Vladimir Putin's friend Boris Rotenberg managed to withdraw funds from an account in the Finnish bank Suupohjan Osuuspankki four days before the introduction of European sanctions against him, writes Ilta-Sanomat.
This happened on April 4, 2022. At the same time, Rotenberg signed an obligation according to which this money would not be sent to Russia or Belarus. On April 8, a list of European sanctions was published, according to which the businessman would no longer be able to carry out this operation.
The documents at the disposal of the publication do not allow us to say whether representatives of the control department of the bank participated in the decision. However, on March 11, 2022, they did not recommend giving consent to the Rotenberg withdrawal operation. Moreover, on March 24, Suupohjan Osuuspankki's board of directors supported this recommendation in their decision.
Timo Kalliomäki, who was the bank's CEO at the time, declined to comment on this particular case, but stressed that the financial institution acted in accordance with the recommendations of the control department. The head of the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland, Pekki Vasara, called situations in which money is withdrawn before a person is included in the sanctions list “problematic”, but stressed that the bank has no obligation to freeze assets until the restrictions come into force. Accordingly, according to him, his department could not prohibit this operation until April 8, 2022.
In June, the investigative publication Important Stories obtained an archive of documents and emails that showed that the famous brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg hid their companies, real estate, yachts and planes behind the backs of intermediaries who helped them circumvent Western sanctions.