The British Crime Prevention Agency (NCA) requested a search warrant from Terra Services in 2018 after a contracted employee was detained in cash leaving the office with £ 100,000 (about $ 123,000). This was announced by the NCA in a London court, reports Bloomberg.
The agency also reported that investigators recorded a conversation between an employee of En +, located in the same office building with Terra, which was controlled by Oleg Deripaska at that time. The employee said that he was "given the task to get rid" of certain documents, the NCA said.
The British Terra Services in the past belonged to Deripaska, but in January 2018 changed its owners. According to RBC, Deripaska transferred the company to Valentina Petrovna Deripaska, born in 1938, and Pavel Ezubov, born in 1975. The surname, name and patronymic, as well as the dates of birth of these people coincide with the data of the mother and cousin of the businessman, noted RBC.
Terra Services previously challenged the search warrant. Monica Kars-Frisk, a lawyer for the company, said in court that the money found at the detained freelance, who was then released without charge, could not be used as a pretext. According to her, cash was obtained from legal sources. The Terra representative also emphasized that the detainee was not an employee of Terra Services or En +. An En + employee was looking for a place to temporarily store confidential papers, primarily related to litigation, Terra told the court.
Searches at Terra Services took place at the end of 2018, Bloomberg points out. In October last year, the agency reported that the US authorities were trying to get Terra documentation in a case that grew out of an investigation by special prosecutor Mueller about Russia's interference in the US election. Deripaska himself called the attempts of American prosecutors to obtain the documents “another hopeless attempt” to drag him into the “endless political struggle of the United States”.
In November, a court in London blocked access to information about why US prosecutors received documents seized by British law enforcement. The British judges explained their decision by the fact that the disclosure of information could harm the relationship between London and Washington.
Terra declined to provide further comments to Bloomberg. Representatives of En +, a non-party, also declined to comment. The NCA told the agency that it would not comment while the proceedings were ongoing.