Former head of the Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, has said he is in possession of information that businessman Vitaly Yusufov, who bought 19.9 per cent of the bank’s shares from him, subsequently got $300 million more from VTB.
Borodin is currently internationally wanted on charges of misappropriation of funds from the budget of the Russian capital city, and a portion of his assets has been frozen in a number of European banks. However, that has not prevented the former head of the fifth largest Russian bank from buying a mansion for £140 million in the United Kingdom and rearing goats on the estate. According to Forbes data Borodin’s wealth is estimated at $800 million.
In an interview with REN television channel’s This Week, Borodin has said that he received from Yusufov a little less than $800 million. Borodin sold his stake and left the country in March 2011. A month earlier, the second largest Russian bank, VTB, bought 46.48 per cent of Bank of Moscow shares (as well as the stake of the Moscow Insurance Group) for 102 billion roubles. Later, VTB structures bought “Borodin’s stake” from Yusufov.
“The price of the deal (between Yusufov and VTB) has been kept undisclosed, but an informed person has said that Yusufov received for the same stake $300 million more. Not bad – $300 million in three months,” Borodin said.
He believes that the Yukos case has taught the authorities not to destroy people physically or even as far as reputation is concerned.
“They took the business away by force,” says Borodin, who managed the Bank of Moscow continuously from the time of its establishment in 1995.
He calls the criminal cases against himself and his senior deputy Dmitry Akulinin fabricated and politically motivated and denies the charges of funding the opposition, let alone attempts to topple the regime. The charges were present in Anatomy of Protest 2, a documentary shown on NTV. At the same time, Borodin confirmed that he was sponsoring Russian human-rights activists.
Borodin, who resides in his estate outside of London, where deer come to graze, yet again refused to answer the question on whether he had requested political asylum in the United Kingdom. But he said that “as a rule, the local authorities refuse to extradite people in such cases.” Russia is demanding the former banker’s extradition.
Today, the Bank of Moscow is almost totally owned by the VTB Group. The bank has recently announced that it has handed over to law-enforcement agencies more materials on assets worth tens of billions of roubles siphoned off during the period when Borodin was in charge of it.