29 March 2007
Russian banker in massive fraud case
A Russian former banker has been arrested on suspicion of fraudulent business practices amounting to £5 billion.
Boris Sokalsky is expected to be charged with the production and distribution of counterfeit money and money laundering.
Prior to his arrest, Mr Sokalsky had been employed as chairman of the Novaya Ekonomicheskaya Pozitsiya bank, which was hit by scandals related to money laundering and subsequently stripped of its licence in 2005.
A statement from the Interior Ministry, which is conducting the investigation, said: "As a result of Sokalsky's activity, over 62 billion rubles went into circulation uncontrolled by the government, thereby violating its exclusive right to financial regulation and inflicting damage to the Central Bank's function of protecting and securing the stability of the ruble."
The ministry added that Mr Sokalsky had recently been employed in a relatively lowly position in the Moscow City Arbitration Court, from which he has now been suspended.