Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of PMC Wagner, has earned over $250 million in only 4 years before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to The Financial Times.
The media outlet has found out that Western sanctions against Prigozhin failed to stop hundreds of millions falling into his hands from oil, gas, diamonds and gold mining revenues in Africa and the Middle East.
The FT has analysed the accounts of companies associated with PMC Wagner. Some of them have already faced sanctions, while others have not. The above figure does not include the income Prigozhin receives from Russian catering and real estate companies.
In 2018, the US government sanctioned Evro Polis, a Prigozhin-controlled company that was awarded energy concessions by the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in return for Wagner mercenaries liberating oilfields from ISIS during the country’s civil war.
Evro Polis’s accounts show that the sanctions had limited effect on its operations, with the company going on in 2020 to generate sales of $134 million, and net profits of $90 million that year.
M Invest, a company operating in gold mining in Sudan, which was sanctioned by the US government in July 2020, still generated sales of $2.6 million the following year. Two more unnamed companies generated more than $6 million in revenues up to the end of 2021.
The books also show how some Prigozhin-controlled companies appeared to switch their operations into other entities before western moves to shut them down. Mercury LLC, a company operating in the Syrian oil sector and sanctioned by the EU in 2021, generated sales of $67 million in the three years before the designation but declared zero revenues afterwards.
Lately, the Dossier Centre named PMC Wagner mercenaries who appeared in a video where they tortured and eventually beheaded a Syrian national in 2017. Three of those mercenaries are no longer alive.
One of the mercenaries who participated in the murder was named by Novaya Gazeta in 2019, he goes by the name Stanislav Dychko. The execution was filmed by a man named Mikhail Masharov.