Billionaire Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov: Is he the criminal people accuse him of?
With a net worth of $17.6 billion and ranked 37th on the Forbes World billionaires list, Alisher Usmanov is evidently one of the world’s wealthiest men. Alisher Usmanov gained his wealth from being a successful Russian oligarch; known to be one of Vladimar Putin’s own. However, it is important not to confuse him with oligarchs who are associated with the "loans-for shares" auctions held in the mid-1990s (Guriey and Rachinsky, 2005; 138). Instead, his fortune is much more recent. Interestingly, “this man was virtually unknown at that time but is now one of his country's richest men” (Powell and Hempel, 2010; 152). How did he go from prison to a billionaire? Was this due to his illegal gangster background to which many are claiming?
It is suggested that his first fortunes were made two decades ago, in the 1980s, by producing plastic bags. Since then, he “has morphed into a metals mogul and can now claim to be the biggest Russian investor in the Internet” (Raghavan, 2010). His empire includes being the co – owner of Metalloinvest, which in Russia, is the biggest producer for iron ore and extremely large for steel making (Raghavan, 2010). It also includes: a daily newspaper in Moscow called the Kommersant, the British football team Arsenal, social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, and telecommunication (Powell and Hempel, 2010).
In 2007, a blog by Craig Murray (an ex-