Posts Tagged ‘dubai’

13
December 2013

Corrupt money hides in Dubai, officials turn blind eye – Eva Joly

Thomson Reuters

Money allegedly stolen by Russian officials in a major scandal and funds looted from Afghanistan’s Kabul Bank are sitting in Dubai but international authorities have failed to hold the United Arab Emirates to account, a leading French politician said this week.

Eva Joly, a former magistrate known for exposing high-level political and business corruption in France, said officials should demand that Dubai give back the money stolen in Russia’s Magnitsky case and from Kabul Bank.

Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in jail, had been investigating an alleged large-scale theft by Russian officials while Kabul Bank nearly collapsed over corruption in 2010.

Joly called on the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to place the UAE on its black list of countries failing to enforce money-laundering laws.

“This is a shame, and we cannot live with it,” said Joly, a member of the European Parliament who was named to the anti-graft body backed by the United Nations to monitor corruption in Afghanistan.

“I cannot understand why the OECD blacklist is empty. Kabul Bank is the most important bank scandal ever, affecting 13 percent of the GDP of the country… and half of it is in Dubai,” she said at a roundtable discussion on the impact of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention.

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01
June 2011

After Swiss Freeze Millions, Stepanov Swings Back

Barron’s

An abbreviated version of this story ran in May 28 edition of Barron’s Magazine.

Swiss prosecutors have frozen Eur. 8 million in Credit Suisse bank accounts of Vladlen Stepanov, a subject of our story about a $230 million tax scam in Russia that victimized the hedge fund firm Hermitage Capital and led to the death in police custody of Hermitage’s whistle blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky (“Crime and Punishment in Putin’s Russia,” April 16).

Stepanov isn’t taking the Swiss action lying down. Last week he placed a self-justifying advertisement in a Russian newspaper, and this week he appeared for a video-taped interview at the Russian financial daily Vedomosti. In both forums, Stepanov denies that the Swiss bank money, and other riches detailed in our article, were illicitly obtained or derived from the hundreds of millions in dubious Russian tax refunds doled out by Olga Stepanova, a former tax official from whom Stepanov says he’s been divorced since 1992.

The evidence of corruption amongst police and other officials involved in the Magnitsky case has created enough of a stink that President Dmitry Medvedev called a press conference last week to discuss an independent inquiry into the scandal.

“I do not want to be a wood chip,” is the headline of Stepanov’s May 17th ad in the RBK Daily newspaper – an allusion to a Russian proverb suggesting that he sees himself as an innocent victim who’s been ground up in the chainsawing of a forest. He dismisses as “recreational arithmetic,” the estimates of his wealth presented in “horror videos” about the Magnitsky case produced by Hermitage Capital’s founder William F. Browder (see www.russian-untouchables.com).

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19
May 2011

Russian corruption scandal: A trail leads to Switzerland

Schweizer Fernsehen
A story like a thriller: A Russia lawyer, Sergei magnitsky, uncovers a huge tax fraud and accused Russian police officers and judges of being involved. Instead of investigating his claims, the police officers take him to prison, where he is being treated inhumanely and dies. A portion of the stolen money was laundered though banks accounts of Credit Suisse.

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16
May 2011

Briton uses YouTube to accuse Russian tax official of £25m fraud

The Sunday Times

A leading British investor has accused a Russian official and her husband of embezzling more than £25m (€29m) through their part in a scam that led to the theft of three of his companies and the largest tax fraud in Russia’s history.

William Browder, a British citizen born in America who has been barred from Russia since 2005, has gathered evidence that, he claims, shows a senior Moscow tax official and her husband went on a multimillion-pound spending spree, despite earning a combined annual salary of only £25,000.

It happened after interior ministry officials allegedly stole three companies from Hermitage Capital, Browder’s London-based investment fund, and used them to apply for a fraudulent £140m tax rebate, which was paid in a single day.

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28
April 2011

Magnitsky’s Colleagues: He exposed a fraud and paid for it with his life

WPS: What the Papers Say

Once they recovered from the shock caused by the news of Sergei Magnitsky’s death behind the bars, his colleagues initiated an investigation of their own. They are convinced that Magnitsky was murdered because he had exposed a fraud costing the Russian treasury 5.4 billion rubles and because he was prepared to testify in an open trial. Hermitage Foundation is still following the trail of the vast sums gone from the treasury in the hope to unearth a connection with people on the so called Cardin’s List. A video appeared in the Internet last week, focused on the colossal sums to be found on foreign bank accounts of Vladlen Stepanov, the husband of the former chief of Moscow Tax Inspectorate No 28 Olga Stepanova. It had been Stepanova who authorized return of the billions of rubles from the budget on December 24, 2007.

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21
April 2011

Moscow tax official’s $39 million fortune revealed

Associated Press

A Moscow tax official who approved a fraudulent $230 million tax return in 2007 has bought luxury real estate in Moscow, Dubai and Montenegro and wired money through her husband’s bank accounts worth $39 million, a U.S. investor said Monday.

All that was done with an average annual household income equivalent to $38,000, according to documents released by William Browder, an American-born investor barred from Russia.

Browder has been campaigning against Russian corruption since 2009 when his lawyer died a year after being sent to prison. Authorities have not explained why Browder was himself expelled as a security risk in 2005 in the first place.

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21
April 2011

Tax official blasted over the Magnitsky affair

The Moscow News

A sudden boom in the finances of a former tax official has come under the spotlight as part of a campaign to keep up the pressure on those allegedly involved in the incarceration and subsequent death of Sergey Magnitsky.

Olga Stepanova, a former tax official, and her family members became unwilling stars in a new video, part of the “Stop Untouchable!” campaign. Activists want to get justice for Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in pre-trial detention custody in 2009.

Jamison Firestone, Magnitsky’s former colleague at Firestone Duncan, has filed a claim to the Investigative Committee, calling for a criminal case to be opened against Stepanova, the then head of Moscow’s tax inspectorate no. 28.

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21
April 2011

Russian Officials Said to Reap Wealth in Tax Case

New York Times

After accusing government officials here of involvement in large-scale tax fraud three years ago, Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer for a major international investment fund, was arrested and jailed for nearly a year until he died mysteriously in detention.

Mr. Magnitsky’s claims have never been fully investigated, and on Monday, a year and a half after his death, his former colleagues unveiled information that they said showed that the officials he implicated had become astonishingly wealthy.

The findings are the latest in a series of independent investigations into Russian officials by Mr. Magnitsky’s supporters, including William F. Browder, the owner of Hermitage Capital Management, the fund that Mr. Magnitsky represented. A $12 million country house outside Moscow and seaside villas in Dubai and Montenegro are some of the purchases made by the officials since Mr. Magnitsky made his accusations against them, according to the investigation.

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21
April 2011

Hermitage claims against Russian official prompt Swiss probe

RIA Novosti

Switzerland has opened a money-laundering probe against a former Russian tax official at the request of British investment company Hermitage Capital Management Ltd., the Barron’s weekly said on Thursday.

Prosecutors are investigating suspicious transactions in a number of Credit Suisse accounts opened on behalf of the husband of former tax official Olga Stepanova. Stepanova approved the refund in 2007 of $230 million to scammers impersonating Hermitage Capital.

The Russian Interior Ministry has blamed the theft on Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who first reported the theft. Magnitsky died in a Moscow pre-trial detention facility in 2009 after being refused medical treatment for pancreatitis.

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