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Sunday 24.09.2017 | Name days: Agris, Agrita

Putin denies corruption links over Panama documents

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has on April 7 rejected allegations of corruption in the wake of the Panama document leaks, which suggest offshore companies of his associates could have been used for money laundering, and has insisted his opponents are trying to destabilise Russia.

BBC reports that the Russian President was commenting the allegations for the first time since the leak of millions of confidential documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed a number of offshore companies owned by close associates of Putin.

Speaking on TV, Putin evaluated that Russia’s Western opponents «are worried by the unity and solidarity of the Russian nation… and that is why they are attempting to rock us from within, to make us more obedient».

He commented that since they could not find Putin himself in the Panama papers «they’ve made an information product» and «they’ve found a few of my acquaintances and friends… and scraped up something from there and stuck it together.»

Reportedly, the Panama documents also contain the names of some of Latvia’s famous and infamous people, including Aivars Lembergs, businessman Ainars Gulbis and his son, tennis player Ernests Gulbis, airBaltic’s new investor Ralf-Dieter Montag-Girmes, founder of Lido Gunars Kirsons and others, as reported by Re:Baltica.

As noted by the investigative journalism company, there are 15,951 entries in the leaked database concerning Latvia. This is largely because clients of Mossack Fonseca had accounts in Latvian banks servicing non-residents. Some of the actual beneficiaries and shareholders mentioned as linked to Latvia are citizens of Russia and former CIS countries. Some are mostly unknown people, and publishing their names would serve no purpose, as using services of foreign companies is not a crime, Re:Baltica reports.

According to information from Re:Baltica, the recently leaked Panama documents contain information about 10 Latvian clients of MF law firm, 1,380 Latvian companies, 21 beneficiaries and 81 shareholders from Latvia.

Re:Baltica notes that some materials about Aivars Lembergs and his daughter had been known previously, as offshore firms mentioned in the leaked documents had been previously mentioned in court processes launched against Lembergs.

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