Former Russia Minister Transferred More Than 860 Million Dollars to Offshore
OREANDA-NEWS. Mikhail Abyzov, former Russian Minister of Open Government Affairs created an offshore network which received more than 860 million US dollars from 2011 till 2016.
This is a result of a joint investigation of Novaya Gazeta newspaper (Russia), the Center for the Study of Corruption and Organized Crime (Russia), the television channel STV (Sweden) and Postimees newspaper (Estonia).
The investigators refer to the internal report of the Estonian branch of Swedbank. The head of Hermitage Capital, William Browder, accused this bank of laundering funds related to the Magnitsky case. The bank carried out an internal audit and compiled a document in which reporters came across 70 companies from Belize, Singapore, Cyprus and the Virgin Islands related with Abyzov.
According to Novaya Gazeta, 38 out of 70 companies owned or continue to own Russian assets in the electric power industry, mechanical engineering, coal mining and agribusiness. At the same time, 42 offshore enterprises were opened after the appointment of Abyzov as Minister in 2012, when he had no right to engage in entrepreneurial activity. The publication says that Abyzov’s offshore companies participated in “complex deals in Russia” from 2012 till 2018. The newspaper notes that until 2017 he had to indicate his shares in companies. However, it cannot be found out whether he did this from published document.
The representative of the ex-minister reported that Abyzov transferred his business to entrusted administration before he took a post in the government, as it is required by law. “After that, he declared all the property he had in the order established by Russian law,” he said.Abyzov was detained in March 2019, he was accused of fraud and the creation of a criminal community. According to investigators, in 2012–2014 he organized a complex transaction of his assets, as a result of which the minority shareholders of his companies suffered damage, and 4 billion roubles (about 63 million US dollars) were brought abroad.