"Oksana, you can now count only on yourself": former Head of VimpelCom will not return to Russia

"Oksana, you can now count only on yourself": former Head of VimpelCom will not return to Russia
Mikhail Slobodin

Mikhail Slobodin, who intended to voluntarily surrender to law enforcement, decided to stay in Nice.

The person of interest in the Renova case and the ex-Head of VimpelCom Mikhail Slobodin changed his mind to return to Russia as he stated earlier. And no wonder - his alleged accomplices in a criminal case - the CEO of the SC Renova Evgeny Olkhovik and the CEO of T Plus Boris Vainzikher - have been arrested on suspicion of giving multimillion bribes to the ex-officials of Komi.

On the day when searches in the Renova’s central office took place, Slobodin was already abroad. Initially it was reported that the ex-CEO of VimpelCom was in London, but later it transpired that he actually was in Nice. Sources of Life report that Slobodin bought tickets and flew to France on the night before the searches and arrests. The publication’s Interlocutor believes that Slobodin was warned about the upcoming arrests.

Already being in Nice, Slobodin wrote a text message to his ex-wife Oksana Slobodina: "Oksana, you can now count only on yourself." Despite this message, the former head of VimpelCom was still deciding whether he should return to Russia or not. He even sent a letter to journalists, in which he stated that he would return to Moscow later this week to cooperate with the investigation.

There is also information that Slobodin bought a return ticket on the evening of 5th of September. He was supposed to fly from Nice to Moscow Sheremetyevo on September 8 at 15.15. Perhaps, the former head of VimpelCom has decided to remain in France, when he learned that on Wednesday, September 7, the Syktyvkar city court had arrested his alleged accomplices in a criminal case - Olkhovik and Vainzikher. On the same day, Slobodin was placed on the federal wanted list. Then, the head of VimpelCom has resigned from his office, and wrote a farewell letter to his employees.

It is to be recalled that the managers of the CJSC KES (Slobodin has held the post of the KES CEO since 2002, in 2010, he was replaced by Evgeny Olkhovik, and in 2012, Boris Vainzikher was the head of the company) are suspected of bribery in amount of 800 million rubles to the senior officials of Komi (today they are the persons of interest in the Gayzer case). For the "reward" the public officials turned a blind eye to the failure of the law on modernization of objects of Vorkuta energy delivery. Residents of Vorkuta paid for the company's services, the shabby network of which operated with 18% of heat loss.

Prosecutor's Office of Komi also said the Renova case "was initiated due to the new information in the materials of the Gayzer case, as well as thanks to the head of the Republican Tariff Service Ilya Pervakov, who made plea agreement. It should be noted that the official himself is accused of taking bribes in exchange for actions in favor of a number of energy and utility companies in the region. Forbes informed that the ex-governor of Komi Vyacheslav Gayzer testified against the defendants of the Renova case. It has been reported that the official decided to cooperate with the investigation in order to mitigate the sentence, but later his lawyer denied this information.

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