MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. The Basmanny Court in Moscow has arrested businessman Boris Mints in absentia in the case of embezzlement of 35 bln rubles ($549 mln), a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
"[The court hereby rules] to satisfy the petition of the investigation to choose a preventive measure for Boris Mints in the form of detention in absentia," judge Irina Vysheva announced.
According to the court’s ruling, Boris Mints will be in custody for two months after his detention. Earlier Mints was put on the international wanted list.
Mints’ lawyers claim that he is in London and is not hiding from Russian law enforcement agencies.
"The investigation should not seek the arrest of Mints in absentia, but use the tools at their disposal to interrogate Mints via the assistance of the British authorities," lawyer Alexey Kupriyanov said in court.
Earlier, the Basmanny court also arrested in absentia the sons of Mints - Dmitry and Alexander. The court’s decisions have not yet entered into force and can be appealed in the court of appeal.
According to investigators, in July-August 2017, Boris Mints and his sons Dmitry and Alexander, Chairman of the board of FC Otkrytie Evgeny Dankevich concluded a deal that was obviously unprofitable for the bank, having acquired exchange-traded bonds of the O1 Group Finance controlled by Mints. The investigation believes that by doing so they committed the theft of bank assets in the amount of 35 bln rubles ($549 mln).
The Investigative Committee of Russia uninitiated criminal proceedings against them under Part 4 of Article 160 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Misappropriation or Embezzlement).
Earlier, Vedomosti reported that the Investigative Committee had been checking Mints’ activities following a statement by Mikhail Zadornov, Chairman of the board of Otkritie FC Bank.
Boris Mints is the founder of the investment company O1 Group, which focuses on financing and real estate. In 2018, he transferred control over the Future Financial Group and the O1 Properties development company (part of the O1 Group) to the Cyprus-based Riverstretch Trading & Investments (RT&I). The magnate is also the founder of the Museum of Russian Impressionism.
The US Congress put Boris Mints on the so-called Kremlin list. This list includes businessmen, who have fortunes of more than $1 bln and can be subject to sanctions.