Costa Rica catches Russian wanted on fraud charges

August 22, 2008

A specialized unit of the National Police in Costa Rica arrested a Russian fugitive wanted since 1997.

 

Nikolai Korobkov, 54, a former treasurer of the Russian Communist Party, was apprehended Tuesday in Barrio La Granja of San Pedro with the help of Interpol and the Intelligence and Security Department (DIS).

 

He is wanted in Russia on multiple charges of fraud, theft and abuse of client confidentiality.

 

According to an Interpol press release, Korobkov founded the Investment Industrial and Commercial Co. during the 1990s in Russia and used it as a pretext to lure roughly 7,000 investors into funding various housing projects. He allegedly didn’t report the numbers on his books and investors lost roughly $2 million.

 

With the stolen money, Korobkov then acquired properties in several European countries before disappearing in 1997, the press release states.

 

Authorities said the fugitive first escaped to Denmark then Brazil, where he acquired a fake passport with the name Matías Knobel. They said he has lived under that name in Curridabat and Barrio La Granja, both east of San José, where he has run a home decorating business with his wife and daughter since 1998.

 

Korobkov is being held on an international arrest warrant while an extradition proceeding goes forward.

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