Russian billionaire asks Putin to stop FSB secret service agents from stealing his empire

Saturday, February 19, 2011

LONDON - Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that a gang of corrupt FSB secret service agents and policemen were plotting to steal his multi-billion pound business empire.

Lebedev that said his Moscow-based banking empire was under serious attack, and that he had been threatened with jail unless he left the country.

The 50-year-old also said that he had been asked to pay seven-figure bribes to stop the harassment and that there had been fifty attempts to frighten his employees and relatives in December and January alone.

“Respected Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin)! I am requesting you intervene in the situation, (and sort out) the bandit raid by werewolves in epaulettes,” the Telegraph quoted Lebedev, as saying in his letter to Putin.

“Thank God there have been no grenades or plastic explosives so far. (But) we are dealing with an organized mafia group acting on the pretext that it is carrying out orders from above,” he added.

In May 2008, Lebedev was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the richest Russians and as the 358th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of 3.1 billion dollars.

He owns a third of airline Aeroflot, and is part owner of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and owner of four UK newspapers with son Evgeny Lebedev: the London Evening Standard, The Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the new i newspaper. (ANI)

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