Posts Tagged ‘new zealand’

November 2012

Shell company supergrass found dead

A wealthy Russian businessman who blew the whistle on massive Moscow corruption that involved New Zealand shell companies has died in mysterious circumstances in England.

Alexander Perepilichnyy, 44, was the third or fourth person linked to the scandal to have died suddenly.

His secret testimony, part of which was published in May last year by Fairfax Media papers, exposed Moscow’s Klyuev organised crime group which is accused of extorting around US$800 million (NZ$973m).

He revealed how the group laundered US$245m through Switzerland – including part of it through Queen St, Auckland, shell companies.

The Independent newspaper says Perepilichnyy, who had sought sanctuary in Britain three years ago, collapsed outside his mansion on a luxury private estate on the outskirts of Weybridge a week ago.

The newspaper says he was in seemingly good health. Surrey police said further tests will be carried out on the body.

“It was a sudden death and a post-mortem examination was carried out which was inconclusive and an inquest will now be held,” a police statement said.

“The investigation has been handed over to the coroner, subject to anything being found that requires further police investigation.”

The Independent said Swiss prosecutors were investigating the operation which involved Credit Suisse and the Moscow branch of London-based global investment advisory firm Hermitage Capital Management.

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