According to reports, an investigation has revealed that they have uncovered new evidence about Roman Abramovich’s corrupt deals. The Chelsea owner made billions after buying an oil company from the Russian government in a rigged auction in 1995. He paid around $250m (£190m) for Sibneft, before selling it back to the Russian government for $13bn in 2005.
His lawyers say there is no basis for alleging he has amassed very substantial wealth through wrongdoing such as crime. The Russian billionaire was sanctioned by the UK government last recently because of his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin. His assets were also frozen and he has been disqualified as a director of Chelsea Football Club.
New Criminal Documents of Roman Abramovich Uncovered
Roman Abramovich has already admitted in a UK court that he made corrupt payments to help get the Sibneft deal off the ground. He was being sued in London by his former business associate Boris Berezovsky about ten years ago.
Mr. Abramovich won the case, but he described in court how the original Sibneft auction was rigged in his favor and how he gave Mr. Berezovsky $10m to pay off a Kremlin official.
According to reports, they have now obtained a new document that is thought to have been smuggled out of Russia. The information was given to the program by a confidential source, who says it was secretly copied from files held on Mr Roman Abramovich by Russian law enforcement agencies.
They are however not able to verify that yet but checks with other sources in Russia have backed up many of the details in the five-page document. The document says that the Russian government was cheated out of $2.7bn in the Sibneft deal a claim supported by a 1997 Russian parliamentary investigation. The document also says that Russian authorities wanted to charge the former Chelsea chairman for fraud.
It says: “The Dept. of Economic Crimes investigators concluded that if Roman Abramovich could be brought to trial he would have faced accusations of fraud… by an organized criminal group.”
One Yuri Skuratov did not know about the secret document, but he independently confirmed many of the details about the Sibneft sale. He told the program: “Basically, it was a fraudulent scheme, where those who took part in the privatization formed one criminal group that allowed Roman Abramovich and Berezovsky to trick the government and not pay the money that this company was worth.”
In the document, it was also seen that he was protected by former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. It says law enforcement files o.n Mr. Abramovich were moved to the Kremlin and that an investigation b.y Mr. Skuratov was stopped by the president. He said: “This whole thing was politcal because in my investigations I came very close to the family of Boris Yeltsin, including via this investigation of the Sibneft privatization.”
Roman Abramovich in Chinise man Kidnappe Allegation
The document also contains details of another rigged auction two years later, involving a Russian oil company called Slavneft. Mr. Abramovich formed a partnership with another firm to buy Slavneft, but a rival Chinese company was planning to bid almost twice as much. Many people from the Kremlin to the Russian parliament would have lost out if the Chinese won the auction.
The document says that a member of the Chinese delegation was kidnapped when they arrived in Moscow for the auction. It says: “CNPC, a Chinese company, a very strong competitor, had to withdraw from the auction after one of its representatives was kidnapped upon arrival at Moscow Airport and was released only after the company declared its withdrawal.”
The kidnapping story is backed up by independent sources who did not know about the document. But Roman Abramovich layer has said his client did not know anything about the kidnapping plot or played any part in it.
The layer said: “is entirely unsubstantiated” and he has “no knowledge of such incident”. But whatever the reason for the Chinese withdrawal., Mr. Abramovich’s partnership had the only bid left on the table. And they bought Slavneft at a knockdown price which is why they are suspecting him..
Mr. Abramovich’s lawyers say allegations of corruption in the Slavneft and Sibneft deals are false, and he denies he was protected b.y Mr. Yeltsin.