Russian billionaires Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who are under American and European sanctions, took advantage of a loophole in UK law by creating a company in the country that is not required to report on the owners. Thus, the Rotenbergs got the opportunity to withdraw money from Russia, according to a joint investigation BBC and journalistic organization Finance Uncoveredpublished on Saturday, August 6th.

Since 2016, the British government has made it mandatory for almost all companies in the country to disclose their true owners. Companies known as English Limited Partnerships (ELP) were not affected by the new laws, the authors of the investigation write.

Translations for art consultants

Brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg founded Sinara Company LP in London in 2017 to evade US sanctions. The company’s documents stated that it was engaged in “tourism and ticket sales.” Between July 2017 and June 2018, Sinara Company LP sent 14 wire transfers totaling $133,000 to an arts consultant who, according to the Senate report, “facilitated shopping for the Rothenbergs,” writes the BBC. The company was closed in 2019.

“This is a real scandal, people like the Rotenbergs, who have been under sanctions in America for years, can still use British corporate structures to withdraw their money from Russia through them, and then spend it as they see fit,” the Labor MP was quoted as saying by the BBC. UK Margaret Hodge, who heads the parliamentary group on taxes and corruption.

Innovations in British law have led to an increase in the number registered ELP by 53 percent. Since then, more than 4,500 new such partnerships have been created. According to financial crime expert Graham Barrow, these companies are often used for illegal purposes, as they are required to disclose only minimal information about their activities.

U.S. Senate committee report

Members of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs in 2020 found that companies associated with the Rotenberg brothers have been successfully circumvented US sanctions. This allowed billionaires, after the introduction of punitive measures, to conclude deals in the United States for $ 91 million – in particular, to purchase works of art.

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