Walter Tzvi Soriano, a shadowy security consultant who reportedly holds both British and Israeli citizenship, was sought for questioning by the United States Senate Intelligence Committee in June because Senate investigators believe that Soriano, whom they suspect has connections to Russian billionaire oligarch Oleg Deripaska, has information that could shed light on Russian efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, as The Inquisitr reported.
But an explosive and highly detailed report published on Sunday by the independent, investigative journalism site Forensic News appears to reveal that Soriano’s connections to the Kremlin may be far deeper than has been previously revealed. The entire, lengthy report by journalists Scott Stedman and Jess Coleman may be read at the previous Forensic News link.
The report is based in part on information recorded in filings from the Arbitration Court of the Krasnador Territory, a region of Russia that contains Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held. The documents claim that Soriano’s security firm was hired to take “direct control” over the Sochi International Airport during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, handling security during a period when terrorism threats against the Olympics ran high.
The security contract revealed in the court documents was struck between Soriano’s firm and a company jointly owned by Deripaska and the Russian financial giant Sberbank, suggesting what Russia experts quoted by Forensic News called “quite an unusual situation,” with security for a high-profile Russian event farmed out to a foreign company.
The mysterious Soriano has generally avoided being photographed and photos of him online are extremely scarce. But Stedman and Coleman uncovered two, including them in their report.
— Thomas Edsall (@Edsall) July 14, 2019
The contract “suggests very close links of Soriano with the Russian state and Deripaska as they don’t let random people in such sensitive spheres,” Ilya Zaslavskiy, an expert on Russian government corruption with the site Underminers.info, told Stedman and Coleman.
Anders Aslund, of the Atlantic Council and author of a book on Russian “crony capitalism,” told Forensic News that “$25 billion was overpaid to friends or cronies of President Vladimir Putin. Deripaska belongs to this circle.” For Soriano to be so close to this Russian government inner circle that he received an important security contract, “suggests very close contacts to the Kremlin and Russian security services,” Aslund told the site.
Soriano also appears to be closely connected to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has proven to be one of Trump’s few close allies among world leaders. In fact, according to allegations published by the Israeli financial newspaper Globes, Soriano may have “collected information against police officers involved” in the recent corruption investigation into Netanyahu’s acceptance of gifts from wealthy foreigners.
In August of 2016, in a then-secret meeting in Trump Tower in New York City, a different Israeli private security specialist, Joel Zamel, offered Donald Trump Jr. the services of his firm Psy Group, saying that his company had the capability to manipulate social media to covertly influence U.S. voters in favor of then-candidate Trump, as The Inquisitr reported.