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Former Bank Head Faces New Charges

Borodin Vedomosti

New criminal charges relating to the theft of 6.7 billion rubles ($226 million) were filed against Andrei Borodin, the former head of Bank of Moscow, the Investigative Committee said Wednesday.

Borodin has watched the charges against him stack up since he fled to London last year as state-controlled VTB acquired Bank of Moscow and received a record $14 billion bailout loan from the government.

Between 2008 and 2011, Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin used their authority to transfer 7.8 billion rubles to commercial companies under their control in Cyprus, the Investigative Committee said, RIA-Novosti reported. About 1.1 billion rubles have been returned.

It is the fourth major charge against Borodin and Akulinin, who are both sought on international arrest warrants. Borodin said in a statement Wednesday evening that this allegation — like the others leveled against him — was politically motivated.

The exiled banker also raised doubts about the recent nomination of Gennady Melikan to the board of VTB. Melikan was the chief regulator for the Central Bank, who left his post after the discovery that one-third of Bank of Moscow's loan book was problematic. He denies that his departure was linked to the scandal.

The move, Borodin said, "is a good guarantee that the former central banker does not talk about the true state of affairs at Bank of Moscow under its old and new owners."

VTB said Tuesday that it was offering a share buyback scheme to minority owners of Bank of Moscow at the price at which VTB acquired the equity from the city of Moscow last year (1108.65 rubles per share). The offer will not be extended to former top managers of Bank of Moscow.

Sources close to VTB allege that offshore company Plenium Invest, which holds a 2.99 percent stake in Bank of Moscow, is controlled by Borodin. The Cyprus-registered body denies that it has any links to former Bank of Moscow managers.

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