MOSCOW, May 27 (RAPSI) - Former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin, whom the Russian Interior Ministry has put on the international wanted list, may lose a major part of his wealth, Kommersant newspaper writes.
The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has 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. The bank now may file for damages, to be paid from Borodin's arrested funds. Similar lawsuits may also be filed against him in other countries.
The OAG launched a criminal case against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin on October 10, 2011, based on information provided by the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS).
According to MROS, Borodin abused his powers at Bank of Moscow and was involved in the embezzlement of over RUB 14 billion (approximately CHF 430 million), which were transferred to his accounts and the accounts of his authorized representatives with several Swiss banks. The OAG and MROS have found and arrested CHF 354 million.
Swiss law allows criminal income to be confiscated for the benefit of Switzerland. The documents which the bank's lawyers sent to Switzerland gave reasons to suspect that the money which Borodin held in Swiss banks was embezzled.
On May 15, 2013, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court's Appeals Chamber dismissed Borodin's attorneys' complaints and declared Bank of Moscow an injured party in accordance with Swiss law. The Appeals Chamber ruled that Russia is not an injured party, even though Bank of Moscow is connected with government agencies. The bank was controlled by the Moscow City Government before VTB, which is 65% owned by the Russian government, took over Bank of Moscow.
Russia launched a criminal case against Borodin and Akulinin in late 2010 on charges of large-scale fraud involving state funds. They are 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.