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Reports on US inquiry into Gunvor founder Timchenko may reflect desire to expand sanctions

Earlier WSJ published a report saying that an investigation had been launched into whether Gennady Timchenko transferred funds linked to certain deals in Russia through the US financial system

MOSCOW, November 6. /TASS/. Reports on investigation in the US focusing on the Russian businessman may be related to the US Administration’s desire to expand sanctions against Russia, an authorized representative for Timchenko said on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal published a report earlier on the same day saying that the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, “aided by the Justice Department”, had launched an investigation into whether Gennady Timchenko, the founder of Gunvor oil trading group, transferred funds linked to certain deals in Russia through the US financial system.

Sources familiar with the situation told the newspaper, among other things, the objective of the investigation was to scrutinize the purchases of crude oil from the Russian oil corporation Transneft .

Timchenko sold his main financial asset — a 44% package in Gunvor — to his partner Thorbjorn Tornqvist a day before the US authorities placed him on a blacklist of Russian citizens subjected to sanctions on the presumption that they were members of Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle”.