MOSCOW: Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office has sent a request to the authorities of the UK for extradition of Georgy Bedzhanov, a representative with the Prosecutor’s Office told TASS. Bedzhamov was a co-owner of Vneshprombank and faces charges of embezzlement in Russia. “On the 1st of February, the General Prosecutor’s Office prepared a request for the extradition of Georgy Bedzhamov to the Russian Federation. The request was sent via diplomatic channels to the competent authorities in the UK,” the representative said. Earlier, a source close to the investigation, said that the Interpol excluded Bedzhamov from the international wanted list. “It became known as early as in November 2016 that Interpol will not put Bedzhamov on the wanted list, because the prosecution in the country initiator does not correspond with the goals and objectives of Interpol. In this regard, Interpol stopped the international search, all files about him will be removed from the data base,” the representative said. In February 2016, the Moscow Tverskoi Court sanctioned the arrest in absentia of Bedzhamov, who had been also placed on the international wanted list on fraud charges.
On January 21, 2016, the Central Bank of Russia revoked a license from Vneshprombank, which at that time was the country’s 40th biggest lender in terms of assets. Bedzhamov’s sister Larisa Markus, the president of Vneshprombank, was arrested on December 22, 2016, on fraud charges. Investigators say that Bedzhamov played part in fraud schemes of Markus, who allegedly concluded loan agreements without the intention to repay them. The damage from the fraud is estimated at 932 million rubles (over $16.02 million). Bedzhamov has also been the vice president of International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) since his election to this post in May 2014. Bedzhamov was detained by the police in Monaco in mid-April 2016. On July 12, 2016, the Court of Appeal of Monaco refused to extradite him. In September 2016 the Ministry of Justice of Monaco reported that Prince Albert II of Monaco decided not to extradite Bedzhamov to Russia. According to the source, from Monaco Bedzhanov went to the UK and is now in London.