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3 Apr, 2008 09:39

Government denies charging UK investor with tax fraud

The Interior Ministry has denied bringing charges against William Browder, head of a major investment fund operating in Russia. Business newspaper Kommersant reported earlier that Browder had been officially accused of tax dodging.

Browder is the head of Hermitage Capital Management, one of the biggest foreign investment funds working in Russia.

The company invests in shares in Gazprom, Sberbank, Surgutneftegas, Transneft and other major Russian companies.

His Russian visa was revoked in 2005 and is now based in London. He has been unavailable for comment on the latest speculation.

A spokesperson for the investigative unit had said the Browder case was handed to them just recently. She declined to comment on details of the probe. She was also not aware which agency had handled the case previously.

Russian media reported that an investigation into Browder's tax record had been launched in 2007. Hermitage was allegedly using Cyprus-based offshore entities for tax evasion.