מידע חדש על הקשרים בין וולטר סוריאנו (המקורב לנתניהו) ובין האוליגרך הרוסי המקורב לפוטין
The U.S. has placed Oleg Deripaska under sanctions for his connections to the Russian underworld and his role in sabotaging the 2016 election. He, in turn, has filed an appeal against the decree. Today, the federal government revealed some of the evidence it used to substantiate its claims against the oligarch. It has a substantial body of evidence, some of which cannot be revealed in order not to compromise intelligence sources.
But among the information that was revealed was a charge that Deripaska essentially serves as Putin’s money launderer.
Deripaska was in 2016 “reportedly identified as one of the individuals holding assets and laundering funds on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin”.
…“In or before July 2011, Deripaska’s business activity was reportedly used, on at least one occasion, as a cover to facilitate the transfer of funds for the personal use of then Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin,” Ofac also says.
Since clearly Putin wants to hide his assets and ensure they are not traceable to him, he uses an elaborate network of companies and business partners to obfuscate the origin of his holdings. One interesting aspect of this was the claim that Putin’s coziest oligarch pals each had to pony up billions in order to finance the Sochi Olympic Games. Deripaska himself “invested” $800-million for a share of the new airport that was built, along with other infrastructure.
What’s relevant here is that Deripaska’s fixer, Israeli security consultant, Walter Soriano, secured the security contract for the Sochi Airport:
…Based on the contract cited in official Russian court filings…Soriano’s USG Security had “direct control” of the Sochi International Airport during Putin’s crown jewel – the Olympic Games.
The latter claims he was granted the deal because of his extensive experience in the field of providing security for major clients. In truth, he was granted the contract as a piggy feeding from Deripaska’s trough:
“This is a quite an unusual situation with a foreigner like Soriano in Sochi,” Ilya Zaslavskiy, head of Underminers.info, a research project on post-Soviet kleptocracy in the West, told Forensic News. “It suggests that Soriano and his firm possessed some knowledge and/or technology to survey other foreigners and/or Russians that the Russian state could not get otherwise.”
“It also suggests very close links of Soriano with the Russian state and Deripaska as they don’t let random people in such sensitive spheres,” Zaslavskiy said.
Anders Aslund, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council…told Forensic News that there was a massive payoff to those close to Putin surrounding the Sochi Olympics. He also suggested that Soriano may have had the Kremlin’s blessing, given the importance of the Olympics.
After the Telegraph published the first-ever profile of Soriano a few weeks ago, it published a follow-up today. In the original interview, Soriano falsely claimed that he knew nothing of a summons from the Senate Intelligence Committee asking him to testify about his dealing with a number of individuals connected to the Russian election sabotage. Today’s report confirms via a senior Committee source that Soriano’s lawyers had been directly in touch with the Senate about his testimony. It’s not surprising that Soriano would lie. He does it routinely.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the Senate is terribly eager to hear Soriano as the source quoted said it would not pursue him further as a witness. Though it did say the invitation remains active and they do wish to hear from him. That should happen sometime before the end of the next Ice Age.
My interest in Soriano stems from a lawsuit he filed against me after I reported about an Israeli TV news segment which said that Soriano had been hired to spy on Israeli police investigating Netanyahu for corruption. The lawsuit was dismissed and the Supreme Court denied his appeal to reinstate it. He paid $2,500 in attorney’s fees to me. It appears that he’s not only Deripaska’s fixer, but Bibi’s as well. Soriano has remaining outstanding lawsuits against TV news reporter Raviv Drucker, 7th Eye, and Twitter (for publishing tweets by me and Forensic News revealing his dealings with Deripaska).