The former head of Russia’s fifth largest lender, Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, and his former deputy Dmitry Akulinin have been put on an Interpol wanted list, the deputy head of Interpol’s Russian branch said on Wednesday.
A criminal case was launched against Borodin and his aide in late 2010 on charges of fraud involving state funds. They are accused of improperly loaning $443 million to shell companies which then transferred the cash to Elena Baturina, previous Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov’s wife who owns the construction empire Inteco.
Borodin, who headed Bank of Moscow, the capital’s investment vehicle under Luzhkov since its inception 16 years ago, has fled to London. Akulinin is also believed to have left Russia.
Russia earlier placed international arrest warrants for the two men, but the Interpol warrant is likely to make it harder for them to escape arrest.
In February, state-controlled bank VTB took control of Bank of Moscow after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired Luzhkov over a lack of trust last year.
Borodin, who together with Akulinin held 20.3 percent in the bank, strongly opposed the acquisition but in spring he finally gave up and sold his stake to businessman Vitaly Yusufov, the son of former Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, who in turn sold the stake to VTB.
Borodin claimed the bank’s takeover was “political” and ordered by Medvedev in order to establish state control of the bank. Both the presidential administration and Yusufov denied Medvedev’s involvement.