Wilbur Ross linked to company controlled by Putin family in mass leak of "Paradise Papers"

Trump's Commerce secretary failed to disclose he was doing business with Vladimir Putin's family

By Taylor Link
Published November 5, 2017 10:29PM (UTC)
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Wilbur Ross (AP/Andrew Harnik)

A trove of documents leaked to the press, now dubbed the "Paradise Papers," reveal that a member of Trump's Cabinet has financial ties to Vladimir Putin's immediate family.

Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary in the Trump administration, has an interest in a shipping company that does business with a Russian energy firm controlled by Vladimir Putin’s immediate family, the New York Times reported after delving through internal papers organized by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).


Ross apparently failed to disclose this interest when he went through the cabinet confirmation process.

The shipping company at issue, Navigator Holdings, earns millions of dollars a year shipping gas for the Russian energy company called Sibur, the Times reported. While Ross sold off some of his stake in the company when he joined the Trump administration, he kept an investment in Navigator, which saw its business with Sibur increase this past year, even though the U.S. has sought to punish Russia's economy.

According to documents reviewed by the Times, Ross has over $2 million of investments in Navigator and stands to earn a higher share of the profits. Ross' share of the company is held by a company in the Cayman Islands that is represented by the Appleby law firm.


Details of Ross’ holdings were revealed in a leak of more than 7 million internal documents of Appleby to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The documents, which comprised of emails, presentations and other electronic data, were shared with the ICIJ, the international journalism organization that won the Pulitzer Prize for its work on the Panama Papers.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called for an investigation into Ross after Sunday's news broke. Blumenthal said that Ross had failed to disclose his business interests with the Senate Commerce Committee.


Taylor Link

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Business Donald Trump Paradise Papers Richard Blumenthal Trump Administration Vladimir Putin Wilbur Ross