Finnish police suspect Roman Rotenberg, the son of sanctioned businessman Boris Rotenberg, of helping his father circumvent the sanctions, Helsingin Sanomat writes.
According to the publication, law enforcement agencies seized the €120,000 that Rotenberg Jr. paid as property tax - the Långvik spa hotel, which is located near Helsinki. The hotel, according to Helsingin Sanomat, is owned by Centrum Tanskarla, and it is owned by Roman Rotenberg's Långvik Capital.
Rotenberg Jr. is not under sanctions, but the assets of his company were frozen last fall, since Boris Rotenberg was a major creditor to Långvik Capital.
The decision to block €120,000 was issued on January 26 by the Helsinki District Court. “It is unusual for Finnish law that the funds were confiscated from the tax office, and not from my client,” said Roman Rotenberg’s lawyer Mikko Mantere.
The lawyer added that Rotenberg paid the tax from his own funds, but did not disclose the origin of the money.
Boris Rotenberg came under European sanctions in April last year. Previously, he was only under US sanctions (together with his brother Arkady, he was added to the SDN list back in 2014).
In 2017, four European banks stopped servicing accounts associated with Rotenberg, from which he, among other things, paid fees in Finland (he has the citizenship of this country). The refusal was related to the American law, according to which banks face secondary sanctions for "substantial financial transactions" in the interests of a Russian on the SDN list.
The businessman filed a lawsuit against banks, but lost the case in 2020. The Helsinki District Court ruled that Rotenberg did not prove that he was a resident of the European Economic Area, and therefore could not qualify for basic banking services in accordance with the Finnish law on credit institutions. In addition, the court agreed with the banks' arguments that they were not entitled under Finnish law to take the risk of blocking access to the US financial system.