Russia moves to seize British estate owned by fugitive banker - report
MOSCOW, May 12 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court has has ordered the seizure of an estate in UK, worth ₤140 million, owned by the former head of the Bank of Moscow Andrey Borodin, Kommersant newspaper reports on Thursday.
In late 2010, Russia launched a criminal case against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin on charges of large-scale fraud involving funds from Moscow city budget. They were accused of lending 12.7 billion rubles ($193 million) to a shell company Premier Estate via Bank of Moscow. According to the newspaper, now damages allegedly caused by Borodin and his accomplices exceed 62 billion rubles (about $935 million).
Borodin, whose Bank of Moscow functioned as the capital's chief investment vehicle under its then-mayor Yury Luzhkov, fled to the UK in 2011. In November 2011, the Russian Interpol bureau put Borodin and Akulinin on the international wanted list. In March 2013, Borodin was granted political asylum in the UK.
According to investigators, the real estate, for which Borodin paid ₤140 million, was purchased at the expense of the funds illicitly transferred from the Bank of Moscow. The transaction was carried out in 2011. By that time both Borodin and Akulinin had already been named codefendants in a criminal case being accused of a large-scale fraud, according to Kommersant.
Investigators believe that purchase of expensive property might constitute a money laundering scheme.
The estate belonging once to Prince Frederick, then Prince of Wales and eldest son of King George II, is located near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and is the most expensive UK country house ever sold.