MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - Self-exiled former Bank of Moscow chief executive Andrei Borodin, who has been granted political asylum in Britain, said on Friday he would seek his removal from the Interpol international wanted list.
“We would press for being removed from that list,” Borodin said in an interview with the Prime news agency.
Russian investigators launched a criminal case against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin in late 2010 on charges of large-scale fraud involving state funds at Bank of Moscow, which functioned as the capital's chief investment vehicle under former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov.
Last August, Interpol issued a red notice for Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin. An Interpol "red notice" is equivalent in meaning to an international arrest warrant and any member state that knows the whereabouts of an individual on the list is required to arrest him.
Borodin said that there were no precedents of successful removal from the Interpol list, though a number of such appeals are currently being considered. He did not comment on whether Akulinin will also seek the cancellation of his red notice, saying he was not authorized to speak on his behalf.
“I think we would follow the example of people who have already began proceedings required to remove their name from Interpol lists,” the former banker said. “In our opinion, Russia abuses its rights of an Interpol member, by organizing politically motivated criminal cases at first and later by putting those people on Interpol lists.”
He said he was set to resume international financial activities in the future, but did not elaborate.
Borodin fled to Britain in April 2011 after Luzhkov was fired by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in September 2010. Initially, he denied asking for asylum and said he was visiting the UK for medical treatment.
State-owned lender VTB took control of Bank of Moscow - then Russia's fifth-largest - in April 2011. Bank of Moscow had to be bailed out to the tune of $14 billion in July that year, in the biggest rescue of a financial institution in Russian history.
A film shown by Russia's state-owned NTV channel last year, "Anatomy of a Protest," claimed Borodin had helped fund opposition protests, but did not provide any evidence for the claim. Borodin later denied ever having met any of the figures in the protest movement mentioned in the film.
Borodin ranked 117th in the Forbes-2012 List of Russia’s wealthiest people with an estimated fortune of $800 million. In August 2012, he spent $219 million on an estate home in Henley-on-Thames, which was at the time the most expensive home in Britain, the Sunday Times reported.
Britain has become the adopted home of a series of Russian businessmen who have fled their homeland fearing arrest, including tycoon Boris Berezovsky and Yevroset company founder Yevgeny Chichvarkin.