Former Sovcomflot boss handed lengthy jail sentence

The former CEO of Russia’s largest shipping line has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia for embezzling RUB8bn ($130m).

Dmitry Skarga was the CEO of Sovcomflot for five years through to 2005. His accomplices, ex-president of Novorossiysk Shipping Company (Novoship) Tagir Izmaylov and gang organizer Yury Nikitin, received 11 and 15 years in prison respectively. Additionally, a court ordered the defendants’ assets to be seized.

The three men are currently in the UK, where extradition requests sent by Russian authorities have so far been denied.

In the ongoing crackdown of Russian oligarchs another big name in the local shipping scene, billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov was arrested at the start of the month on charges of embezzling over $35m of federal budgets.

Magomedov is the owner of trading and investment company Summa Group, which owns controlling stakes in Fesco Transportation Group, the Commercial Port of Vladivostok, Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port and United Grain Company.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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