A former high profile Russian banker has been ordered by the court to hand over her prestigious London apartment to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The apartment in Upper Grosvenor Street is valued at over £1.5 million.
Elena Kotova was a former Executive Director of a European Bank. In its civil recovery application, the NCA submitted that Ms Kotova had used her position to make substantial personal profit through bribery and corruption. The NCA alleged that between 2005 and 2011, Ms Kotova was engaged in soliciting corrupt payments from her clients in return for assistance in securing funding for their projects and laundering the proceeds of these bribes through an offshore company. The NCA submitted it was these funds that were subsequently used to fund the purchase of the Mayfair flat.
On 23 March 2016 Ms Kotova agreed to settle the NCA’s civil recovery claim by handing over:
• The apartment in Mayfair
• Monies in two bank accounts, totalling approximately £230,000
Stephanie Jeavons, Deputy Director of the NCA’s Economic Crime Command said
“The NCA’s successful investigation against Ms Kotova demonstrates that the UK is not a safe place for anyone to hide the proceeds of their high end financial crime. The NCA will use all its powers to remove the proceeds of any criminality – whether you reside in the UK or overseas.”
Detective Constable Martin Hall, from the City of London Police, added: “This order sends out a clear message to both national and international criminals that whatever your circumstances or status UK law enforcement will come after the possessions acquired and the money made through financial crime.”