Investigation of a criminal investigation into the issue of the Bank of Moscow an unsecured loan amounting to 12.76 billion rubles to ZAO "Premier Estate, which eventually ended up in the personal accounts of the wife of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Elena Baturina, yesterday launched a decisive stage. Searches using Special Forces soldiers happened in Inteko, Bank of Moscow apartments of its leaders, as well as in other commercial structures. Investigators came to the very lady Baturina, but she was not at home. In fact there are not defendants, but, as the searchers hinted, those could appear after studying the seized documents.


According to the IC at the Interior Ministry, searches and seizure of documents were made not only in Inteko, but in the Bank of Moscow, JSCB "Russky Zemelny Bank", CJSC "Kuznetsky most Development" and ZAO "Premier Estate”. In addition, the investigators visited the homes "of a number of top-managers” of Bank of Moscow. According to Kommersant’s source in the IC at the Interior Ministry, some investigators went to a country house, owned by Elena Baturina and Yuri Luzhkov, for a search, but failed to do so - the owners simply were not at home.

And while lawyers Ruslan Kozhura and Alexander Asnis, representing the interests of both Inteko, and Mrs. Baturina, told Kommersant that they have no claims to the work of investigators yet, Elena Baturin called the happening "an order." "I know for sure that these searches have nothing to do with us or with the Bank of Moscow. It is simply an order and the pressure on us," the owner of Inteko said to Interfax. According to Kommersant, Mrs Baturina is now in Austria.

Then a law enforcement source told the same "Interfax" that soon the question of presenting charges of fraud to Mrs. Baturina may be resolved. "Most likely, the charge will be charged in absentia, as Mrs. Baturina does not show up on the services on summons by investigation," the source said of Interfax. In turn, the lawyer Kozhura told Kommersant that Ms. Baturina had not received any summons from the investigation and no one summoned her.

As reported by Kommersant, the official representative of the IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Irina Dudukina, investigations were carried out as part of a criminal investigation under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code ("Fraud in especially large size). It was instituted by Bureau of Investigation Directory of the Internal Affairs of Moscow in December last year ("Kommersant" spoke about it on Dec. 22, 2010), and then in connection with “the resonance and complexity” it  was transferred to the IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for further investigation in early February this year.

As they explained in the IC at the Interior Ministry, a criminal case is investigated against «unknown persons" (it does not have any suspects or defendants), but they may appear - after studying the papers seized during the searches, and the results of interviews scheduled in the near future.

The deal, in which the investigation takes great interest, was concluded on June 25 last year. Then the OOO "Trade House "Ramenskaya" - subsidiary of Inteko - sold to ZAO “Premier Estate” 58 hectares of land to the west of Moscow (between Michurinsky Avenue, Lobachevsky and the Kiev railway) for 12.7 billion rubles. The company "Premier Estate” was established shortly before the deal, by Vice-President of JSC "Kuznetsky Most Development", Svetlana Timinina with registered capital of 10 thousand rubles, the money was acquired as a loan from Bank of Moscow. Three weeks prior to loan issue the Moscow City Duma approved the decision of the city government's contribution of 14.99 billion rubles to the capital of the Bank of Moscow.   Being the main shareholder of the bank, City Hall transferred the money as payment for additional shares. The Bank of Moscow repeatedly stated that Premier Estate "has received a credit on market terms, and even laid the land purchased from Inteko, moreover, they assured in the bank, that the borrower properly serviced the loan and prepaid part of it. Earlier, British media reported that Premier Estate "bought land in the interests of fund Argo Capital Partners Fund Ltd, registered in 2006 in the Cayman Islands. That information was confirmed by two former employees of Inteko to Kommersant. By selling the land to the west of Moscow, as well as selling her part of shares of Sberbank, Rosneft and Gazprom, Mrs. Baturina rescued 27 billion rubles; 18 billion of it went to pay off the debt to Gazprombank, another 9 billion rubles – to pay off other creditors, including the Bank of Moscow. Sale of assets enabled the owner of Inteko to reduce her debts by 90%, yet the spring of 2009 they were estimated at 30 billion rubles.