I recently read an amazing book called “Red Notice” by Bill Browder. He was a businessman who invested in Russian companies just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Shortly thereafter, many formal government-owned businesses were being privatized. When these companies went public, they were greatly undervalued. Mr. Browder saw great potential in investing in these companies. He created a fund called Hermitage and moved to Moscow. His investments grew as the prices of these companies more closely reflected their true value. He also exposed the various schemes that powerful Russian oligarchs were using to steal from these businesses.
The exposés that he made at the time were in line with the Russian government’s agenda. The oligarchs were political rivals. However, the imprisonment of one of the most prominent among them scared the others in line. After this, the oligarchs were no longer rivals, but allies of the Russian government. Mr. Browder came under immense pressure.
Mr. Browder’s visa was revoked. As he entered the country on one of his frequent trips to and from London, authorities came close to arresting him. However, due to the political situation, he was deported back to England. He was deemed a threat to national security.
A fraudulent taxes case was concocted using files stolen from his offices in what was known in Russia as a “corporate raid”. Mr. Browder’s attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, stayed in Moscow to expose the fraud. He was arrested, beaten and died a year later in prison.
Ever since, Mr. Browder has campaigned for the governments of the world to enact a law that he had drawn up, one “Magnitsky Act”. This law specifically names and targets the people that committed these atrocities in Russia.
Mr. Browder does so at great danger to himself. A “Red Notice” is a type of Interpol alert that major nations may submit to extradite criminals. Russia has issued one of these alerts for the arrest of Mr. Browder, but he still perseveres.
I highly recommend that you read his book. You can find it here.