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Russian billionaire in Monaco was in the center of a corruption scandal

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Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, ranked 18th in the list of the richest people in Russia according to Forbes magazine, was in the center of a corruption scandal in Monaco. The country police first detained him and then released him on his own recognizance. He is charged with the creation in Monaco of an extensive system of corrupt officials and”trade in their influence.” According to media reports, together with Rybolovlev were detained former high-ranking officials of the judicial apparatus of Monaco.

According to the French newspaper Le Monde, Rybolovlev independently appeared for questioning, after which he was detained, and in his apartment in the residential complex La Belle Epoque in Monte Carlo was searched. The billionaire has already been charged. He spent the night at the police station, and the next day he was released on his own recognizance.

According to law enforcement, the billionaire may be involved in corruption and illegal interference in privacy during the proceedings with the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, who bought 38 paintings. The businessman himself believes that Bouvier-a fraud who received 1 billion euros more than the cost of works of art.

In October 2018, the billionaire filed a lawsuit for $380 million to the auction house Sotheby’s, accusing him of “substantial assistance in the largest art fraud in history.”

Police suspect that in 2015, the then Minister of justice of Monaco Philip Narmino and police strongly assisted the businessman in the arrest of Bouvier, who was later released. Also, the billionaire could allegedly influence the Monegasque court to accuse the art dealer of fraud.


The case was opened after Rybolovlev’s lawyer gave the police voice messages on his phone to prove the fraud Bouvier. The police, however, first, considered that the entry be unlawful, and on the basis of this criminal case of interference in private life. And, in-the second, the received information from phone of the lawyer became the basis for initiation of corruption case.

As specified by the media, the police could be interested in offshore accounts of a businessman in Hong Kong, the virgin Islands, as well as the creation of fictitious sponsorship contracts. Perhaps law enforcement agencies will study the possible links of the billionaire with the famous Portuguese agent Georges Mendes, as well as the alleged questionable transfer schemes of the football club “Monaco”.

Le Monde reports that police may investigate the existence of a hidden network between the Fishing and local judges.  Allegedly Rybolovlev’s lawyer gave expensive tickets and other gifts to law enforcement officers.

In particular, it is reported that the Minister of justice of Monaco Philip Narmino thanked the lawyer for the helicopter trip to the ski resort Rybolovlev. The Minister resigned in September after the information that he could have an impact on the litigation Rybolovlev and Bouvier.

Meanwhile, Rybolovlev’s lawyers asked to respect his presumption of innocence. “We regret the violation of the confidentiality of the judicial process that provides this information, and we ask that the presumption of innocence against Mr. Rybolovlev be strictly observed,” the lawyers asked.

Together with Rybolovlev were detained almost all the leaders of the judicial system of the Principality, who are already giving evidence. However, their interrogation does not mean that they are given the status of suspects.


The businessman emigrated to Monaco in 2011. In the Principality, 51-year-old Rybolovlev invested about $ 200 million in the football club of the same name, today the former owner of Uralkali Dmitry Rybolovlev owns 66.67% of the shares of the Monaco football club. The remaining share belongs to the head of Monaco, Prince albert II. Russian Forbes in 2017 estimated the state of Rybolovlev at $ 6.8 billion-for the year he lost about half a billion dollars due to unsuccessful investments in painting. In total, the canvas Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin, Modigliani, Picasso, Klimt billionaire spent $2 billion.

According to OCCRP, the FBI is investigating a case involving the purchase of a Fishing mansion for $ 95 million in palm beach from Donald trump in 2008.

Recall that in 1996, the entrepreneur was arrested in Perm on charges of killing Evgeny Panteleimonov, General Director of JSC “Neftekhimik” (40% of the company’s shares owned by Rybolovlev). In 1997, the Perm regional court fully acquitted Rybolovlev, considering that the businessman was stipulated by the direct organizer of the murder Oleg Lomakin.