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Congressman Asks US Treasury Department to Probe Russian's Zimbabwe Dealings

  • Gibbs Dube

U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. has referred to the U.S. Treasury the question of whether prospective NBA team owner Mikhail Prokhorov has had dealings in Zimbabwe with a business tied to individuals under sanctions

U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell Junior, who asked the National Basketball Association recently to investigate a Russian billionaire who sought to buy the New Jersey Nets team citing business interests in a Zimbabwean bank allegedly linked to officials under sanctions, has referred the matter to the U.S. Treasury.

Ben Rich, a spokesman for the lawmaker, said Russian nickel magnate Mikhail Prokhorov is still being investigated by the NBA though it said last week that the businessman has no shady business dealings in Zimbabwe, only a stake in the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, which is not under sanctions.

“Congressman Pascrell has written to the Department of Treasury asking them to investigate to see if any sanctions laws were not breached,” he said.

The NBA recently said Prokhorov’s bid to buy the Nets is on track to be voted upon by the league's board.

NBA rules require background checks on new owners and approval by 75 percent of the 30 team owners.

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