Vladimir Putin: World’s Richest Man?

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be the richest man in the world. According to some former Kremlin insiders, Vladimir Putin has a vast personal fortune.

It appears that, Putin has secretly amassed more than double the amount of Bill Gates’ personal wealth reported The Sun. The Microsoft chief is officially the world’s richest man with £55billion (AU$106745106292.65). Although, Putin claims that he earns less than £70,000 a year, it has been said that the Russian President use complex systems to hide his real income.

Allegedly, Vladimir Putin’s wealth comes from various sources ranging from corruption, the misappropriation of state funds and secret ownership of different businesses in Russia.

The Kremlin insiders who are in exile, spoke to BBC for a panorama investigation which revealed Putin’s corruptions. Sergei Kolesnikov, who worked for Kremlin, informed that he collected money from the super rich in the name of healthcare. However, the money was eventually used “to help build a $1 billion palace for Mr Putin on the Black Sea coast.”

Another former Kremlin employee, Dmitry Skarga stated that he was in charge of the day-to-day running of the 57 feet personal yacht of the President. He confirmed that although, Olympia, the yacht was “given to an offshore company the real owner was Putin”.

Adam Szubin, a senior official in the US Treasury said, “We’ve seen him enriching his friends, his close allies, and marginalising those who he doesn’t view as friends using state assets.”

He added, “Whether that’s Russia’s energy wealth, whether it’s other state contracts – he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don’t. To me, that is a picture of corruption.”

Szubin also stated that Putin apparently drew a state salary of around $110,000 (AU$153381.72) a year, but that was not the accurate statement of the President’s wealth. He emphasised that Putin has been practising  how to mask his actual wealth for a long time.

In 2008, the President denied all such allegations and said, “It’s simply rubbish. They just picked all of it out of someone’s nose and smeared it across their little papers.”

As regard the allegations Putin’s spokesperson said, “none of these questions or issues needs to be answered, as they are pure fiction”.

This is the first time US government has accused Vladimir Putin of corruption.

Recently, Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone said that he does not believe in democracy and Putin would be able to lead Europe better. The 85 year old billionaire expressed a very surprising admiration for the Russian President.

It is a matter of debate whether Putin would be the best leader for Europe or not but his wealth has already drawn the attention of the world community.

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