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The wife of Putin's spokesman reportedly has an illegal Swiss bank account

Tatiana Navka
Tatiana Navka
Evgeny Novozhenina / Sputnik / Scanpix / LETA

The wife of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov — former ice dancer Tatiana Navka — might have an account at the Swiss Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, according to new research by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s investigative project Dossier, as reported by the television network Dozhd.

Dossier says it acquired evidence that Navka opened the bank account on February 20, 2014, before she married Peskov. Unnamed sources apparently provided Dossier with an electronic copy of a notification documenting the opening of a foreign bank account in Navka’s name. It’s unknown if Russian tax officials have been made aware of the account.

To verify that the Swiss bank account is still active, Dossier says it successfully wired five euros to the account. The transaction went through, recognized as a transfer to “Navka Tatiana.” Banque Internationale à Luxembourg also confirmed that the money was received.

As the spouse of a federal official, Tatiana Navka is prohibited under Russian law from having a foreign bank account. She told Dozhd that she doesn’t currently have an open bank account abroad, and Dmitry Peskov says his wife had foreign bank accounts when she lived in the United States, but she later closed them. “It’s true that she can’t have foreign accounts, and she complies fully with the law,” the Kremlin’s spokesman told journalists on Wednesday.

Transparency International Russia deputy director Ilya Shumanov says Russian officials have only recently started closing their foreign bank accounts, though the prohibition on these accounts has been in place since 2013. What changed? Russia’s tax authorities now automatically share information with their counterparts abroad. “In other words,” Shumanov explains, “Russian agencies either already have the information [about Navka’s account], or they’ll get it before the end of the year.”