Robert Erindzher, former adviser on security and intelligence to the Prince Albert II of Monaco, publicized incriminating information about high profile Russians. He accused Russian businessmen, organized criminal group leaders, senior officials, and even Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of money laundering.
According to the former head of intelligence, Monaco police criminal investigation department had information allowing to suspect members of the Tambovskaya group and well-known oil traders of money laundering. Two lawyers from Liechtenstein, Graham Smith and Marcus Hasler, serve as their attorneys.
Back in 2008 in his claim filed to a court in California, Robert Erindzher named Russians involved in dubious financial activity. For instance, Erindzher reported about Monaco-located Sotrama Company which was associated with the Tambovskaya criminal group from St. Petersburg and Vladimir Putin personally.
Head of the company, Dmitri Skigin, was deported from Monaco in 2000 on the grounds of belonging to Russian criminals. He was head of enterprises that resold oil. Skigin was associated with Ilia Traber who had business relations with the leaders of the Tambovskaya organized crime group. Dmitry Skigin died in Nice in 2003. In the 1990s Ilia Traber and Vladimir Coumarin (Barsukov) were considered to be among the most influential businessmen in St. Petersburg. Traber emigrated from Russia in the early 2000s.
According to Erindzher, Sotrama was part of oil trade network set up all across Europe by the Russian leader and his confidants. The aim of this network’s existence was to assist in money laundering of funds embezzled from the federal budged through investments in real estate in Europe.
According to a Spanish lawyer, Pablo Sebastian, Skigin knew Vladimir Putin who, being chairman of the St. Petersburg City Hall Committee on External Relations, registered a number of companies owned by Skigin. According to Erindzher, Putin was linked not only to Sotrama but also to a network of similar companies in Europe. The police documents also mention the name of Gennady Timchenko, a good friend of Vladimir Putin and co-owner of Gunvor, a company dealing in export of Russian oil.
According to media reports, a subsidiary of Sotrama, Horizon International Trading in Liechtenstein, managed by Markus Hasler, is a constant business partner of the largest Russian private and state oil companies. Lukoil, Tatneft, TNK, and Sibneft are among its suppliers. Horizon International Trading resold quite significant volumes of Russian oil.
Gennady Timchenko claims that he was never a member of Horizon International Trading and did not do business with other companies headed by Dmitry Skigin. Gunvor co-owner also stresses that he does not know Graham Smith and Markus Hasler, the trust managers from Liechtenstein.