ST. PETERSBURG, March 30 (RAPSI) - The Kuibyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg on Friday issued an arrest warrant in absentia for a co-owner and ex-president of Baltiyskiy Bank Oleg Shigayev charged with a 3 billion-ruble ($55 million) embezzlement, according to the United press service of St. Petersburg courts.

In April 2016, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia forwarded to Switzerland a request for extradition of Oleg Shigayev.

According to investigators, Shigayev had demanded that members of the bank’s credit committee approved loans to firms under his control. After that in June through August 2014 more than 3.3 billion rubles were transferred to the accounts of the said commercial companies.

Shigayev has been charged in absentia with fraud and money laundering. The Baltiyskiy Bank ex-head moved to Switzerland in autumn 2014 prior to the rehabilitation of the bank.

Baltiyskiy Bank is one of Russia’s oldest commercial banks. It was established in 1989 and has branches in 30 cities over the country. According to “RIA Rating” as on July 1, 2014, Baltiyskiy was 69th among Russian banks in terms of total assets. The amount of the bank’s assets made 85.7 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) at that time, whereas the amount of household deposits was at 58 billion rubles ($1 billion) as in early June.

In August 2015, the Bank of Russia announced the launch of financial restructuring of Baltiyskiy Bank, included in the top 100 of largest Russia’s banks. The Deposit Insurance Agency was set as a turnaround manager; the Central Bank had provided a credit line in amount up to 10 billion rubles ($174 million) so the agency could manage the bank’s liquidity. Since August 20, the agency has acted as an interim administrator of the bank.

According to reports, the decision to rehabilitate the bank had been taken in the situation, where problems relating to the quality of assets were apparent. However, these problems did not affect liquidity, thus the bank could carry out its activities seamlessly.

In October 2014, Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private bank in terms of total assets, equity, customer accounts and loan portfolio, bought an 88 percent stake in Baltiyskiy Bank.