\LUXEMBOURG, March 6. /TASS/. Arrest of founder and managing partner of the private equity firm Baring Vostok Michael Calvey is the competence of the court, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
"The division of powers is in place. When an arrest is meant, this is certainly the criminal court’s competence," the Russian Prime Minister said.
"Certainly, the court should gather and listen to arguments of the prosecution. If it recognizes them as sufficient, it will keep the arrest. If it does not recognize them as sufficient, it may elect a different pre-trial restriction," Medvedev noted. "However, this is entirely the court competence," he added.
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the embezzlement of 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from Vostochny Bank on February 13. Michael Calvey is the key defendant in the case. On February 15, the law enforcement agencies arrested Calvey and five others: Vagan Abgaryan, partner at Baring Vostok, Philippe Delpale, an investment partner for the financial industry sector at Baring Vostok, Ivan Zyuzin, Investment Director at Baring Vostok and also General Director of the First Collection Bureau Maxim Vladimirov and Advisor to the Management Board of Norvik Bank, Alexey Kordichev.
According to the investigation, Calvey and his accomplices put together a scheme, where the "First Collection Bureau", under their control, waived its right to a 59.9% stake in a Luxembourg-based company called the International Financial Technology Group (IFTG), to the Vostochny bank to pay it back for a 2.5 billion-ruble debt. Before the deal, IFTG’s shares were valued at 3 bln rubles. However, the investigation is examining another estimate of 600,000 rubles (according to a Cyprus-based company’s valuation). That said, the Central Bank claimed that the price of these shares was close to zero, the investigator noted.
Baring Vostok is one of the largest private equity firms focusing on Russia and the CIS with $3.7 bln in capital. Since 1994, the fund has poured more than $2.4 bln of investments into 70 projects in the areas of financial services, oil and gas, telecommunications and media, and into the consumer sector. Baring Vostok’s projects include CTC Media, Yandex, Avito, Ozon, ER-Telecom, 1C, and Novomet.