A leading Russian billionaire who thrived under Vladimir Putin has suddenly fled to London, it is reported today.
Boris Mints, 59, head of O1 Properties, a real estate investment giant, is believed to have decamped with his three adult sons who all work for his business.
The philanthropist’s dramatic flight comes amid suggestions his company is under pressure from interests closer to Putin.
Boris Mints, 59, head of O1 Properties, a real estate investment giant, is believed to have decamped with his three adult sons who all work for his business
The philanthropist’s dramatic flight comes amid suggestions his company is under pressure from interests closer to Putin
‘The situation appears to be tense, it’s safer to go away’, said a source cited by Vedomosti business newspaper.
The newspaper said two sources linked to the Russian central bank confirmed his switch to London.
It comes amid claims from Kommersant newspaper that his O1 asset could fall into the hands of a Cyrpus company ‘Riverstretch Trading & Investments (RT&I)’ reported to be close to energy giant Rosneft, headed by close Putin crony Igor Sechin.
However, a link has not been confirmed by Rosneft.
Dozens of rich Russians have fled to London during the Putin era.
Dmitry Mints (left), eldest son of Boris Mints and his younger sons – twins Alexander and Igor
Boris and Marina Mints (left) at the opening of the Museum of Russian Impressionism
But Britain has announced more stringent checks on wealthy Russians seeking visas or residential status in the wake of the Sergei Skripal nerve agent poisoning scandal.
A new visa was not granted to Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich by the time his previous one expired.
Mints is worth around £1 billion and was included on an American Treasure Department list of Russian tycoons who have prospered under Putin.
He is a leading player in non-state pension funds in Russia.
O1 Group this month announced it had defaulted on a bond repayment.
There has been no comment from Mr Mints.
A murder probe is underway into the death of long-time London exile, Nikolai Glushkov, 68, police have announced.