Alfa-Bank reportedly refuses to release funds controlled by several prominent anti-corruption activists
Alfa-Bank continues to block the accounts of at least three Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) employees, as well as one staff member at Alexey Navalny’s headquarters, despite the fact that the sequestration of these funds in the criminal case against FBK has expired, according to FBK project manager Leonid Volkov.
The “period of investigation” ran out on February 3, which is also when figures named in the case were supposed to regain access to their bank accounts. Investigators petitioned to extend the bank-account lockout, but not on all the accounts initially frozen. For example, the authorities originally blocked four of Leonid Volkov’s Alfa-Bank accounts, but only extended their block on one of these accounts. Volkov says he expected Alfa-Bank to remove the lock on his three remaining accounts automatically (just as other banks apparently did with accounts registered to other FBK employees), but Alfa-Bank has refused to do this, saying that court marshals have yet to deliver the necessary paperwork to restore Volkov’s access. He insists, however, that no formal documents are necessary for this.
According to Volkov, at least three other people (FBK legal department head Vyacheslav Gimadi, FBK sociological service director Anna Biryukova, and Moscow Navalny HQ staffer Olga Guseva) have encountered the same problem. “We’re taking these Alfa crooks to court, of course,” Volkov wrote on his website.
Leonid Volkov says investigators in the FBK case blocked more than 250 people (both current and former staff and volunteers at the Anti-Corruption Foundation and Navalny’s offices, as well as a few random persons) from accessing more than 700 bank accounts.
The authorities have yet to name any suspects in the FBK case. Everyone currently involved is listed only as witnesses in the investigation.