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Interpol looking into former Russian lawmaker's Bulgaria, Cyprus business

November 22, 2012, 4:12 UTC+3

Gudkov denied all the accusations

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MOSCOW, November 22 (Itar-Tass) — Interpol is looking into former Russian lawmaker Gennady Gudkov's business in Bulgaria and Cyprus, the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reported on Thursday, citing law-enforcement sources.

"Interpol zeroed in on some fine points of business running by the Gudkov family in Bulgaria and Cyprus," the newspaper said adding that inquiries had been placed with the Russian Interior Ministry requesting a confirmation of criminal actions by the Gudkovs in these countries.

However, the newspaper notes that if one is to remember the scandal around Gudkov, his affairs in Bulgaria most likely involve Bulgarian citizen Ivailo Zartov, who is serving a sentence for fraud. Zartov was Gudkov's business partner, who now accuses him of tax evasion and other wrongdoings punishable by the penal codes of Russia and the European Union.

"As for Cyprus, it is through banks of this offshore zone that Gudkov's business was funded, which contributed, to no small extent, to tax evasion," the newspaper writes.

A pre-investigation check was launched in Russia in late June, at the statement by Bulgarian citizen Ivailo Zartov, who had asked to check the legitimacy of State Duma lawmaker Gennady Gudkov's participation in entrepreneurial activities at the companies registered in Bulgaria and Gibraltar. In August, the Investigative Committee reported that it had obtained conformation on Gudkov's illegal participation in those companies, both Russian and non-resident, such as English Village, registered in Bulgaria, and Business Consultancy Limited, registered in Gibraltar's offshore zone.

The companies engaged in acquisition and construction in Bulgaria of expensive real estate facilities.

On September 14, the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament stripped Gennady Gudkov, deputy chairman of A Just Russia faction, of his lawmaker’s mandate for failing to abide by the restrictions and bans envisioned by the law on the status of the State Duma lawmaker and the Federation Council member.

Gudkov denied all the accusations. He told reporters the situation around him was persecution for his political activities on the side of the Opposition.

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