- BBC panorama
- Research team
The BBC has found new evidence that Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, the owner of the Chelsea Football Club, has forged property by fraudulent means.
Roman Abramovich earned billions of dollars after acquiring a Russian state-owned oil company in a suspicious bid in 1995.
Abramovich acquired the oil company Sibneft for about $ 250 million and sold it back to the state in 2005 for $ 13 billion.
His lawyer says Abramovich’s allegation that he illegally acquired his wealth is unfounded.
The British government last week frozen Abramovich’s assets because of its relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich was also deprived of his power in running the Chelsea club.
Roman Abramovich had previously allowed a bribe to be brought to justice in a British court. In 2012, his former business partner Boris Berezovsky sued Abramovich.
Abramovich won the proceedings, but said Sibneft’s bid was fraudulent, giving Berezovsky $ 10 million to be paid to the Kremlin officials.
The BBC Panorama team has found a document presumed to have been smuggled from a Russian file.
According to credible sources, this document is a secret copy from a file held by Russian law enforcement authorities regarding Abramovich.
The BBC could not confirm this. However, other sources reached by the BBC have confirmed most of the details of the five-page document.
The document in question states that the Russian state has stolen $ 2.7 billion in a Sibneft bid.
“Abramovich was protected by Yeltsin”
This claim was also supported by an investigation initiated by the Russian Parliament in 1997. The document states that Russian authorities want to prosecute Abramovich for fraud.
“According to the Bureau of Economic Crimes, Abramovich would have faced the crime of fraud through organized crime syndication if he had been tried,” the document said.
The Panorama team contacted the Attorney General for this investigation, which took place in the 1990s.
Yuri Skratov said he was unaware of this classified document, but confirmed many details about the Sibnevv bid.
“Basically, this was a scam in which participants in this privatized bid formed a criminal organization and paid the government less than the value of the company,” Skratov said.
This document states that Abramovich is protected by former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin.
Note that Abramovich’s investigation file was sent to the Kremlin, but Skratov was stopped by Russian leaders.
“Skratov was preparing to file a criminal proceeding regarding the seizure of Sibneft, but the investigation was stopped by Yeltsin and Skratov was imprisoned.
Skratov was fired in 1999 after his sex tape was leaked. Skratov says this is a plot that undermines the credibility of him and his investigation.
“The investigation was so close to Yeltsin that everything was clearly a political game, including the Sibneft contract,” Skratov said.
Representative of a Chinese rival company kidnapped before bidding
Even after Putin came to power in 2000, Abramovich remained in the Kremlin’s close circle.
The documents reached by the BBC also include details about another fraudulent oil company’s contract two years later.
Therefore, Abramovich partnered with another company to acquire Slavneft. However, rival Chinese companies were preparing to bid on the company for almost double the price.
In that case, many powerful people, from the Russian parliament to the Kremlin, will run out of money.
According to the document, a Chinese delegation was abducted at the airport when he arrived in Moscow for a bid. The Chinese company CNPC had to withdraw from the bid. Representatives of the company kidnapped after the decision to withdraw were released.
The kidnapping was also confirmed by an independent source who did not know the document.
Vladimir Putin was Deputy Minister of Energy before the bid for Slavneft. He did not comment on the story of the kidnapping, but top politicians said Abramovich had already decided to win the deal.
“The Chinese came and said they wanted to pay more. They told me to shut up not to get involved. It’s already decided. Slavneft was going to Abramovich. Price. Will be agreed and the Chinese will leave. “
There is no information that Abramovich knew about or played a role in the kidnapping.
His lawyer told the BBC that the alleged kidnapping was completely unfounded and Abramovich was unaware of it.