MOSCOW, January 10 (RAPSI) - The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has sent a request to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas seeking legal assistance in the criminal case on the losses incurred by the Bank of Moscow, according to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.
Earlier, a high-profile public official close to the investigation into the embezzlement of funds by former top managers of the bank, told RIA Novosti that authorized agencies in the Bahamas had notified Russia of their intention to prosecute former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin, who is also charged with fraud in Russia.
The Prosecutor also noted that one of the major tasks for his office is to return assets acquired by illegal means, including corruption.
“For example, a request has been sent to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas for legal assistance in the criminal case on the damage caused to the Bank of Moscow’s assets. The prosecution requires seizing over $8 million of the assets of Credit Suisse AG financial services holding company,” Chaika said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
In November, investigators initiated a money laundering case against former Bank of Moscow President Andrei Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin. A fraud case had already been initiated against them. Borodin and Akulinin used their position to organize the transfer of at least 50 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) from the account of Bank of Moscow to the accounts of the affiliated commercial companies in Cyprus from 2008 till 2011, the Interior Ministry said. The defendants then laundered the funds via affiliated non-resident companies also registered in Cyprus.
According to the investigators, the former bankers conducted illegal financial transactions in excess of 623 million rubles ($19 million).
In late 2010, Russia launched a criminal case against Borodin and Akulinin on charges of large-scale fraud involving state funds. They were accused of improperly loaning $443 million to shell companies, which then transferred the cash to Yelena Baturina, the wife of Moscow ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov and the owner of the construction empire Inteco.
Borodin, whose Bank of Moscow functioned as the capital's chief investment vehicle under 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.
On May 27, 2013, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) launched a criminal case against Borodin and has frozen the CHF 354 million (around $368 million) in his Swiss bank accounts, and has declared Bank of Moscow an injured party in the case.