Fugitive banker from Yekaterinburg detained with faked passport at border

Fugitive banker from Yekaterinburg detained with faked passport at border

Former owner of Plato bank has been convicted in absentia for 6 years.

Former owner of Plato bank Andrey Lazarev who had been sentenced in absentia to 6 years in a general regime colony has been detained at the border of Belarus and Poland, reports Znak.com.

Court found the Yekaterinburg banker guilty under item 4 of article 160 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Misappropriation or Embezzlement) and 4 a/b of article 174.1 (Deliberate Bankruptcy). Initially, Lazarev had travel restrictions imposed on himself, as he had paid a 1 million rubles ($15 thousand) bail. But he did not appear before the court when the verdict was being announced at Yekaterinburg’s Verkh-Isetsky district court on December 12, last year. After that, he was put on a federal wanted list.

Law enforcers determined that the banker had managed to leave Russia before the verdict had been delivered. On March 30, during a border control, he was detained by the border patrol unit of the Republic of Belarus while he was trying to cross the border of Belarus and Poland. He was carrying a faked passport in the name of a citizen of Slovenia.

At the present time, Lazarev has been placed in detention following a request of the crime investigation department of the regional directorate of the Main Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Belarus. He will wait for the extradition there.

The investigation theory is that the banker and his 2 subordinates - then-acting chairwoman of the board of directors Elena Yaroslavtseva and head of the internal control service of the bank Valentina Vikulova - had provided 64 loans to companies controlled by Lazarev. As a result, the damage from their actions was estimated at 1.2 billion rubles ($18.6 million). In 2015, licence of Plato bank was terminated upon the application of Bank of Russia.

The investigation determined that the money that had been stolen were legalized through financial operations and bargains which led to the bank’s inability to meet with the creditors’ demands related to financial obligation, as well as caused the termination of the licence and adjudication in bankruptcy.

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