Russian billionaire Kerimov charged with tax fraud in France

Geneva Matthews
November 24, 2017

Moscow will do its utmost to defend legal interests of Russian senator Suleiman Kerimov detained in France, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russian Federation called in a French diplomat in Moscow to protest at the detention, the BBC said, adding that a Kremlin spokesman had insisted that Kerimov had diplomatic immunity. A second person was also put under formal investigation.

Russia's state-run Rossiya 24 TV station, citing an unnamed source, reported that Kerimov had denied any guilt.

Representatives for Kerimov could not immediately be reached for comment.

"I confirm that (the charg d'affaires Paul-Bertrand Barets) was summoned", the Russian Foreign Ministry's press service told AFP today.

Originally from the mainly Muslim Russian region of Dagestan, Kerimov built his lucrative natural resources business through a combination of debt, an appetite for risk, and political connections.

Kerimov is ranked by Forbes magazine as Russia's 21st wealthiest businessman, with a net worth of $6.3 billion.

Until a year ago, he owned the football club, Anzhi Makhachkala, which became famous for big-money signings of stars including the Cameroonian striker, Samuel Eto'o.

So far the Russian deputy, who was taken into custody by French police as he arrived at Nice airport on Monday evening, has not been charged with wrongdoing.

A French judicial source said Kerimov faces accusations of purchasing several luxury homes on the French Riviera using shell companies, which would have enabled him to reduce his tax obligations to France.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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