Arrest of Robert Musin extended by 3 months for alleged money-laundering

Arrest of Robert Musin extended by 3 months for alleged money-laundering
Robert Musin

The Kazan Court has ordered to extend the arrest of former Head of Tatfondbank (TFB) and Deputy of the Tatarstan State Council Robert Musin; he will remain in a pre-trial detention center until October 16.

Musin is charged with major financial fraud, including with the funds of the Central Bank.

Taking into account the information of the investigative authorities that the banker has offshore companies and an aircraft, which he can use to flee Russia and avoid criminal responsibility, as well as the fact the amount of damage caused by him exceeds 35 billion rubles ($592 million), the court has extended his arrest.

Meanwhile, Musin's defense had insisted on mitigating the measure of restraint to the banker, since his health condition had deteriorated sharply in the pre-trial detention center. Now the lawyers intend to challenge the decision on the arrest extension.

To recall, the CrimeRussia previously reported that Robert Musin had been arrested and placed in the pre-trial detention center on March 3 this year. He is accused of a fraud on a large scale (Article 159 of the Criminal Code) and abuse of existing powers (Article 201 of the Criminal Code).

According to the investigation, Tatfondbank had overtaken 3.1 billion rubles ($52.4 million) from the Central Bank; at the same time, there had been inaccurate information about its liquidity asset in the form of a loan granted to Nizhnekamskneftekhim. After that, the money was withdrawn and stolen. Later, the investigating authorities discovered the facts of illegal withdrawal of collateral on loans, granted by TFB to various companies. In addition, 29.3 billion rubles ($496 million) have been illegally obtained. At the same time, part of the amount has been allocated by Deposit Insurance Agency for the recovery of Sovetsky bank.

During the meeting held on July 12, an ICR representative said that the investigation had got some information on Musin's involvement in the withdrawal of property through offshore. In particular, through companies registered in Cyprus. Musin's family members may also be involved in these companies' activity. 

"Document evaluation suggests the direct involvement of Musin, his wife, and daughter in the activities and management of these legal entities registered in offshore jurisdictions," the investigation notes. 

The ICR representative also stated that the Russian law enforcers and their colleagues from Switzerland had found that the Swiss company Barg AG, registered in Baar in 2012, was listed as the founder of the development company OMEGA KC, registered in Kazan in 2013.

As a result, the Swiss police took a number of protective measures in respect of Barg AG's funds, since the company was suspected of money laundering. In this case, it concerns the amount of 3 billion rubles. The law enforcers also found out that Musin had a Bombardier aircraft, which he could have used to fly abroad if he had been released from the pre-trial detention. The plane belongs to SP Fonika LLC owned by a well-known Tyumen-Israeli billionaire Aleksandr Zabarsky. The aircraft is currently distrained.

The banker's defense, in turn, has assured the court that Musin does have a foreign citizenship and he is not going to abscond. However, during his stay in the pre-trial detention, his health deteriorated sharply. Despite the available arguments, the court has not mitigated Musin's measure of restraint and refused to release him under house arrest. The banker will stay in the detention facility until October 16.

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