Russia billionaire murdered over business dispute: security source
A Russian billionaire killed near his £6-million mansion in southern England in November had enemies and “intense financial disputes”, according to a security source.
Dmitry Obretetskiy, 49, was hit by a car while walking his dog in the Surrey village of Oxshott on November 25. The billionaire was in a coma for several days before he died. His black labrador died at the scene.
Sergei Migdal, a former security chief to murdered Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky, said Obretetskiy, 49, left around 500 stakeholders without a return on their investment after his construction company, Stroi-City, went bust.
Stroi-City, based in Obretetskiy’s home town of Volgograd, went bankrupt before completing a residential project in the southern Russian city.
Migdal, an ex-Israeli intelligence officer, was responsible for Berezovsky’s security between 2005 and 2010. He was found dead at his home in Berkshire in 2013 in what was initially labelled as suicide but a second inquest gave an open verdict.
On Obretetskiy death, Migdal said: “It’s speculation at this point but most Russian businesspeople get killed as a consequence of business disputes.”
A friend of Obretetskiy suggested his death may not have been accidental.
Pavel Borovkov told Russian news agency Life: “You know, people drive cars very carefully in [Britain]… I don’t exclude that he was especially knocked down.”
Several wealthy Russians have died in Britain since 1999 and most were critics of the Moscow authorities.
But Migdal said Obretetskiy was not a prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Israeli said: “He wasn’t ever much into politics and he isn’t on Putin’s list of enemies. He more positioned himself as a Russian patriot.
“[Obretetskiy] did have enemies. He was involved in a couple of intense financial disputes following the collapse of his construction firm in Volgograd.”
Surrey police said three vehicles were involved in the crash and no arrests had been made.
Obretetskiy had been living near London and selling properties for eight years, according to Borovkov.
The billionaire was also thought to have rented a £3.5-million Westminster apartment.
He founded a chemical firm in 1991, Magnat, to sell products for Mars, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble in Russia with its value estimated at £107 million in 2018.
Dmitry Obretetskiy (with the flag). Picture credit: YouTube