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Russian investigator gets documents in corruption case

The Swiss authorities handed over documents to the Russian special investigator Keystone

Switzerland has handed over a vast hoard of documents to a Russian investigator probing allegations that the business tycoon, Boris Berezovski, defrauded the state airline, Aeroflot, and laundered the money through Switzerland.

The documents, gathered by Swiss officials over the past year, were handed to Russian special investigator, Nikolai Volkov, during his visit to Berne.

The 550 kilogrammes of material could lead to criminal charges against Berezovski, who is suspected of embezzling $700 million (SFr1.6 billion) from Aeroflot, and laundering the money through two Swiss financial services firms he helped create, Forus and Andava.

Many of the documents were seized at the firms’ offices in Lausanne last year. Police also confiscated papers relating to Swiss bank accounts held by Berezovski and the two companies.

One of Andava’s directors, William Ferrero, was quoted as saying that the company collected revenues from Aeroflot offices around the world, and acted as a central treasury, paying the airline’s bills and arranging financing.

Forus is a financing company, which arranged loans for Aeroflot for a fee.

Berezovski is one of the founders of Forus and sat on Andava’s supervisory board until 1997.

The two companies have admitted doing business with Aeroflot but have denied any wrongdoing.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR