Former Russian minister
Leonid Reiman is a former Russian minister of information technology who became an adviser to Vladimir Putin. Judging by documents for 2017-2019, despite Reiman’s past, Finaport did not classify him as a “politically exposed person” (high-risk client). In 2006, international arbitration in Switzerland found that Reiman participated in money laundering in connection with a telecommunications scheme in Russia, as reported by the media, including the Wall Street Journal (Reiman denies the accusations). Finaport began cooperating with the Russian two years later – he is listed in the company documents until 2021. According to the leak, tens of millions of dollars were transferred to Reiman’s accounts controlled by Finaport, which were later withdrawn to Alternativa Capital fund in the Cayman Islands. In 2010, a few weeks after Reiman left his ministerial position, he and Finaport executives decided to create a bank. The project was never implemented. Reiman did not respond to requests for comment.
Gustavo Salazar Delgado
Peruvian authorities accuse former lawyer and insurance businessman Gustavo Salazar Delgado of funneling more than $1 million in bribes to a regional governor as part of a massive corruption scheme known as “Car Wash.” He fled the country in 2017 after a court sentenced him to 18 months of pre-trial detention in connection with the scandal. In 2020-2021, the media reported that Delgado was in the United States, and the Peruvian authorities and the American Ministry of Finance tried to organize his extradition to his homeland. Journalists were unable to find out where he is now. Delgado started working for Finaport in 2014. The company classified him as a high-risk client based on “country risk.” Journalists did not find information about the charges against him in the Finaport files. According to the leak, the company stopped working with Delgado in January 2022. Delgado did not respond to requests for comment.
Son of an influential figure in Uzbekistan Rustam Inoyatov
49-year-old Sharif Inoyatov – son Rustam Inoyatovformer head of the National Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan (from 1995 to 2018) and presidential adviser Shavkat Mirziyoyeva (until 2021). Rustam Inoyatov was the most influential and formidable general in the country. According to an internal letter from Finaport, the company began working with Inoyatov without “any checks” – lawyer Alexander Rabian noted in a response letter that he “does not understand how this could happen.”
The employee who hired Inoyatov was ordered to update his data and undergo internal training, but the new client was not abandoned. Finaport estimated Sharif Inoyatov’s wealth at more than $50 million. Sharif and Rustam Inoyatov did not respond to requests for comment.
Abdul Rahim Wardak
Former Afghan minister and general
Abdul Rahim Wardak is a former Afghan minister and army general in charge of security and defense cooperation with NATO. In 2012, he was removed from his position. International media, including the New York Times and the BBC, wrote that members of the Afghan parliament accused him of corruption (Wardak denies the accusations). This is not mentioned in Finaport’s report on Wardak from 2017, when the company began working with him. Their collaboration ended in 2019. Wardak did not respond to requests for comment.
Matteo Goretti Comolli
Argentine political advisor
Matteo Goretti Comolli is an Argentine political advisor. He was once an advisor to Mauricio Macri, who later became president. In 2015, Goretti and former Culture Minister Hernán Lombardi were convicted of laundering money stolen from the Buenos Aires municipal government (the case was later dropped). Goretti became a client of Finaport in December 2016, while the proceedings were ongoing. The leaked Finaport files do not mention the Argentine’s political connections. Goretti did not respond to requests for comment.
The leaked correspondence showed that Finaport employees reacted painfully to bank checks, and sometimes even were rude to controllers. In 2016, an employee of the investment bank Julius Baer sent questions to Finaport about the source of the client’s wealth – the company’s top manager responded with open dissatisfaction.
“It’s not even ‘control’—it’s a real insult,” he wrote. – This is no longer funny… where did the professional approach and common sense go?.. In the coming days [клиент] transfer assets to the bank [Лихтенштейна]. Should I congratulate him?”
He forwarded the correspondence to a colleague and added: “This is the kind of crap you have to deal with.” (The company explained his indignation by the fact that he was repeatedly asked for the same information, and noted that it was wrong to draw conclusions “about insufficient checks or violations of control procedures at Finaport based on an isolated case.”)
The firm, which has fewer than 50 employees, says its goal is to “preserve and grow the wealth” of clients “through ethical and sustainable investing.”
The leak did not reveal how many transactions Finaport handles for its clients annually. Experts believe that many of the transactions for which there is data should have at least aroused suspicion in the company: they should have been notified to the Swiss Federal Office for Combating Money Laundering (MROS).
Swiss law obliges asset managers such as Finaport to report transactions to MROS if they have “reasonable grounds to believe that the assets involved in the transactions involve irregularities” or may be “the proceeds of crime.”
In February, leaked documents were briefly made publicly available by Russian hackers APLHV. The files were obtained by Swiss Television (RTS), which passed them on to colleagues at OCCRP, Le Monde and Der Spiegel. Journalists reviewed court documents and commercial databases, spoke with anti-money laundering experts, academics and activists to interpret files and verify information about Finaport clients.
Asset management firms must follow the same control procedures as banks, according to a Swiss financial compliance expert who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. He believes that in some cases Finaport did not comply with standards set by the Swiss financial regulator.
Finaport said its company is a “common asset manager” that “operates solely on the basis of powers of attorney, which limit its powers to administrative actions.” The firm added that Finaport complies with “all relevant legal regulations” and conducts annual audits.
The company noted that among its clients there were “very few ‘politically exposed persons’.”
“We have always had and have a complete understanding of our clients and beneficiaries of the assets under our management. We check that the assets coming under our management are not obtained as predicate offenses for money laundering and are not under the control of criminal organizations,” Finaport said.
“If we have doubts about this, we carry out the necessary control procedures.”
Two years later, in August 2019, the Ministry of Justice accused Kondratenkov of theft of funds — he allegedly organized an insurance fraud scheme. The investigation is ongoing. (Kondratenkov did not respond to requests for comment.)
By the time Kondratenkov was charged, he had left the country. His current whereabouts are unknown.
The leak revealed that Finaport helped him open accounts in Switzerland using a Chilean passport.
In a document from October 2018, the Finaport employee responsible for Kondratenkov’s account explains that his client registered an account with UBP Bank using a Russian passport, and with Mirabaud – on a Chilean one, in the name of Alexander Garcia Feskov. (The letter stated that Kondratenkov’s Chilean identity was a combination of his father’s name, a native of Chile, and his mother’s maiden name.)
The leak showed that, with the help of Finaport, he withdrew several million dollars from Russia to Switzerland, and then to Mirabaud accounts registered to Garcia Feskov.
Judging by the files obtained by journalists, Finaport began working with Kondratenkov and helped him open accounts using Chilean documents before the media reported the accusations against him. However, by August 2019, the case received loud publicity in the Russian media. The Kommersant newspaper reportedthat Kondratenkov was accused of fraud on a “particularly large scale.”
This news appears to have worried Bank Mirabaud staff, and they blocked the $800,000 transfer on Kondratenkov’s behalf due to security concerns.
In November 2019, Finaport sent an explanatory letter to the bank. The company wrote that these news were published by Russian tabloids, and Kondratenkov did not own the company at the center of the scandal (this year a Russian court confirmed that Kondratenkov actually owned the company).
A knowledgeable source said on condition of anonymity that in mid-November, Mirabaud controllers sent a notification of suspicious transactions to the Swiss anti-money laundering regulator, and from January to March 2020, they closed all of Kondratenkov’s accounts.
As a former employee of the French anti-money laundering agency Tracfin said, after studying the findings of journalists, the fact that Kondratenkov uses different passports should have aroused suspicion among controllers even before the accusations.
“Although it is not prohibited to have two passports, it is highly suspicious for a person to have documents under two different names,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The trial in Kondratenkov’s case continues, and Russian authorities have put him on the wanted list. Russian media and American court documents reported that he had been in London and an upscale town in the French Alps since 2020.
The leak showed that Finaport classified Kondratenkov as a low-risk client until at least May 2020, long after the allegations against him became known. According to the files we received, in April 2022 the company was still working with his wife.
Rabian told reporters that Kondratenkov is no longer a client of Finaport. “Based on the information we found in open sources, we have doubts that the Russian criminal proceedings against Alexander Kondratenkov were conducted in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights,” he added.
The dossier on Komissarenko for 2018, which was prepared for Finaport, states that he and Ponomarenko have been together since 2003. A lawyer representing one of her German companies said the couple separated several years ago.
In 2012, Ponomarenko was appointed head of Mosvodokanal, Russia’s largest sewerage company, and Komissarenko subsequently received contracts worth millions of euros from it.
The lawyer of the German company Komissarenko said that these contracts did not bring her much profit, and she earned her fortune independently in the field of real estate and construction. Ponomarenko did not respond to requests for comment.
Komissarenko’s cooperation with Finaport began in 2014. Ponomarenko’s daughter, Natalya, became a client of the firm in December 2016, her husband in July 2017, and Komissarenko’s son from a previous marriage, Andrey, in December 2017. By the end of 2022, Finaport managed accounts linked to Ponomarenko with a total balance of $46 million (the official’s relatives did not respond to requests for comment).
Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, European banks have become even more cautious when dealing with Russian citizens and related entities.
As sanctions expert and expert witness in the German Parliament Victor Winkler told Paper Trail Media (OCCRP partner), it is “extremely dangerous” to open accounts for Russians or manage their assets.
According to him, the “corridor” in which such services are legal is “very, very narrow.” “This impossibly narrow corridor requires detailed and exhaustive inspections and numerous security measures.”
In October 2022, an employee of the Swiss bank Reyl sent questions to Finaport regarding missing information in the file on Komissarenko – in particular, about her connection with Ponomarenko. Attached to the letter is material which states that Ponomarenko “helps [Комиссаренко] receive government contracts.”
As the Reyl controller noted, Finaport did not indicate that Komissarenko has Russian citizenship. It is unclear from the leak what Finaport responded, or whether Reyl took any action. Finaport representatives declined to talk about specific clients. Reyl said it has “always complied and continues to comply with all relevant laws,” declining to comment further.
Apparently, Ponomarenko himself was not a client of Finaport. Mosvodokanal supports Russian aggression in Ukraine and even calls on its employees to go to the front.
IN videopublished on the social network VKontakte, it is said that Mosvodokanal employees who go to war will have their jobs secured and will also be provided with all the bonuses that are due to the military.
“The company is closely monitoring the fate of everyone at the front,” the video says.