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Bastrykin Proposes Vetting of Privatization Firms

The head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin has proposed to allow investigators to check companies that take part in the privatization of major state assets, a news report said Tuesday.

"I propose instituting the investigation of documents and legal entities that participate in the privatization of large assets," Bastrykin said Tuesday at the Eurasian Anti-Corruption Forum in Moscow.

He also suggested obliging organizers of investment tenders to disclose information about the eventual beneficiaries of such deals, because they are often represented in tenders by affiliated business structures, Interfax reported.

There have been previous incidents in which bogus companies took part in privatization deals. After the arrest of Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky an unknown company called "Baikal Finance Group" in 2004 purchased most of Yukos' assets.

The deal was sanctioned by President Vladimir Putin and the company was later purchased by Rosneft.

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