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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hunt for Gutseriyev goes global

31 August 2007 - Upstream OnLine by Vladimir Afanasiev - Russian prosecutors have issued an international search warrant for Mikhail Gutseriyev, the former president of Russneft, local media has reported. Pro-government television news channel Vesti said the warrant was issued because authorities are unable to “locate Gutseriyev” in the country and believe that he has fled Russia. At the beginning of this week, the Tverskoy regional court in Moscow issued an arrest warrant for Gutseriyev. The same court produced a domestic search warrant for him on 6 August, according to the court’s spokeswoman. Russian authorities have charged Gutseriyev with alleged tax evasion and illegal business activities. Gutseriyev's whereabouts are still unclear, though there are widespread speculation that he is now in London. However, British authorities have denied knowledge about whether Gutseriyev was issued a UK visa or whether he has applied for a political asylum. According to procedures, Russian prosecutors will now have to pass their request on Gutseriyev to Interpol. Gutseriyev was unable to send his representatives to Russneft’s emergency general meeting of shareholders which was held in the middle of this week, according to Russian media reports.

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