Australia

Australia reportedly set to deport Kremlin whistleblower and family

British national Nick Stride exposed Mr Igor Shuvalov's story in a 2014 expose. Source: SBS News

The British national exposed the extraordinary wealth of one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies.

Australia is reportedly set to deport the family of a former whistleblower who exposed alleged corruption connected to one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies.

British national Nick Stride was a former employee of Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and has been living in Perth with his family since 2012.

Mr Stride was the source behind a 2014 expose in the Foreign Policy magazine on Mr Shuvalov’s unexplained wealth.

British national Nick Stride was the source  behind the 2014 expose in the Foreign Policy magazine.
British national Nick Stride was the source behind the 2014 expose in the Foreign Policy magazine.
SBS News

The article alleged Mr Shuvalov, who was Deputy Prime Minister at the time, had amassed a wealth of at least $220 million through questionable business practices.

Mr Stride and his family first fled to the United Kingdom in 2010, but believing they were still "within Russian reach" sought political asylum in Australia.

Their asylum bid was rejected in 2012 and was unsuccessful at the Refugee Review Tribunal.

Mr Stride and his children face deportation to the United Kingdom, while his wife Ludmila Kovaleva, who is a Russian national also faces being deported. 

Journalist Michael Weiss, who was the author of the 2014 article, tweeted earlier this week that his source, Mr Stride, was in “immediate danger” and had asked for help.

Mr Weiss said he only revealed his source at Mr Stride's request because of the urgency of his situation.

SBS News’s attempts to reach Mr Stride and Mr Weiss on Friday were unsuccessful.

Mr Stride told The West Australian newspaper in March he believed he would never see his wife again if she was returned to Russia.

He said that he had been unsuccessfully fighting for asylum for him and his family in Australia since 2012 and that he had now exhausted all legal options. 

Kremlinologist Donald Jensen told SBS News Mr Shuvalov was "a very powerful man" and that Ms Kovaleva had "legitimate concerns about going home". 

"She faces prosecution most likely, for a variety of real or invented reasons - it could be visa mistakes, it could be corruption and since Nick has a connection with the Russian business community it could well go in that direction," Mr Jensen told SBS News.

The Department of Home Affairs declined to comment, saying "the Department does not comment on individual cases or matters before the courts".

Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
SBS News

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