Court Orders Seizure of $6.6mn from Ex-Minister Abyzov

A court in Moscow has upheld the seizure of $6.6 million belonging to former Russian minister of open government, Mikhail Abyzov, who is charged with embezzlement, TASS reported citing Abyzov’s lawyer, Sergey Drozda.

In early April, the Basmanny court seized the money of the accused on current accounts, along with two land plots and two residential buildings located in the Moscow region. 

“The decision of the Basmanny court dated April 1 to seize my client’s funds has been upheld,” the lawyer told the state-run news agency.

According to the investigation, the arrest of property is necessary to ensure the payment of compensation to victims and a fine to the state in the event of a conviction to Abyzov. From 2011 to 2014, he was the beneficiary owner of a number of offshore commercial organizations, created and headed as a criminal community, the investigators believe. 

Law enforcement agencies believe that, together with his accomplices, he stole 4 billion rubles from the Siberian Energy Company and Regional Electric Grids, which produce and transmit electricity in the Novosibirsk Region. Investigators say the stolen money was funneled abroad in full. By their unlawful actions, the accomplices of this crime “have put at risk the sustainable economic development and energy security of several regions of the country,” authorities say.

Other people charged as part of the Abyzov case include Alexander Pelipasov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Construction Fund, Maxim Rusakov, Deputy Director of Ru-Kom President Nikolai Stepanov, President of the Novosibirsk Regional Sambo Federation, former Director General of the Ru-com Group Nikolai Stepanov, Director for Economics and Finance Ramis Galina Freidenber, as well as the ex-general director of Regional Electric Networks, Sergey Ilyichev. 

The individuals involved in the case deny any guilt and insist that civil law relations have become the subject of a criminal case.