Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Russian-American telco mogul vanishes in Latvia

Leonid Rozhetskin, the Russian-American founder of LV Finance, a major shareholder in Russian mobile operator Megafon, has vanished from a home he owns in Jurmala, Latvia.
According to Latvian press reports, police found traces of blood in the house. A sports utility vehicle owned by the St. Petersburg, Russia born millionaire was found in Jurmala.
Rozehetskin, a Harvard Law School graduate who worked for prominent US law firms, was a founder of the Russian investment back Renaissance Capital and was on the board of Norilsk Nickel. The 41-year-old lawyer-entrepreneur lived in the US from the age of 13, but returned to Russia in the 1990s to become an entrepreneur there. Recently, he has been involved in the US film industry.
He is said to have arrived in Latvia late last week by private jet and was last seen on March 16, when he was reportedly visited at his Jurmala home by unknown persons.
It is, of course, a bit off-topic, but I have yet to see international media reports on this. If Rozhetskin has fallen victim to common criminals, one can only hope he will reappear well and unhurt. However, if the American financier has been taken-- for whatever reasons (probably not telecoms related) -- by the "long arm" of the Russian mafia, it has disturbing implications for Latvia's security and the security of many wealthy Russians who have bought second homes and residences in Jurmala, apparently considering EU member Latvia a safe haven.

A Later Note:

Leonid Rozhetskin may not currently be a shareholder in any mobile telecommunications company, but his past activities probably merit the title of mogul. The Latvian press and Wikipedia may not be 100 % up to date on this person's business involvements.


Anonymous said...

What is your email?
We are American friends of Leonid's and very worried about him.

Juris Kaža said...

my email is j_kaza@yahoo.com.
The news reports say (I cannot independently confirm any of this) that Leonid' s private aircraft has left Latvia.
It is kind of hard to believe that the pilot and crew would have left without the owner. Or maybe not, if the plane was chartered and flew away empty when the charter ended.