Bombardier sold a luxury private jet in 2011 to a front company controlled by Arkady Rothenberg, a billionaire oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
• Read also: Russia: Arrest of an opponent of the attack in Ukraine
• Read also: Sanctions on Moscow reveal Putin’s closely guarded private life
• Read also: Spain: The yacht of a Russian oligarch was confiscated at the request of the United States
On Monday, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists drew attention to classified documents that surfaced in the fall as part of the massive leak of the Pandoras Papers.
One is a contract entered into on September 30, 2011 between Bombardier and Sentonan Investments, a BVI-based company whose ultimate beneficiary is Mr. Rothenberg. The agreement relates to the sale of a Global Express XRS aircraft valued at approximately $45 million.
The document was signed by Frank Ercolanes, who was then Vice President of Contracts for Bombardier’s Business Jets division.
Arkady Rothenberg is a childhood friend and confidant of Mr. Putin. Together with his brother Boris, he made his fortune from Stroygazmontazh, a construction company in the energy sector.
We already knew that many Russian oligarchs owned business jets built by Bombardier and other aircraft manufacturers such as Gulfstream, Boeing and Airbus. But so far, no document has been made public that proves that the Quebec company has dealt with an entity controlled by one of them.
According to public records, the Global Express XRS aircraft acquired by Arkady Rotenberg returned to Bombardier in 2016. Since 2017, it has been owned by a church in Florida.
In 2019, US sanctions following the Russian invasion of Crimea forced the Rottenberg brothers to sell two more planes of their own: the Challenger 300 and the Bombardier Global 5000.
According to a list compiled last month by ForbesArkady Rotenberg has owned another Bombardier since 2016: the Global 6000 built in 2015. The US magazine confirms that at least five other Russian rulers currently own Bombardier planes.
“All transactions contain confidentiality clauses that Bombardier must respect,” company spokeswoman Anna Cristofaro said yesterday. We cannot disclose any information about the sale of an aircraft, or whether the parties deal directly with Bombardier. »
Remember that last month, Bombardier said it had “suspended all activities with its Russian customers, including all forms of technical assistance.”
“Making the decision not to do business in Russia is not easy, but it is the only right decision,” Bombardier CEO Eric Martell said on LinkedIn.
In December, Bombardier delivered the 1,000th aircraft in the world’s family of aircraft, which entered service in 1999.
Who is Arkady Rotenberg?
◆ Born December 1951
◆ Childhood friend of Vladimir Putin, confidant and former judo partner
◆ Co-founder of SMP Bank with his brother Boris and founder of the construction company Stroygazmontazh
Personal wealth, according to Forbes: $2 billion
“Food trailblazer. Passionate troublemaker. Coffee fanatic. General analyst. Certified creator. Lifelong music expert. Alcohol specialist.”