The prince and the oligarch


AN investment bank, led by an oligarch who collaborated with Prince Charles on charity work, managed a network of offshore companies moving billions out of Russia.

The oligarch, Ruben Vardanyan, is the former boss of Moscow investment bank Troika Dialog. Money from the network was sent to the Prince’s Charities Foundation to help restore Dumfries House, a stately home in Ayrshire.

The prince’s charities said they had subjected Vardanyan’s donations to robust due diligence and no red flags had been raised. The web of more than 70 offshore companies is exposed in a leak of 1.3 million confidential bank transactions to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a consortium of east European investigative journalists who shared information and documents with the BBC and the Guardian.

Between 2009 and 2011 the Prince’s Charities Foundation received three payments, adding up to $202,000 via a now-defunct bank in Lithuania. The leaked bank data show the last of the payments went to an account held by the Prince’s Charities Foundation.

The payments were from a company called Quantus Division Ltd, which is revealed today to have been part of a network of offshore companies that sent billions of dollars out of Russia. The network was managed by a Moscow investment bank, Troika Dialog, whose chief executive at the time was Vardanyan.