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Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group Private Military Company, has confirmed that Russian security forces have found boxes full of money near his office in St Petersburg. Russian media reported that the boxes contain a total of 4 billion roubles (approximately US$47 million).
Details: Fontanka reported that a Gazel minivan stuffed full of boxes containing money was found near Prigozhin’s office, in the courtyard of the Trezzini Hotel in St Petersburg.
According to Fontanka, Prigozhin is believed to have his office in the Trezzini Hotel. During a search conducted in the hotel, the white Gazel minivan aroused suspicion as it did not belong to anyone living in Akademichesky Lane [the street where the van was parked - ed.]. The van was checked for explosives; when it was unlocked, boxes stuffed with money were found inside.
When the money contained inside the boxes found in the Gazel van was counted, the total was 4 billion roubles in cash (approximately US$47 million).
After this information was shared, Prigozhin issued a statement saying that in addition to the Gazel van, another two minibuses containing his money were also found.
"It wasn’t just the Gazel that was found, but two other minibuses that contained money earmarked for wages, compensation for Cargo 200s [unofficial code for bodies of fighters killed in action - ed.], and other things," Prigozhin said.
He also claimed that during its 10 years in business, Wagner Group has always used cash for all payments.