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30 Jan, 2020 21:43

Boris Mints: Russia seeks arrest of British-based sons of billionaire fugitive wanted for embezzlement

Boris Mints: Russia seeks arrest of British-based sons of billionaire fugitive wanted for embezzlement

Moscow's Basmanny Court has arrested in absentia two sons of the billionaire businessman Boris Mints, accused of multi-million dollar embezzlement by Russian investigators.

The founder of the O1 group, together with his children Alexander and Dmitry, is accused of the theft of $535 million (₽34 billion rubles), as reported by the Moscow business daily Vedomosti. Dmitry's lawyer says the defendants consider themselves “not guilty.” Successful convictions could lead to prison sentences of up to ten years.

An application to also arrest in absentia the elder Mints was postponed to February 3. His representative had requested a delay until February 12 because of the need to compile a large volume of materials in preparation. Mints and his family left Russia for London in May 2018.

Despite earlier reports across Russian media that Mints had been placed on an international wanted list, it was explained in court that he was actually named on the state equivalent, which is only valid in CIS countries.

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Mints set up the investment firm, O1 Group, which specializes in the acquisition and management of real estate. In 2018, Vedomosti revealed that Russian cops were looking into the mogul after a tip-off from Mikhail Zadornov, chairman of the board of banking giant Otkritie, which Mints co-founded. According to its sources, the situation is connected with unsecured bonds of O1 Group Finance on the balance sheet of Otkritie Financial Corporation.
In 2017, Oktritie collapsed, requiring an $8 billion government bailout. The following year, Russian authorities requested the UK High Court to freeze $615 million (£470 million) of Mints’ assets, including around 140 properties. The British agreed only to prevent Mints, and his sons, from disposing of their assets.
The billionaire was named on the so-called ‘Kremlin list’, compiled by US Congress. It featured wealthy Russian business people who could be subjected to sanctions.
– story was updated on Friday afternoon following the court hearing.

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