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Russia’s VEFK bank ex-chairman of board extradited from Austria to Russia

December 11, 2013, 17:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Alexander Gitelson is accused of a massive fraud

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© ITAR-TASS/Stolitsa S

MOSCOW, December 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of the Eastern European Financial Corporation (VEFK) Alexander Gitelson, who is accused of a massive fraud, is being extradited from Austria to Russia, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“Today at the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office the Austrian law enforcement agencies are extraditing Russian citizen Alexander Gitelson. He is accused under Article 159 Part 4 of the Russian Criminal Code for a massive fraud committed by the group in a conspiracy,” the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office said.

The St. Petersburg investigation department of the Russian Investigative Committee is trying the criminal case against Gitelson.

The detectives found that “from May 2006 until May 2007 at the post of the chairman of the board of directors of OJSC Bank VEFK and OJSC Inkasbank Gitelson has decided on a massive embezzlement of the monetary funds that these banks possessed, particularly the monetary funds attracted in the deposits of individuals and legal entities, misleading and abusing the trust of employees of the banks.”

He has used the forged documents, receiving from May 2007 until October 2008 from the vault of the Bank VEFK 2.5 billion rubles (about $76.2 million), which he had spent at his discretion.

“Meanwhile, Gitelson engaged in a conspiracy with the chair of the board of OJSC Inkasbank certain female citizen L. Gitelson and she have concluded the contracts on the deposits to the tune of one billion 880 million rubles (about $54.9 million) with the financial committee of Leningrad Region. These monetary funds were transferred under the disguise of a bank credit to OJSC Bank VEFK, from where these financial resources were stolen by Gitelson,” an official in the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said.

The former banker escaped from the law enforcement agencies and was put on the international wanted list in November 2010. He had been taking a shelter in Great Britain for some period of time, but the request for his extradition was made in the law enforcement agencies of that country in September 2011. “However, the British law enforcement agencies have not found the exact whereabouts of Gitelson and the search for him was continued,” the official noted.

In April 2013 the former financier was arrested in Austria. In May the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has made a request for his extradition in Russia and the Austrian law enforcement agencies satisfied this request in November.

Gitelson is being extradited to Russia convoyed by the officers of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service and Russia’s Interpol Bureau, the official said.

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