Suleyman Abusaidovich Kerimov (Russian: Сулейма́н Абусаи́дович Кери́мов; Lezgian: Керимрин Абусаидан хва Сулейман; born 12 March 1966) is a Russia-based billionaire, oligarch, and politician of Lezgian origin. Kerimov has close ties to Vladimir Putin's government in Russia, as well as Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader.
He entered politics in the 1990s. By 1999, he won control of Nafta Moskva, a former state-oil trader. In the 2000s, Kerimov obtained billions of dollars in loans from big Russian state-owned banks, such as Sberbank and VTB. Through these loans, he became a major stakeholder in Gazprom and Uralkali, as well as Sberbank. By 2008, his fortune had risen to $21 billion, and by 2022, it had decreased to $11 billion.
Since 2008, Kerimov has represented the Republic of Dagestan in the Federation Council of Russia. In April 2018, he was placed under sanctions by the United States Department of Treasury. In the wake of 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Kerimov was sanctioned as a Russian oligarch close to President Putin, by The US, UK and EU on 15 March 2022. Kerimov's son Said Kerimov resigned from the board of Polyus Gold in April 2022 and the family sold its stake in the company worth $6.3 billion relinquishing the majority shareholder position of Polyus Gold.
He bought Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011, which subsequently made numerous high-profile signings. The club bought Samuel Eto’o, making him the highest-paid player in the world. In 2013, Kerimov drastically and abruptly cut the team's funding, prompting a firesale of players.
An investigation by the US authorities "revealed that Kerimov used a complex set of legal structures and a screen to hide his interests in the Heritage Trust," a company based in Delaware (eastern United States), the Treasury said in a statement. communiqué.
The billionaire was sanctioned in 2018 by the United States for alleged money laundering and is now among the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by several countries and the European Union following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Originally from the Russian republic of Dagestan in the Caucasus, Suleiman Kerimov became one of the richest people in the world after the fall of the Soviet Union. His family controls one of the gold mining giants: Polyus.
On Sunday, the first day of their summit in Germany, G7 leaders announced an embargo on newly extracted gold from Russia.
The Bloomberg ranking of the richest people in the world places it in 127th place, with an estimated fortune of 13.3 billion dollars.
Accusing Russian elites of "hiding behind complex intermediaries and legal arrangements," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said his department would use its authority to impose sanctions on "those who finance and profit from Russia's war in Ukraine." ".
Delaware's tax laws are among the most advantageous for companies in the world, and the state on the east coast, where President Joe Biden lives, is home to many foreign companies.
In its statement, the US Treasury also claims that a nephew of Suleiman Kerimov, Ruslan Gadzhiev, is one of the beneficiaries of the Heritage Trust.
Gadzhiev, who was elected to the Russian parliament, was already under US sanctions in March, and his involvement in the company "provides a separate and independent reason" for the freeze, "says Washington.
In early June, a court in Fiji authorized the surrender to the United States of the super-yacht Amadea, linked to Suleiman Kerimov. The ship, worth about $ 300 million, had been confiscated by Fiji at Washington's request.
In 2017, Suleiman Kerimov also provoked a diplomatic incident between France and Russia, when he was arrested on a plane to Nice, accused of tax fraud in the suspicious purchase of five luxury villas on the Cote d'Azur. .
His lawyers managed to get the first indictment annulled before the courts reopened the case in March 2019.