Russian tycoon Pugachev flees from UK to France
MOSCOW, July 10 (RAPSI) - Sergei Pugachev, former member of the Russian parliament’s upper house and beneficiary of International Industrial Bank (Mezhprombank), which was declared bankrupt in 2010, has left the UK, contrary to a ruling by London’s High Court, Russia’s Deposit Insurance Agency said in a statement.
The Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) said that the London court prohibited Pugachev from leaving the court’s jurisdiction and ordered him to surrender his passports and other documents.
According to the DIA, Pugachev has fled to France even though his French passport had been turned over to the law firm Hogan Lovells, which represents DIA’s interests in the UK.
In July last year, London’s High Court ruled in favor of the DIA which sought to freeze Pugachev’s assets.
The DIA said that last week London’s High Court summoned Pugachev to a hearing in London scheduled for July 9. He refused to attend it under the pretext of alleged security risks, the DIA said.
“Pugachev’s statements, including the alleged protection by UK police or that explosive devices were found in his car, are a lie designed to justify his actions that could be classified as contempt of the court,” the DIA said.
On June 18, the Ninth Court of Appeals upheld a Moscow Commercial Court decision that charged Pugachev and several other top executives at Mezhprombank with secondary liability under a lawsuit against the bank’s bankruptcy filed by the Deposit Insurance Agency. The Moscow court found them guilty of knowingly bankrupting the bank, primarily through the transfer of liquid assets.
Last year, the DIA asked the court to debit a total of 68.481 billion rubles from Pugachev and Marina Illarionova, the last CEO of Mezhprombank, and 7.161 billion rubles from two former chief executives, Alexander Didenko and Alexei Zlobin. The Moscow Commercial Court ruled for the DIA’s claim.
This was the largest amount ever assigned for secondary liability in Russia.
The Moscow Commercial Court declared Mezhprombank bankrupt in November 2010 after the bank defaulted on its debts and received a 40-billion-ruble bailout from Russia’s Central Bank. The DIA was appointed liquidator of Mezhprombank’s assets.
An investigation into the bankruptcy was launched in January 2011 on suspicion of “illegal operations in the process of bankruptcy filing and deliberate bankruptcy.”
Pugachev was eventually charged with embezzlement and arrested in absentia. In November 2014, he was put on the international wanted list.
In January 2015, Russia sent a request for extradition to the UK.