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Russia: Former Yeltsin Confidant Arrested In New York

Moscow, 18 January 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Pavel Borodin, a former confidant of ex-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, has reportedly been arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy airport. ITAR-TASS says he was arrested late yesterday under an international warrant issued by Swiss prosecutors last January in connection with money laundering charges. The report says a closed-door court hearing is scheduled for later today.

Interfax quotes the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office as saying it is aware of Borodin's arrest but it refused to make any further comment.

Borodin, formerly Kremlin property manager, is under investigation for having allegedly taken kickbacks for construction contracts, including the renovation of the Kremlin.

Geneva courts have blocked several bank accounts and begun investigations into allegations of money-laundering.

He allegedly received kickbacks from Swiss construction firm Mabetex and helped open illegal credit card accounts for Yeltsin and his daughters.

Borodin currently holds the position of secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union.