Latvia has granted political asylum to Igor Sychev

Russian citizen Igor Sychev has been granted political asylum in Latvia. Sychev is the former head of the tax department of Phosagro, one of the world’s leading producers of phosphate-based fertilisers based in Moscow.

He escaped from Russia in 2016 after conflict with shareholders of Phosagro Andrey Guryev and Igor Antoshin, closely related with the political elite of Russia. The conflict started after Sychev made an official claim against Phosagro regarding not having received remuneration for defending Phosagro's interests in court. The court case disputed previous court decisions for Phosagro’s fines on tax avoidance. Phosagro won the case and all charges were dropped. Phosagro saved around $700 million and received compensation of around $10 millions.

Igor Sychev stated: "In Russia my life was in danger after I tried to close a written agreement with shareholders of Phosagro. Somebody tried to deal with me three times. The wheels of my car fell off three times, when I was driving. 4 independent investigations were carried out and all confirmed that the cars were damaged before I drove them.

I tried to solve everything in legal way but unfortunately it was not able to attain justice in Russia. I was forced to leave the country leaving my family there, and started to look for a justice in other countries — in Great Britain, Switzerland and Latvia.

I took the floor in the Latvian Parliament in a capacity of person being subjected to persecution in Russia. I told my story in the Press Club Brussels as well. I applied for political asylum in Latvia in December 2016"

Last year her Majesty's High Court of Justice accepted the claim by Igor Sychev against Phosagro. Sychev demands that 1% of company shares are transferred or their value paid to him, this amount being 55 million dollars, and to pay $8 million in cash. The defendants in this case are Phosagro, the main owner of the company and vice-president of the Council of Directors of the holding company, Andrey Guryev, and former chairman of the Committee of Labour Protection of the Council of Directors, Igor Antoshin. Seychelles-based offshore company "Parmas Corporation" and Belizean offshore company "Avec Ltd" have also been invited to participate as defendants.

Read also: Putin's Russia: One Man's Story Of Corruption & Persecution

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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