A 2018 arrest appears to have been the catalyst for the emergence of sanctioned, state-owned VTB Bank as a major player in the Russian grain sector.
Ziyavudin Magomedov, a Russian commodities tycoon, was detained in Russia in March 2018, along with his brother, on embezzlement charges linked to billions in funds allegedly stolen from his grain company and public infrastructure projects. He denied the allegations at the time. Magomedov’s fortune has fallen by more than half since his arrest, to USD 550 million, down from USD 2 billion, according to Forbes Russia. Three people close to him told the Financial Times in April 2018 that Magomedov was caught up in a power struggle at the top of Russia’s elite.