MOSCOW, March 9 (RAPSI) – Russian investigators have sent requests to foreign bank seeking information on presence of accounts belonging to former Bashneft CEO Ural Rakhimov who stands charged with embezzlement upon the company’s stock sale, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.
According to Rakhimov’s lawyer Sergey Makarenko, investigators have already received some information but not from all requested banks. For this reason, investigation into the case has been repeatedly extended, the agency quoted Makarenko as having said.
Bashneft was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov.
The company was privatized in 2009, when Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema gained control of it.
A court in Moscow ruled that Bashneft was privatized in violation of law. The Prosecutor General's Office brought a suit to return a 71.6 percent stake in Bashneft to the government. The Moscow Commercial Court ruled on October 30, 2014, in favor of the Prosecutor General's Office.
Rakhimov, who has been living in Austria for the past six years, has reportedly received a residence permit there and hopes to get Austrian citizenship soon.
The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has issued an arrest warrant for Rakhimov in absentia. In March 2016, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court refused to extradite former Bashneft CEO to Russia.