Wow here's some news about Jabba the Uzbek which has nothing to to with the Craig Murray allegations! Alisher Usmanov has been accused in court papers of “fraud” and “unjust enrichment” in a dispute over one of the world’s most lucrative diamond mines.
Usmanov has been named in documents filed by lawyers acting for a firm controlled by the Oppenheimer family, the billionaire dynasty behind the De Beers diamond corporation. The action is being in Denver. At stake is the ownership of the Grib Pipe, a fabulously rich diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia. The mining firm, Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) in which De Beers owns a controlling stake, claims it is entitled to an interest in the Grib Pipe, which was discovered in 1996. The Grib Pipe is now said to be one of the largest diamond mines in the world, with a prospective value of £4.5 billion.
ADC has alleged that Usmanov and other Russian interests “engaged in fraud in order to deceive” it over an agreement it says it had to take a 40% interest in the mine. (Usmanov was AGD, a Russian firm which is said to have benefited from the alleged fraud. Usmanov is said to have personally represented AGD in talks with ADC.
Foreign firms had been encouraged to develop exploration and mining concessions with a view to improving the local economy. Few in Russia expected that anyone would strike diamonds in the remote area. andmany companies withdrew after finding little of value. But in 1996 ADC unexpectedly struck a rich vein. It was shortly after this, the court papers allege, that Usmanov and others who were involved with a big Russian oil firm became party to a scheme to drive ADC out of Russia and take over the diamond project for themselves. The Russian firm in the joint venture was privatised and after this, ADC was denied access to develop the mine. The De Beers firm claims it has lost the $30m investment “as well as over $400m in profits” which it expected to win as a result of its 40% stake in a joint venture
Rollo Head, a spokesman at the public relations firm Finsbury, which represents Usmanov (wow and I thought Schillings was his PR firm given the way they have increased his public profile recently), said the case was not against his client and he was not a defendant. “Mr Usmanov refutes and rejects any allegations of fraud or other wrongdoing in relation to the case..