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Court arrests New Stream owner Mazurov for 2 months on suspicion of $29 mln embezzlement

The former owner is accused of 'fraud on a large scale committed by an organized group'
Owner of New Stream Group Dmitry Mazurov  Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Owner of New Stream Group Dmitry Mazurov
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 15. / TASS /. Moscow's Tverskoy Court has arrested the owner of the New Stream Group, Dmitry Mazurov, on the suspicion of embezzlement of $29 million, until September 12, 2019, TASS reported from the courtroom on Monday.

"To satisfy the investigator’s petition and choose a preventive measure against Mazurov in the form of detention until September 12," said judge Yelena Bulgakova.

On July 14, the New Stream Group reported that its owner Mazurov was detained on July 13 at the Sheremetyevo Airport, as a suspect, the prosecution had petitioned the court to arrest him. According to Kommersant newspaper, Mazurov is accused of embezzling loan funds from Sberbank, Promsvyazbank and Absolut Bank for a total of more than $3 billion.

Earlier, Sberbank head Herman Gref filed a complaint, based on which the criminal case was launched. "Sberbank has filed a statement with the law enforcement on numerous uncovered facts of illegal activities carried out by the controlling shareholder of Antipinsky Oil Refinery Mazurov and the former Director General of Antipinsky Oil Refinery Lisovichchenko, which falls under the definition of "fraud on a large scale committed by an organized group." "Based on this statement, law enforcement agencies opened a criminal case under part 4 of article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code," the bank reports.

The credit organization also revealed "numerous facts of Antipinsky Oil Refinery's entering into agreements with affiliated intermediaries on non-market conditions, including export contracts, as a result of which the company suffered significant damage and substantial amount of money was transferred abroad."

Mazurov maintains his innocence in court. "I didn’t conduct business at the plant and didn’t sign the loan receipt. It is ridiculous to accuse me of having somehow seized this money. I didn’t sign any documents, I only vouched for these loans and didn’t take them", Mazurov said.

Mazurov ran the Antipinsky Oil Refinery with a capacity of 9 million tonnes of oil per year, as owned by the New Stream Group. In May 2019, due to the tough financial situation and as a result of disruptions in oil supplies that began in 2018, the refinery was forced to suspend work and went under the control of its main creditor — Sberbank.

On May 18, the Antipinsky Refinery filed a bankruptcy petition to the arbitration court of the Tyumen Region. According to the court filing, the sum of bankruptcy claims against the Antipinsky Oil Refinery made 346.4 billion rubles. The New Stream Group was established by Mazurov. Antipinsky Oil Refinery was the main asset of the group. After Sberbank obtained control over the oil refinery, it was sold into a joint venture with Azerbaijani Socar. The group also included the Mariinsky Oil Refinery, under the management of the Afipsky Oil Refinery with a capacity of 6 million tonnes. In May, the Afipsky Oil Refinery entered the Safmar Group that belongs to Mikhail Gutseriev. The representative of the New Stream explained to TASS that the company remains the managing partner of the Mariinsky Refinery.