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Court arrests 100% of RussNeft shares

Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court upheld a request for the arrest of 100% of the oil company RussNeft.

The Interior Ministry’s Investigation Committee earlier asked Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court to arrest the company’s shares as part of the investigation into criminal offences committed by its CEO Mikhail Gutseriyev who had been charged with illegal entrepreneurship and evasion of corporate taxes. However the Tverskoi District Court transferred the Investigation Committee’s request to the Lefortovsky District Court located in the same area where the company is conducting its business.

„The court looked into a request from the Interior Ministry’s committee of investigation for arresting the securities of the oil company RussNeft and rejected the motion,” the chief of the Moscow City Court’s press-service, Anna Usacheva, informed. „On July 31, the Lefortovsky District Court upheld the request for the arrest of 100% of shares of the company,” the Investigation Committee press service said.

On February 12, Gutseriyev faced criminal charges for gross tax evasion by a legal entity. He has been repeatedly questioned in the capacity of a witness. At the end of July, the RussNeft’s Board of Directors accepted his resignation. „Mikhail Gutseriyev is suspending his business activity and quits all business projects in order to dedicate himself entirely to research activity in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the company’s press-service said in a statement.

RussNeft also confirmed that some entities affiliated with the Oleg Deripaska-controlled company Base Element on July 27 submitted a request for purchasing the controlling stake in RussNeft to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Under the applicable legislation, FAS is expected to pronounce its verdict within a month. In the meantime, the company and its divisions have continued normal operation. (petrolplaza)