The Latvian police in the framework of the investigation related to the “Magnitsky case” confiscated real estate in Riga worth about 250 thousand euros. According to the “Important Stories”, she belongs Russian businessman Artem Zuev, who is a partner of Dmitry Klyuev, the leader of a criminal group. Klyuev’s surname appeared in the Magnitsky case.
Confiscation of property worth 250 thousand euros it says on the website of the Latvian police. They also recalled that in the spring, as part of the investigation of the Magnitsky case, real estate worth 230 thousand euros was confiscated. She, too, was bought by foreigners with money obtained by criminal means.
Latvian investigators have proven that the property was purchased to launder money that came from a Russian bank to the accounts of a company registered in a Cypriot offshore. This company was controlled by the leader of a criminal group.
“The owners were unable to provide proof of the origin of the funds and the transparency of the real estate purchase transaction,” the Latvian police said in a statement. However, the authorities did not name the buyers of the Latvian real estate.
According to Vostochnye Stories, this is a businessman Artem Zuev, a partner of Dmitry Klyuev. Zuev, through nominee companies, was one of the co-owners of the Universal Savings Bank (UBS), through which money received from the Federal Treasury was stolen and laundered. Zuev’s mother Valentina has held a high position in the treasury for many years.
In 2007, the Russian prosecutor’s office suspected subsidiaries of the investment fund Hermitage Capital of tax evasion. After searches in the company, the fund’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky accused the officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the prosecutor’s office of using the materials they received to steal more than $ 230 million from the state, disguised as a VAT refund.
In response, prosecutors accused Magnitsky of tax evasion. He was arrested and died in the Matrosskaya Tishina SIZO in November 2009 at the age of 37. Before his death, Magnitsky was deprived of medical care and in fact tortured. His death caused a huge public outcry both in Russia and abroad, and also became the reason for the adoption in a number of countries of the so-called “Magnitsky law” aimed at combating transnational corruption.
In 2016, the US Congress unanimously passed a bill to extend the Magnitsky Act to all countries of the world, not just Russia. The law empowers the President of the United States to update the list of foreign citizens who, according to him, are guilty of corruption and human rights violations. Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Great Britain also adopted similar legal acts.
Latvia launched an investigation into the Magnitsky case in 2012 at the request of Bill Browder, co-founder and head of Hermitage Capital. According to him, of the $ 230 million stolen from the Treasury, at least $ 19 million was laundered through Latvian banks. Part of this money went to the accounts of Zuev’s offshore companies.
Following the Panama Papers leaked in 2016, the Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Center published evidence that another part of the money stolen from the budget, about which Magnitsky spoke, ended up in the accounts of longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, cellist Sergei Roldugin – he is called Putin’s “wallet”.