Glam influencer arrested trying to flee Russia in limo over £9m tax evasion plot

A wealthy Russian lifestyle influencer was detained just as she tried to flee the country.

Multi-millionaire Elena Blinovskaya, 41, is being held on suspicion of being part of a £9million tax evasion and money laundering scheme.

She was reportedly en-route to an airport in a Mercedes limousine to fly out of Russia before being snared.

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Her detention comes as Vladimir Putin oversees a new crackdown on Russians earning large sums from social media.

Other reports said she had used a Maybach limousine as part of her getaway bid.

She had been made aware she was under investigation over around £9million in allegedly unpaid personal tax and VAT.

A self-styled life coach, Blinovskaya amassed 5.3 million followers as part of her wellness brand, having started out as a provincial accountant.

She was also the winner of the Mrs Russia International 2016 beauty pageant – but could face up to seven years in jail if convicted.

A married mother of four, the popular blogger makes no secret of her deep pockets and is notorious for throwing lavish parties costing millions of pounds.

Her birthday celebration for her turning 40 was reportedly extra swish, costing her a cool £1.2million.

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In an interview last year she boasted of paying “dozens of millions” of roubles in taxes.

A newly-released video shows how she was held at Krasnaya Gorka checkpoint to Belarus having intended to fly initially to Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.

The Russian Investigative Committee said: “Elena Blinovskaya was detained by law enforcement officers while trying to cross the border of the Russian Federation in a car she had previously rented.

“At the same time she held air tickets for departure to another state.”

The allegations relate in part to income she made from “transformational games” and “marathons” she held for at least 300,000 of her followers.

She is accused of seeking to hide her true income and was reportedly being interrogated by authorities.

Baza media reported the Russian tax service had created a special unit to “check rich Russians who earn with the help of social networks” in a crackdown on a younger generation who have amassed wealth in unconventional ways.

Russia's finances are creaking under the weight of the war in Ukraine and massive sanctions from the international community.

Blinovskaya's motto tells her followers: “You were brought here by your dreams. Caution wizard.”

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