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The party is over for Russian billionaires

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Monaco has levelled corruption charges against Dmitry Rybolovlev, but it is only the latest of the Russian billionaire's troubles –and a signal to other wealthy Russians who might dream of getting rid of all their assets in the home country, as Rybolovlev did: In the current political climate, the West won't be as welcoming of their money, and their ways, as it once was.

Dmitry Rybolovlev with Prince Albert II of Monaco.Credit:AP

Rybolovlev is known to Americans as the man who paid Donald Trump $US95 million ($131 million)for a Palm Beach, Florida, mansion in 2008, about twice as much as the developer' had bought it for in 2004. Trump's opponents deem the deal suspicious and allege it was part of a putative Russian bailout for Trump. Rybolovlev, however, is known as a big spender; his long-running feud with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, whom the tycoon accuses of overcharging him for a series of art masterpieces, is evidence of that. (One of the works, incidentally, is Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," currently the most expensive painting in the world despite its contested provenance: It fetched $US450 million at auction; Rybolovlev had bought it for $US127.5 million from Bouvier, who had secured it for $US80 million). Bouvier denies Ryblolovlev's accusations.

Eyebrows were raised over the sale of Trump's Palm Beach mansion to Rybolovlev in 2008. Credit:Bloomberg

Rybolovlev's charges are linked to the Bouvier saga. In September, 2017, Monaco Justice Minister Philippe Narmino resigned immediately after the French daily Le Monde published an investigation into what it called Monacogate, based on text messages between Rybolovblev, his lawyer and local officials........

© Canberra Times