business

Russia Detains Tycoon Magomedov Over Suspected Fraud

Updated on
  • Magomedov became billionaire under former President Medvedev
  • He’s accused of organizing group that stole 2.5 billion rubles

Ziyavudin Magomedov

Photographer: Tsafrir Abayov/AP Photo

Russia arrested Summa Group co-owner Ziyavudin Magomedov, who has been in talks to sell his stake in a key port, as part of case into suspected embezzlement of state funds for infrastructure and energy projects.

Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court ordered Magomedov to be held for two months and declined his request to post as bail the 2.5 billion-ruble ($44 million) sum he is accused of stealing, Interfax reported. He was detained earlier, along with his brother Magomed Magomedov and Artur Maksidov, an executive at a Summa Group unit.

“All of the allegations against me don’t stand up to logical criticism,” Interfax reported Ziyavudin Magomedov as saying in court. He’ll appeal his arrest, his lawyer, Alexander Vershinin, was cited as saying.

The case against Magomedov could signal jockeying for influence and assets as President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected earlier this month, decides on the configuration of his next government. The Dagestani-born tycoon’s wealth surged under former President Dmitry Medvedev, in part thanks to state contracts. Medvedev has served as prime minister since stepping aside to let Putin return in 2012.

Summa and state-owned oil pipelines operator Transneft PJSC have been in a long-running dispute over control of Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port. Together they hold 50.1% through a joint venture, while Transneft owns an additional 10.5% directly.

Transneft’s board ordered management to reach a deal with Summa under “acceptable conditions,” Transneft said on March 19.

Calls to a spokeswoman for Magomedov and to Summa’s office in Moscow weren’t answered.

(Updates with Magomedov’s arrest and comments in court.)
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