“MOSCOW (Reuters) – The head of Societe Generale’s Russian unit Rosbank faced up to seven years in jail for bribery on Thursday after Russian investigators released a film of him with cash piled on his desk in what several bankers said may have been a set up.
The case could increase alarm among international investors and sheds a damaging light on business practices in Russia, where SocGen is one of the few Western banks left in a market dominated by homegrown state players.
Investigators said on Thursday they had opened an official criminal investigation against Vladimir Golubkov, who was detained on Wednesday, and his senior vice president, Tamara Polyanitsyna – a final step before formally charging them.
Golubkov, 47, worked through the ranks at Rosbank to take the helm in 2008 with the task of steering the bank into profit.
“I know him to be a good man,” Garegin Tosunyan, president of the Association of Russian Banks, told Reuters. “The accusations simply don’t fit – although the law enforcement authorities are entitled to their version and to investigate….”Twitter