Posts Tagged ‘hsbc’

February 2013

Russia Threatens HSBC in Police Inquiry, Hermitage Says


Russian police are threatening to seize documents unless HSBC Holdings Plc hands over information required for a criminal investigation into Hermitage Capital Management Ltd., the investment fund said.

Under a new criminal case alleging “fraudulent actions,” Russia’s Interior Ministry is demanding that HSBC’s Moscow unit provide financial and banking information about the fund’s companies dating back to 1996, Hermitage said in an e-mailed statement today. Otherwise, the documents can be taken by force, it said, citing a request from the ministry to HSBC.

Andrei Pilipchuk, a ministry spokesman, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg. Evgenia Efimova, a spokeswoman for HSBC in Moscow, said she couldn’t comment immediately.

Russia is prosecuting on tax-evasion charges London-based Hermitage head William Browder and a lawyer who worked for the fund, Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in November 2009. The trial opened last month.

Magnitsky died at age 37 while in pretrial detention after alleging the biggest known tax fraud in Russia, a theft of $230 million from the national treasury. The case sparked a diplomatic row, with the U.S. imposing sanctions on Russian officials accused of playing a role in Magnitsky’s death and Russia’s government retaliating by barring American citizens from adopting Russian orphans.

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