Navigator, the company that links a key member of Trump’s administration to Putin’s inner circle

At the end of 2016, Donald Trump offered the position of Trade Secretary to the billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.

DONALD TRUMP

WILBUR ROSS

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Authority over U.S. commercial and industrial policy.

Influence over U.S. economic decisions involving to other countries.

DONALD TRUMP

WILBUR ROSS

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Authority over U.S. commercial and industrial policy.

Influence over U.S. economic decisions involving to other countries.

DONALD TRUMP

Authority over U.S. commercial and industrial policy.

Influence over U.S. economic decisions involving to other countries.

WILBUR ROSS

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Authority over U.S. commercial and industrial policy.

WILBUR ROSS

DONALD TRUMP

Influence over U.S. economic decisions involving to other countries.

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

During his Senate speech as part of the approval process for his cabinet post Ross said he would be very "scrupulous" about any possible conflict of interest.

To take the job, Ross got rid of his investment in 80 companies and other interests.

However, he kept his investments in nine companies.

Of those nine, four hold shares in the shipping firm Navigator Holdings Ltd., incorporated in the Marshall Islands.

Through those four entities, Ross with other investors own 31.5% of Navigator shares, according to Navigator's latest annual report (2016).

NAVIGATOR HOLDINGS Ltd.

31.5%

Ross and other investors

NAVIGATOR HOLDINGS Ltd.

31.5%

Ross and other investors

NAVIGATOR HOLDINGS Ltd.

31.5%

Wilbur Ross and other investors

NAVIGATOR HOLDINGS Ltd.

31.5%

Wilbur Ross and other investors

Who owns Sibur

Among the main customers of Navigator is the Russian energy company Sibur, which has links to Russian President Vladimir Putin through three of its owners.

VLADIMIR PUTIN

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

KIRILL

SHAMALOV

GENNADY

TIMCHENKO

SON-IN-LAW

OF PUTIN

RUSSIAN

OLIGARCH

LEONID MIKHELSON

RUSSIAN ENTREPRENEUR

VLADIMIR PUTIN

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

GENNADY TIMCHENKO

KIRILL SHAMALOV

SON-IN-LAW

OF PUTIN

RUSSIAN

OLIGARCH

LEONID MIKHELSON

RUSSIAN ENTREPRENEUR

KIRILL SHAMALOV

GENNADY TIMCHENKO

LEONID MIKHELSON

SON-IN-LAW OF PUTIN

RUSSIAN OLIGARCH

RUSSIAN ENTREPRENEUR

VLADIMIR PUTIN

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

KIRILL SHAMALOV

GENNADY TIMCHENKO

LEONID MIKHELSON

SON-IN-LAW OF PUTIN

RUSSIAN OLIGARCH

RUSSIAN ENTREPRENEUR

VLADIMIR PUTIN

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

KIRILL SHAMALOV

Married to Putin’s youngest daughter. Had more than 20% of Sibur shares. In April 2017 he reduced his holdings to 3.9%.

Putin

Shamalov

GENNADY TIMCHENKO

U.S. sanctioned oligarch. The Treasury Department said that his activities in the energy sector are "directly linked to Putin."

Putin

Timchenko

LEONID MIKHELSON

Controls an energy company that also was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. Sibur's largest shareholder.

Putin

Mikhelson

Revenue that Sibur contributed to Navigator over the last three years.

16M

2014

(5.3%)

28M

2015

(9.1%)

23M

2016

(7.9%)

16M

2014

(5.3%)

28M

2015

(9.1%)

23M

2016

(7.9%)

16M

2014

(5.3%)

28M

2015

(9.1%)

23M

2016

(7.9%)

16M

2014

(5.3%)

28M

2015

(9.1%)

23M

2016

(7.9%)

In 2017, Navigator bolstered its services to Sibur with two new tankers.

Yauza

Luga

Sibur belonged to the Russian state for years and after its sale to private owners it has maintained a relationship with the Russian government. As an example, in 2013, a Russian state program helped Sibur build a port terminal in the Baltic Sea. The construction cost around $700 million.

Venezuela among Navigator's clients

For the last three years, the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, (sanctioned by the Trump administration in 2017) has been one of Navigator's five main clients.

Benefits from Venezuela's PDVSA contributed to Navigator during the past three years.

32M

2014

(10.7%)

36M

2015

(11.7%)

26M

2016

(9.1%)

32M

2014

(10.7%)

36M

2015

(11.7%)

26M

2016

(9.1%)

32M

2014

(10.7%)

36M

2015

(11.7%)

26M

2016

(9.1%)

32M

2014

(10.7%)

36M

2015

(11.7%)

26M

2016

(9.1%)

A spokesman for Wilbur Ross, on the occasion of this investigation, assured ICIJ that the Secretary of Commerce recuses himself from any "issue centered on the transoceanic maritime transport". He said that Ross, "generally," has supported the sanctions of the US administration to Russia and Venezuela.

REPORTING: Sasha Chavkin y Martha M. Hamilton | DESIGN: Luis Melgar

SOURCES: C-SPAN, U.S. Office of Government Ethics, U.S. Senate, Government Publishing Office, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sibur and Navigator's corporate websites | IMAGES: Reuters, Getty Images, FleetMon, Marine Traffic