Prominent US investor detained in Russia

Michael Calvey, a US citizen and one of Russia’s most prominent foreign investors, has been detained in Moscow in connection with a large-scale fraud investigation, a spokeswoman for a Moscow court told CNN on Friday.

Calvey is the founder of Baring Vostok Capital Partners, an investment company established in 1994 that has raised at least $3.7 billion in capital, according to its website.

A Russian court ordered Friday that Calvey’s detention be extended for 72 hours, Moscow’s Basmanny court spokeswoman Yunona Tsaryova told CNN.

When asked about the charges against Calvey, Tsaryova declined to comment but said that a session would take place Saturday to impose pretrial restrictions.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported Calvey was detained along with five others, including three Baring Vostok employees; Alexey Kordichev, chairman of the board of directors of Vyatka Bank; and Maxim Vladimirov, general director of Perviy Collector Bureau, a debt collection company.

Earlier, Tsaryova refused to confirm to CNN how many people were detained or their identities, saying, “It is subject to investigation.”

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund and a close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, vouched for Calvey when learning about his detention.

“I know Michael Calvey and his team at Baring Vostok as highly professional investors committed to the highest ethical standards,” Dmitriev said on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

“I am ready to personally vouch for Michael Calvey and believe that he has done a lot for attracting foreign investors to Russia and helped many Russian companies grow and mature.

Baring Vostok said in a statement that “the detention of its employees and the charges that have been brought are a result of a conflict with shareholders of Vostochniy Bank.”

“We have full confidence in the legality of our employees’ actions and will vigorously defend their rights. Baring Vostok’s activities in the Russian Federation are fully compliant with all applicable laws,” the statement said.

According to RIA Novosti, Calvey owns a controlling stake in Vostochniy Bank.

Baring Vostok’s investor base is predominantly drawn from pension funds, university endowments and sovereign wealth funds, according to its website. Since the fund’s inception, it has invested more than $2.8 billion in 80 companies across Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other parts of the former Soviet Union, the site says.

In addition to being Baring Vostok’s founder, Calvey is listed on his company profile as a senior partner. He has lived in the UK and United States and worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Salomon Brothers.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the number of Baring Vostok employees detained.