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Journalists find Putin's daughter's villa in Austria

Jun 21, 2023

Austrian journalists have found a villa worth €10 million in the local resort of Kitzbühel, believed to belong to Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg and used for vacation by Kremlin head Vladimir Putin's daughter Maria Vorontsova. This is stated in an investigation by Der Standard newspaper together with international partners.

"Internal documents show that Putin's confidant Arkady Rotenberg financed the purchase of the chalet in Kitzbühel. The house was also used by Putin's daughter," the article says.

It is a house at 31b Oberleitenweg in the ski resort of Kitzbühel in Tyrol. Officially, neither the local authorities nor the Federal Ministry of the Interior knows who actually owns the 800-square-meter house with a garden and a swimming pool.

According to the publication, the Austrian State Protection and Intelligence Office has been trying to find out the real owners of the house since April 2022. The intelligence service does not rule out that the property belongs to a sanctioned person, but this suspicion has not yet been confirmed.

The journalists found that an Austrian real estate company sold the house in January 2013 for €10.8 million to the Cypriot company Wayblue Investments Limited. Since then, the chalet has been owned by this company, which is headquartered in Nicosia. However, internal documents show a system of corporate schemes, front men and intermediaries in the EU, which was used to deceive the authorities for many years.

"According to them, the money used to buy the chalet came from Arkady Rotenberg," the investigation says.

The purchase of the property was financed by a loan from the Cyprus-based Olpon Investments, which has been owned by Rotenberg himself since 2003. Olpon transferred 11.5 million euros to the then SMP Bank in Latvia, which, in turn, was owned by the Rothenbergs. From there, the money went to Wayblue. Later, due to sanctions against the Rothenbergs, SMP became Meridian Trade Bank, and the loan went to an Estonian financial services provider that claims to have terminated its business relationship with Wayblue in 2021.

According to journalists, it is difficult to determine who owns the shell company Wayblue Limited. It is only known that it is controlled by another Cypriot company called Velidom Limited, which is a trust services provider and manages assets for third parties.

"The investigation leads to a conclusion: Maria Vorontsova, Vladimir Putin's eldest daughter, was probably a regular guest at 31b Oberleitenweg since around 2015, together with her then-husband, Dutchman Jorrit Faassen, and their child," the article says.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 21/06/2023

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