Management of First Czech-Russian Bank which financed Le Pen’s National Front wanted

Management of First Czech-Russian Bank which financed Le Pen’s National Front wanted
Roman Popov Photo: Valery Levitin / RIA Novosti

Head of the liquidated bank Roman Popov and his deputy Olga Arsentyeva are accused of embezzling more than 400 million rubles ($6.2m).

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation put head of the bankrupt First Czech-Russian Bank (FCRB) Roman Popov and his deputy Olga Arsentieva on the international wanted list on charges of embezzlement of more than 400 million rubles, Kommersant reports.

According to Alexey Pozdnyakov, the lawyer of Popov, the Investigative Committee of Russia decided to search for his client due to the fact that he did not reply to the summons sent to him and was hiding from the investigation and the court. The lawyer, however, claims that the investigators sent the summons to the address where Popov has not lived for a long time. According to Pozdnyakov, his client left Russia for treatment even before the investigation began. The lawyer also noted that the staff of the ICR did not inform Popov about the conduct of the investigative actions.

The case regarding the leadership of the FCRB was initiated in the winter of 2017. In January last year, former vice-president of the organization Dmitry Merkulov was arrested on charges of embezzlement and withdrawal of about 2 billion rubles from the bank. The bank itself lost its license and went bankrupt in 2016. The bank's accounts came up short about 26 billion rubles. In February 2017, after the arrest of Merkulov, the Deposit Insurance Agency found a hole in the bank totalling 9.33 billion rubles ($145.6m).

In 2014, the FCRB issued a loan to the French National Front party led by Marie Le Pen, who later ran for the presidency of France. Le Pen appealed to the Russian bank due to the fact that the French credit organizations refused to provide her money.

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