MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has rejected suggestions that authorities have arrested a billionaire to wrestle his business from him.
Ziyavudin Magomedov, who is worth $1.4 billion according to the Russian Forbes magazine, was arrested Saturday along with his brother. Magomedov owns lucrative energy and agriculture assets.
Police say the brothers are suspected of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles ($44 million) in state contracts. The charges against the brothers have not been filed yet but the fact that the Magomedovs are accused of "forming a criminal group," which carries a life sentence, prompted analysts to say that Magomedov has fallen victim to Kremlin infighting aimed at stealing his business.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the speculations Monday, saying the arrests are "not a one-off" but part of Russian government efforts to fight corruption.