Russia issues arrest warant for missing banker: report

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Russia has issued an arrest warrant for the head of a Moscow bank who reportedly fled to London amid a probe into the lender's dealings with the city's deposed mayor, news reports said Friday.

Bank of Moscow chief Andrei Borodin was reportedly in London earlier this week and refusing to cooperate with Russian investigators probing his alleged links to Moscow's former mayor Yury Luzhkov and his wife Yelena Baturina.

Investigators accuse the bank of using emergency city funds to issue a 13-billion-ruble ($462 million) loan to a shell company that then purchased a small plot of land from Baturina's construction company at an inflated price.

That money was then allegedly used by Baturina -- who heads the Inteko construction company that received many major deals under Luzhkov -- to pay off loans that helped her company avoid bankruptcy.

Baturina denied the charges but has been reported to be staying in Austria since Russian investigators raided the Bank of Moscow in February.

Several Russian media reports said the bank's chief Borodin was a close personal friend of the Luzhkov family, who tailored the lender's policies to suit Baturina's needs.

Russian investigators issued a summons for Borodin to testify in the probe on Wednesday and followed that up on Friday by issuing an order for his arrest, RIA Novosti reported.

© 2011 AFP

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