Latvia seizes assets of former Russian bank manager

21.08.2013, 14:14

Real estate belonging to exiled former Bank of Moscow President Andrei Borodin has been seized in Latvia, Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev said in an interview to the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.

The prosecutor confirmed that real estate belonging to the former president of Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, in Latvia had been seized, but did not specify what property was involved, or its value.

Latvian real estate is popular with Russia’s wealthy, particularly on the Baltic coast, where if fetches very high prices.

Russia launched a criminal case against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin in late 2010 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 an international wanted list.

Borodin has consistently denied any wrongdoing and claimed his prosecution in Russia was part of a political vendetta against those close to Luzhkov in the run-up to the 2011 parliamentary and 2012 presidential election.

In March 2013 Borodin was granted political asylum in the UK, just months after he bought what the UK press said was the most expensive house in Britain for $220 million.

On May 27, 2013, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) launched a criminal case against Borodin and has frozen around $368 million in his Swiss bank accounts, and has declared Bank of Moscow an injured party in the case, allowing it to file for damages to be paid from Borodin's seized funds.