Russian police wrap investigation of $80 mln BTA Bank embezzlement
MOSCOW, May 21 (RAPSI) - A probe into the attempted embezzlement of 2.5 billion rubles (approximately $80 million) from BTA Bank has reached completion, Russia’s Interior Ministry reported on Tuesday.
Dmitry Pak, former co-owner of the Delo leasing company, and, Oleg Tsaryov, the company’s former general director, are suspects in the case.
Mukhtar Ablyazov, the chairman of the board of directors of BTA Bank, was another co-owner of the leasing company along with Pak. He owned the stake through an Austria-registered company, the statement reads.
In 2005-2008, BTA Bank issued loans to the company on the basis of 70 agreements in the amount of 2.5 billion rubles.
In late 2008, Ablyazov discovered that his position as chairman of the bank would soon be terminated and apparently decided not to repay the loans to the bank. He is alleged to have agreed with Pak and Tsaryov to embezzle the money. The bank lost the right to claim the amount as a result of the alleged fraud. The investigators believe that the embezzled money was later invested into BTA Bank as a subordinated loan.
BTA bank initiated proceedings against Ablyazov in early 2009 after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in the bank and it came under the control of its Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Fund. Its then-former chairman Ablyazov fled the country at that point, heading to the UK.
Since then, BTA Bank has filed 11 claims against its former chairman, amounting to approximately $6 billion.
On February 16, 2012, London’s High Court of Justice handed three 22-month sentences down, having found Ablyazov in contempt of the court. The three sentences arose from his failure to disclose his assets, his failure to cease dealing with his assets, and his failure to repatriate any inappropriately disposed of assets. Ablyazov’s whereabouts have remained unknown since then.
Kazakhstan sought from the UK where Ablyazov resided his extradition for large-scale fraud which involved draining the bank's funds using shell companies, ultimately causing billions of dollars in damages.
Russia too launched criminal proceedings against Ablyazov. In October 2010, a Moscow district court issued an arrest warrant for him in absentia on charges of large-scale fraud.