MOSCOW, June 30 (RAPSI) – The former Director General of Eurasia Logistic, Alexander Volkov, who was sentenced in a $730 million fraud case in 2012, has been released on parole, Kommersant newspaper wrote on Monday.
Eurasia Logistic belonged to Kazakh businessman Mukhtar Ablyazov. It built industrial facilities in the former Soviet Union and is part of the investment and industrial group Eurasia. It has been running Class A industrial complex projects since 2005.
According to investigators, Volkov and three other top Eurasia Logistic managers joined an organized criminal group allegedly run by Mukhtar Ablyazov with the intent to embezzle Bank TuranAlem (BTA Bank) assets. They allegedly agreed to buy 2,500 hectares of land in the Domodedovo District near Moscow. They prepared false purchase bids on behalf of six front companies registered in the Seychelles to build villa communities worth over $720 million in total.
Ablyazov, who was charged with embezzling about $5 billion from BTA Bank’s shareholders, fled to the UK after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in the defaulted BTA in 2009. He was arrested on July 31, 2013 near Cannes, France. Kazakhstan sought his extradition, but Kazakhstan and France do not have an extradition treaty.
Russia and Ukraine both sought extradition rulings as well. On January 9, 2014, the court of Aix-en-Provence decided to extradite Ablyazov to Russia or Ukraine, with priority given to Russia. His defense team has filed cassation appeals challenging the extradition ruling. On April 9, the criminal chamber of Paris’s Cour de Cassation, the court of final appeal for civil and criminal cases in France, ruled to block Ablyazov’s extradition because of an administrative error by the court. Specifically, the ex-banker had not signed the official protocol as required.
According to Kommersant, in early June Alexander Volkov was released on parole from a prison colony in the Lipetsk Region. Two months before that, the Presidium of the Moscow City Court cut his prison sentence by one year, after which the Pravoberezhny District Court of Lipetsk granted his parole request.
The Investigative Department of Russia’s Interior Ministry said they are still investigating Volkov’s alleged involvement in the BTA Bank embezzlement case. He is suspected of involvement in four counts of large-scale fraud.