Billionaire's house arrest sends stocks crashing

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Billionaire's house arrest sends stocks crashing
FILE- In this Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010 file photo then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, holds a computer chip and a cell phone programmed to receive signals from Glonass, Russia's global navigation system positioned as an equivalent to the U.S. Global Positioning System, as Russian tycoon Vladimir Yevtushenkov, owner of Sistema Holding, watches, in the Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow, Russia. The arrest of Yevtushenkov has sent shares in his holding company into a tailspin Wednesday morning, Sept. 17, 2014. Yevtushenkov, who is worth $9 billion according to the Russian Forbes magazine, was placed under house arrest late Tuesday, Sept. 16, in a money-laundering case which has drawn comparisons with a government crackdown on the Yukos oil company more than a decade ago.(AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File)
FILE- In this Tuesday, May 5, 2009 file photo Russian tycoon Vladimir Yevtushenkov, owner of Sistema Holding, speaks during a meeting with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. The arrest of the Russian billionaire has sent shares in his holding company into a tailspin Wednesday morning, Sept. 17, 2014. Yevtushenkov, who is worth $9 billion according to the Russian Forbes magazine, was placed under house arrest late Tuesday, Sept. 16, in a money-laundering case which has drawn comparisons with a government crackdown on the Yukos oil company more than a decade ago. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, chairs a meeting in the Kremlin with Vladimir Yevtushenko, second left, in Moscow, Russia. Russia’s top investigative agency says it has filed money-laundering charges against a billionaire tycoon. The Investigative Committee said Tuesday Sept. 16, 2014, that Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the head of Sistema holding company, has been placed under house arrest. The committee said the 66-year old Yevtushenkov is suspected of involvement in a money-laundering scheme involving oil assets in the Russian province of Bashkiria. (AP Photo/ITAR-TASS, Alexei Panov, Presidential Press Service, File)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian tycoon Vladimir Yevtushenkov, owner of Sistema Holding, during their meeting in Moscow, Tuesday, May 5, 2009. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)
Anatoly Chubais, chief executive officer of Rusnanotech, left, pauses while Vladimir Yevtushenkov, chairman of AFK Sistema, speaks during a session at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), in St Petersburg, Russia, on Friday, June 17, 2011. The forum sees global world and business leaders gather in Russia for a conference through Saturday, June 18. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chairman of the 'sistema' joint-stock financial corporation (jsfc) board of directors vladimir yevtushenkov, september 2006. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
(FILES) A file photo taken on February 5, 2005 shows Vladimir Yevtushenkov, president of Russian holding company Sistema in London. Russian authorities said Tuesday they had placed a top billionaire, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, under house arrest pending the results of an investigation of charges against him of money-laundering. The detention and probe of 65-year-old Yevtushenkov -- who is Russia's 15th-richest man with a personal fortune of $9 billion (7 billion euros) according to Forbes magazine -- was officially linked to his company's acquisition of shares in an oil firm, Bashneft. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Vladimir Yevtushenkov (L), president of Russian holding company Sistema and Clara Furse, the Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange poses for a picture with the Dome of St Paul's Cathedral outside the LSE in London 14 February 2005. AFK Sistema, Russia largest private sector consumer services company was admitted to the London Stock Exchange's main market today. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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MOSCOW (AP) - The arrest of a Russian billionaire on Wednesday sent shares in his holding company into a tailspin, wiping away more than $2.5 billion in market capitalization.

Vladimir Yevtushenkov, who is worth $9 billion according to the Russian Forbes magazine, was placed under house arrest late Tuesday in a money-laundering case which has drawn comparisons with a government crackdown on the Yukos oil company in 2003.

Shares in Sistema, a company which Yevtushenkov controls and manages, collapsed by 38 percent in Moscow, cutting the company's market capitalization by over $2.5 billion in less than a day. Earlier in the morning, the MICEX stock exchange had temporarily suspended trading in the shares due to the heavy losses.

Sistema controls Russia's largest mobile phone operator MTS, oil company Bashneft as well as other lucrative assets. MTS was down 9 percent. The stock exchange suspended trading for Bashneft when it dropped 23 percent early afternoon on Wednesday.

The Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a group which unites Russia's richest men, has petitioned to release Yevtushenkov on bail, dismissing accusations against him as unfounded.

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