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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investigators See Reiman, IPOC Link

IT and Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reiman secretly owns a large part of the country's telecom industry through an offshore fund, according to "overwhelming evidence" uncovered by the British Virgin Islands government, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing prosecutors.

British Virgin Islands prosecutors plan to charge one of Reiman's associates, Jeffrey Galmond, with allegedly covering up his investments in the telecommunications industry, the newspaper said. The government has appealed to the U.S. Justice Department for assistance in the investigation. Reiman has denied having investments in companies he regulates.

British Virgin Islands police are investigating whether IPOC International Growth Fund is a front for the "laundering of the proceeds of crime of, amongst others, the IT and Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reiman," the Director of Public Prosecutions Terrence Williams said in a letter, the daily said.

The British Virgin Islands prosecutor alleges that IPOC, involved in a dispute over a 25 percent stake in mobile-phone operator MegaFon, is owned by Reiman through Jeffrey Galmond, the journal said.

Yevgenia Kolosova, Reiman's aide, could not immediately comment when reached by phone on Wednesday. IPOC President Michael North was not available at his Moscow office. Natalya Shibanova, Galmond's secretary, said he was not available to comment.