MOSCOW, June 5 (RAPSI) – New charges have been brought against tycoon Sergei Pugachev over more than 64 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) in loans provided by Mezhprombank to companies under his control, spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, told journalists on Friday.
According to the Investigative Committee, in 2009 Mezhprombank issued 120 loans to companies controlled by Pugachev against the pledge of ОРК Mining Limited (Cyprus).
ОРК Mining Limited (Cyprus) was the owner of Yenisei Industrial Company, which held a coal exploration and production license at the Elegest deposit of the Ulug Khemsk Basin in the Tuva Republic.
“The pledge agreements were terminated in 2010 on orders from Pugachev, who knew without a doubt that the loans would not be repaid. This allowed him to control the above asset and prevented the bank from seizing it by court order,” Markin said.
Pugachev has been already charged with abuse of office and the embezzlement of 28 billion rubles (about $510 million).
“Investigators claim that the unsecured loans allocated by the Central Bank of Russia were embezzled in 2008-2009 by a group of individuals led by Sergei Pugachev,” Markin said.
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 Deposit Insurance Agency was appointed as liquidator to Mezhprombank.
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 an international wanted list.
In January 2015, Russia sent a request for his extradition from the UK.