin profit from state contracts in the Putin era. 

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