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Tax Authorities To Start New Yukos Probe

2 August 2004 -- The Russian oil company Yukos said today that tax authorities have opened a new investigation into its accounts as it struggles with massive bills from previous investigations.

Yukos spokesman Hugo Erikssen said Russia's Tax Ministry informed the company it will begin looking into Yukos' financial activities from 2002.

Yukos is still trying to deal with a tax bill of nearly $3.4 billion for the year 2000. The tax authorities say the oil company owes about the same amount for 2001.

In addition to the tax problems, former Yukos chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovskii has been jailed since October on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

His supporters say the Kremlin is behind the prosecution because of Khodorkovskii's funding of opposition political parties.

They also say the government wants to sell pieces of Yukos to companies that support its interests.


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