The chief executive of embattled gold miner Petropavlovsk [LON:POG] is being investigated by Russian authorities after forcing his way into the FTSE 250 company’s offices in Moscow.
On 26-27 August, Maksim Meshcheryakov was prevented from entering the firm’s office in a stand-off with staff.
CCTV footage which later circulated on Russian social media showed Meshcheryakov, who was appointed only two months ago after a prolonged boardroom battle, climbing over turnstiles to get into the office.
At the time, the company said that Meshcheryakov had “encountered a lack of co-operation from some employees and ex-employees in certain of the Russian subsidiaries as he works to implement a robust and transparent controls framework across Petropavlovsk”.
In a statement this morning the firm confirmed that the Investigative Committee of Russia for the City of Moscow was looking into the events, as was first reported by the FT.
“The company understands that the investigation into Meshcheryakov’s actions relates to a crime under article 330 of the Russian criminal code called ‘Arbitrariness'”, it added.
“According to legal advice received by the company, the crime of Arbitrariness has a very broad definition, and may include actions that are commissioned to protect lawful rights or interests”.
Shares in the gold miner fell 3.8 per cent after the announcement, which marks a fresh bump in a turbulent six months for the firm.
Over the summer, rival investor groups Prosperity exchanged accusations with fellow shareholders UGC and Everest Alliance that each was attempting to take over the firm
A extraordinary general meeting was called for August, which saw the latter two, who between them control over 30 per cent of voting rights, victorious.
As a result, former chief Pavel Mavlovskiy and founder Hambro were voted out of the company.
Last week Petropavlovsk’s deputy chief exec, Alya Samokhvalova, also left. Samokhvalova had been with the company for nearly two decades and was a key member of the old regime.
The firm also slashed its production forecasts for the year, saying that volumes would now come in between 560,000 to 600,000 ounces, down from previous estimates of up to 720,000 ounces.