A court in Switzerland has sentenced four bankers to seven months’ suspended imprisonment for servicing the accounts of musician Sergei Roldugin – a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was reported by Reuters.
The former heads of Gazprombank’s Zurich branch – three Russians and one Swiss – were accused of “insufficient diligence”. According to investigators, between 2014 and 2016, Roldugin transferred about $30 million to two bank accounts. At the same time, he could not confirm the source that would have brought him such income.
Under Swiss law, banks are obliged to refuse to service an account if they have doubts about the identity of the account holder or the source of his money. The judge considered that “there is no doubt that Roldugin is not the true owner of the money he deposited. Many investigative journalists call the musician “Putin’s wallet”.
Convicted bankers “did not make enough effort to establish the true identity of the beneficial owner of the funds”. The bankers intend to appeal the verdict.
Cellist Sergei Roldugin, by his own admission, is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and godfather to his eldest daughter. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union, the U.S. and several other countries imposed sanctions against Roldugin because of his close ties to Putin. The EU considers the cellist “part of Putin’s network financial scheme” and notes that he “owns at least five offshore companies”.