Russian dupes Chinese merchants of $600,000

Moscow, Jan 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Russian who falsely claimed he was a military general managed to dupe a group of Chinese businessmen of nearly $600,000, the interior ministry said Thursday.

Officials said 46-year-old Mikhail Davidovich lured a team of Chinese merchants from a metallurgical company to Moscow in June last year under the pretext of launching a joint Russian-Chinese venture.

After signing a contract, the businessmen transferred $300,000 to Davidovich's personal account, and another $290,000 to an offshore account in Cyprus.

Davidovich, an unemployed man, was arrested in November.

He posed as a lieutenant-general in the army's foreign intelligence unit.

Officials said he promised the hopeful Chinese investors he could solve any problems at the highest levels of government.

Davidovich has been charged with large-scale fraud, the ministry said.

Investigators also found that Davidovich had changed his name in 2008 from Ekrin Dzhumaliyev, and had been tried in the past for theft, fraud and forgery.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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