Kazakh tycoon Zhomart Ertaev has been detained in Russia on suspicion of massive financial fraud, the Kazakh Interior Ministry has confirmed.
The ministry said in its May 10 statement that Ertaev was suspected of helping arrange loans worth more than $80 million to bogus companies while working as an adviser to Bank RBK in Kazakhstan.
Talks with Moscow on Ertaev’s extradition were under way, the ministry said.
Media reports in Russia and Kazakhstan said earlier that police in Moscow detained Ertaev on May 8 near the Moskva-Citi business complex in the Russian capital.
It’s not Ertaev’s first brush with the law.
Ertaev spent nine months in pretrial detention in Kazakhstan in 2009 on suspicion of embezzlement but was released after a court dropped the charges.
He was found guilty, however, of the lesser charges of misusing bank funds and violation accounting regulations. He was released after the court ruled his nine months in pretrial detention was sufficient punishment.
In late 2014, he became the director of the Alma-TV cable television operator.
Last month, Ertaev said in an interview with the Tengrinews agency that he had been living in Russia for more than three years.
Russian media say Ertaev is the chairman of Troyka-D Bank in Moscow and an honorary president of Alma Group, an investment company based at Moskva-Citi.