MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Kremlin has noted the transfer to house arrest of French banker Philippe Delpal, one of the defendants in the Baring Vostok case, in the run-up to the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron in France. Putin has discussed this case with Macron earlier, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Friday.
"On August 15, Philippe Delpal, a French businessman and partner at the Baring Vostok foundation, was released from custody and placed under house arrest," Ushakov stated. He reminded that the French leader had brought up this issue with the Russian president several times. "So in the run-up to the visit, this court decision was made," the aide said.
On Thursday, The Moscow City Court transferred Delpal to house arrest until October 13. Head of Baring Vostok Michael Calvey and former director of the Vostochny Bank Alexey Kordichev remain under house arrest as well.
Baring Vostok’s case
On February 13, Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the embezzlement of 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from the Vostochny Bank. US citizen and founder of the Baring Vostok private equity firm Michael Calvey is the key defendant in the case. On February 15, the law enforcement agencies arrested Calvey and five others: Vagan Abgaryan, partner at Baring Vostok, Philippe Delpal, an investment partner for the financial industry sector at Baring Vostok, Ivan Zyuzin, Investment Director at Baring Vostok and also General Director of the First Collection Bureau Maxim Vladimirov and Advisor to the Management Board of Norvik Bank, Alexey Kordichev. They are all facing charges under part 4 article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Swindling committed on a large scale by an organized group).
By now, all of them have been placed under house arrest.
According to the investigation, Calvey and his accomplices put together a scheme, where the "First Collection Bureau", under their control, waived its right to a 59.9% stake in a Luxembourg-based company called the International Financial Technology Group (IFTG), to the Vostochny bank to pay it back for a 2.5 bln-ruble debt. Before the deal, IFTG’s shares were valued at 3 bln rubles. However, the investigation is examining another estimate of 600,000 rubles (according to a Cyprus-based company’s valuation). That said, the Central Bank claimed that the price of these shares was close to zero, the investigator noted.
Calvey rejected all charges and accused Yusupov and Avetisyan of a conjuring up bogus charges caused by a "corporate conflict" in the bank.