Sixteen years after he was first elected, 63-year-old Vladimir Putin’s may just be secretly the world’s richest man.
In April, Putin declared 2014 income of 7.65 million roubles ($119,000). He listed the ownership of two modest apartments and a share in a car parking garage. BBC spoke to a number of former Kremlin insiders. From their exiles around the world, they allege he is indeed the richest.
Sergei Kolesnikov told the programme he worked for the Kremlin to collect money from the super-rich, which they believed was to be spent on healthcare, but which was ultimately used “to help build a $1 billion palace for Mr Putin on the Black Sea coast”.
Mr Kolesnikov was also allegedly filmed discussing Mr Putin’s secret fortune – investments of up to $440 million – with another Kremlin insider.
|Alleged $1billion palace|
Sergei Pugachev, an exiled oligarch who says he helped Mr Putin become president, told the BBC he was
“preoccupied with wealth from the start”. He said he visited one of the presidential palaces with Mr Putin during his first term. “We talked about it, he didn’t hide it, he knew he wanted to leave office a wealthy man,” he said.
Adam Szubin, acting Treasury secretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that the Russian president has been amassing secret wealth.
He got a $35m yacht,which is said to be a gift from Chelsea boss,Abrahamovich
He declined to comment on a 2007 CIA report estimating Putin’s wealth at $40 billion, but he said the Russian leader’s stated wealth is an underestimation.
“He supposedly draws a state salary of something like $110,000 a year,” Szubin said. “That is not an accurate statement of the man’s wealth, and he has longtime training and practices in terms of how to mask his actual wealth.”
Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told the BBC he had information from “confidential sources” to also put Mr Putin’s wealth at “$40bn in assets”. He said:
“I’m still sure Putin is the richest man in Europe, one of the richest men in the world.”
Putin and his cronies dismiss all claims of his reported wealth and corruption as “pure fiction”.
The line from Putin himself is:
“I am the wealthiest man not just in Europe but in the world. I collect emotions. I am wealthy in that the Russian people have twice entrusted me with leadership of a great nation.”
Unofficial sources have put his net-worth in 2015 in the range of $100 Billion making him the richest man in the world at this point.
Vladimir Putin’s Net Worth is the highest among his peers making him the richest president in the world and also the richest politician of them all.