Russian authorities seize assets of fugitive ex-finance minister of Moscow Region
MOSCOW, October 15 (RAPSI) - Investigators in St. Petersburg have seized assets worth millions of rubles owned by former finance minister of the Moscow Region Alexei Kuznetsov and his wife Zhanna Bullock, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.
“In all, 82 antique furniture items, 113 paintings by famous artists, including futurist David Burliuk, two old icons 1.5 meters tall each and 13 boxes of rare books were seized,” the agency quoted Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin as having said.
He also reportedly said that paintings by David Burliuk were sold for as much as 200,000-700,000 pounds at Sotheby’s auctions.
Kuznetsov and his ex-wife became embroiled in a criminal investigation in 2010 based on embezzlement allegations. Investigators alleged that the couple had worked alongside regional officials to illegally procure regional property and funds, ultimately causing damages to the regional budget in excess of 27 billion rubles ($900 million).
Last summer, Kuznetsov was arrested at a hotel near the prestigious French resort of St. Tropez and taken to a local prison. Nevertheless, the French judiciary has so far failed to extradite him to Russia. Kuznetsov’s lawyers claim that his criminal prosecution in Russia is politically motivated.