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DIA to sell UK assets of former CEO of Mezhprombank

August 18, 2016, 9:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. The Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), as the bankruptcy trustee of Russia’s Mezhprombank (the International Industrial Bank (IIB)) will start selling first assets of the bank’s former CEO and beneficiary Sergei Pugachev, that were ceased in the United Kingdom, the Kommersant business daily reported on Thursday.

The newspaper refers to sources familiar with the situation, the DIA also confirmed the information.

"At this stage we are talking about the sale of two real property items, namely a mansion in London, known as the Old Battersea House and an estate in the county of Herefordshire, known as Lower Venn Farm," representatives of DIA told Kommersant.

The Agency managed to recover Lower Venn Farm disclosed by order of the London Court and Old Battersea House built in the late XVII century, which is protected by a trust.

"The agency insists that the property, which is part of the trust, as well as the property located in other similar four trusts, in fact, belongs to Sergei Pugachev, and these assets are under his control. In 2015, the agency received an order to cease property items located worldwide, which are in these trusts. Currently, proceedings in England are under way to recognize the trusts as fictitious, as well to recognize Sergei Pugachev as their actual beneficiary," the agency said.

The order for the sale of Old Battersea House was received due to the fact that the property item was not maintained in the desired condition since 2105, when Pugachev left the UK. This entails a reduction in the purchase price, the funds which are raised from the sale can be spent to pay Pugachev’s debt to the bank, if the bank makes such a decision. The sale of assets will be open in order to raise the maximum revenue.

The former Mezhprombank CEO, who fled to the UK and later to France, is accused of misappropriation or large-scale embezzlement and also abuse of office.

Russia’s investigators say in 2009 the bank issued some 120 non-recoverable loans worth 64 billion rubles (around $1 billion at current exchange rate) to economic entities under Pugachev’s control.

The investigators suspect that Pugachev also embezzled 28 billion rubles ($438 million at current exchange rate) of unsecured loans issued by the Bank of Russia.

In January, Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office requested Pugachev’s extradition from the UK. A short while later the former banker left the UK in violation of the High Court’s resolution.

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