Teen Charged with Blackmailing Russian Billionaire

A teenager has been detained in St.Petersburg on suspicion of blackmailing billionaire Suleiman Kerimov and a local government official, the Fontanka.ru news web site reported on Wednesday.

Kerimov and Vladislav Petrov, the head of the Energy Committee in the St.Petersburg government, complained to police last week after they received e-mails from an anonymous sender demanding $10 million from Kerimov and $1 million from Petrov to cancel ordered “hits” on them.

Policemen traced the sender through the emails’ IP-address and on Tuesday detained a 17-year old teenager in western St. Petersburg. The suspect lives with his mother.

Investigators who questioned the boy told Fontanka that he sincerely believed that he could profit on his “deal.”

Kerimov, who is listed as number 118 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $7.8 billion, co-owns Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, largest country’s bank Sberbank and the world’s No.1 potash producer, Uralkali.


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