A glamorous Russian bank boss who said he stole more than $8.5 million from his vault has been extradited to Moscow to face trial.
Accused Inessa Brandenburg had been hiding in Spain since a robbery at the Siberian Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Tyumen in January 2018.
Shocked clerks called police after 561 million Russian rubles ($9 million) were discovered missing from a bank vault. Brandenburg had the missing cash replaced with office stationery.
Investigators quickly uncovered a subtle scandal, but by the time they identified Brandenburg, she was on the run.
She fled to Moscow on a private jet before traveling to Berlin, Germany.
But now, more than four years later, he has been returned to Russia to face trial after being tracked down in Spain in September last year.
Brandenburg is believed to be second only to the robbery after his close friend Grigory Romanyuta.
Investigators say Romanuta—the bank’s co-owner and chairman of the board—was the mastermind.
He reportedly appointed Brandenburg to the position of deputy chairman of the bank’s board of directors.
Her position allowed her to ask the bank to send additional cash supplies.
In order to keep his hands on the cash, he had claimed that the low interest rates would attract hordes of customers to withdraw their savings at the bank.
On the evening of January 26, 2018, Brandenburg allegedly took the replenished cash from the vault.
Meanwhile, a partner – Sergei Kuznetsov – took out money from the building in nine bags.
The three men involved in the robbery—including Kuznetsov, but not Romanyuta—have since been convicted and served prison sentences.
In a statement obtained by Zenger News, Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs spokeswoman Irina Volk said: “The NCB (National Central Bureau) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia together with Interpol employees and the Federal Peninsular Service of Russia, citizens of the Russian Federation Inessa Brandenburg, who was extradited from the Kingdom of Spain, is accused of piracy committed by a group of individuals by a particularly large prior settlement.
“The crime took place in 2018. At that time, the woman was the acting chairman of the board of one of the Tyumen banks.
According to investigators, he took advantage of his official position to gain access to the cash vault.
“Along with other individuals, the attacker stole more than 560 million rubles ($9 million), which, together with an accomplice, were taken out of the bank building in sports bags.
“The disappearance of money was discovered only after the weekend. Meanwhile, the defendant reached Moscow by a hired plane, after which he took off from abroad.
“The investigator of the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Tyumen region initiated a criminal case on the basis of an offense under part 4 of Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
“Three participants in the theft were detained and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment by the court. Inessa Brandenburg and another alleged accomplice were placed on the international wanted list through Interpol channels.
“In September last year, the wanted woman was detained in Spain. The request of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation for her extradition was accepted.
“Today, at the airport in Madrid, the woman was handed over to representatives of Russian law enforcement agencies for delivery in Moscow.”
Romanyuta was last reported to have fled to Barcelona and is still on the run.
This story was provided to Greeley Tribune zenger news,