As "Kommersant" found out, former State Duma deputy, president of the National Reserve Bank Alexander Lebedev gave testimony to the officers of the capital District Department of Internal Affairs "Zamoskvorechie". The businessman was questioned under investigation verification initiated at the request of the chairman of the administrative board of Banco VTB-Africa SA Igor Skvortsov. Head of Angolan"subsidiary" of VTB demands to bring his colleague to criminal prosecution for extortion and threats to his life. Mr. Lebedev says that he is simply trying to return the money overpaid for "sawmill in the Novgorod region», which formerly belonged to Mr. Skvortsov.
Igor Skvortsov, the head of VTB-Africa located in Luanda Banco, wrote the statement to the police in May of this year, almost a year after his meeting with President of the National Reserve Bank (NRB) Alexander Lebedev. The conversation of the two bankers was held in the office of the National Reserve Corporation (NRC), also controlled by Mr. Lebedev. The two sides discussed the situation of conflict that arose after the sale of OOO «Biotop» and OOO «Valdaylesstroy». These societies were located in the Novgorod region and belonged to Igor Skvortsov, they engaged in timber processing and were acquired in 2008 by Alexander Lebedev's structures for the construction of low-rise affordable housing. The deal, according to the president of NRB, amounted to approximately ? 10 million. By the statement of Mr Skvortsov, President of the NRB required him to pay ? 1,5 million, threatening to initiate a criminal case against him in case of refusal. staff of OVD "Zamoskvorechie" interviewed Alexander Lebedev and vice president of NRB Anton Dorokhov as a part of audit carried out at the request of Mr. Skvortsov, but no procedural decision has been made.
As President of NRB told Kommersant, he learned about the purchase of "two sawmills in Novgorod» a few months later, as he did not supervise the deal (up to December 2007, Alexander Lebedev had been a State Duma deputy). As the businessman explained, when he did not pass in the newly elected Duma, he audited his own assets and found out that "in the Novgorod region I had been clearly cheated». Price of the assets sold to him, according to banker Lebedev, was heavily overvalued, because the company had debts to third parties, the equipment was partially not performed customs clearing.
Unable to find understanding among his colleagues, Mr. Lebedev wrote a letter to the leadership of VTB, in which he asked to influence head of the African department. Having received no response from there, in February 19 this year, he wrote a statement to the police department of the Novgorod region, asking to bring on a criminal case under the Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud) on the sale of "Biotop" and "Valdaylesstroy". But the police has not instituted the case.
Source: Kommersant № 96 (4396) on 01.06.2010