Chairman of AFK Sistema arrested on suspicion of money laundering
MOSCOW, September 17 (RAPSI) – Vladimir Yevtushenkov, board chairman of Russia’s largest publicly-traded diversified holding company Sistema, has been charged with money laundering and placed under house arrest, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin announced on Tuesday.
On August 27, the Moscow City Court confirmed the seizure of the Sistema-owned stake in midsized oil company Bashneft. The stock was seized by the Basmanny District Court in Moscow under a case on alleged embezzlement and money laundering during the sale of Bashneft to Sistema in 2009.
The injured party is the Ministry of Land and Property Relations of Bashkortostan, a republic in the south Urals where midsized oil producer Bashneft has its production facilities. The ministry filed a lawsuit to recover 209 billion rubles ($5.8 billion) from Sistema.
The former head of Bashneft, Ural Rakhimov, was charged with embezzlement during the transaction and the subsequent laundering of the embezzled funds.
Investigators believe that the shares were sold at a huge “discount” of $500 million. The investigation will determine the role Sistema played in the transaction and the individual who approved it.
Sistema directly owns almost 72% of Bashneft’s voting shares and an overall stake of 86.7%, including 12.6% which is owned by Sistema-Invest.
Sistema is one of Russia’s top 10 companies by revenue. Its portfolio comprises stakes in predominantly Russian businesses in a range of sectors, including telecommunications, oil, utilities, consumer, high tech, insurance, real estate, retail, mass media, banking and medicine. Sistema is the controlling shareholder in most of its investments.
Its charter capital is 868.5 million rubles ($22.4 million); it is divided into 9.65 ordinary shares with a par value of 0.09 rubles. Sistema trades about 19% of its stock in the form of GDR (one GDR equals 20 ordinary shares) on the LSE and 5.2% on the Moscow Exchange.
Vladimir Yevtushenkov is Sistema’s largest beneficiary with 64.1862% of its stock.