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Moscow court freezes Yukos assets

Date Class
16th Apr 2004 Fraud Investigation
A Moscow court has frozen the assets of Russian oil giant Yukos as part of an ongoing prosecution of the firm on charges of evading $3bn in taxes.

Under the ruling the troubled firm is barred from "selling or mortgaging its assets, including shares".

However, the group's oil sales will remain unaffected.

Meanwhile, Yukos has lodged an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights over alleged persecution by Russia's tax ministry, a spokesman said.

Company spokesman Alexander Shadrin said the ministry's actions "aim to cause Yukos losses and contradict legislation regulating government activity".

Meanwhile, the Russian arbitration court's decision to freeze Yukos' assets could hamper efforts to unwind a failed merger with smaller rival Sibneft by reversing share swaps that formed the bulk of the deal.

The oil giant owns 92% of Sibneft under the merger, which collapsed after Russian police arrested Yukos' then chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky last October.

Many Russians believe that the actions of the authorities against the company are politically motivated.




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