Fugitive banker Mukhtar Ablyazov arrested after international manhunt

Former banking chief Mukhtar Ablyazov.

Former banking chief Mukhtar Ablyazov. - Credit: Archant

A fugitive businessman who had homes in The Bishops Avenue and St John’s Wood seized by the High Court over alleged corruption has been arrested in France.

Carlton House, Mukhtar Ablyazov's home in The Bishops Avenue. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Carlton House, Mukhtar Ablyazov's home in The Bishops Avenue. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

Mukhtar Ablyazov is accused of embezzling billions of pounds as former chairman of BTA Bank in Kazakhstan.

The block in Palgrave Gardens, St John's Wood, where Mukhtar Ablyazov has an apartment. Picture: Pol

The block in Palgrave Gardens, St John's Wood, where Mukhtar Ablyazov has an apartment. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

Earlier this year, a High Court judge gave receivers KPMG the go-ahead to sell three of Ablyazov’s homes to recoup some of the £3billion which he is alleged to have pocketed fraudulently from the bank.

These include a £20million mansion in The Bishops Avenue, Barnet, and a £1m apartment in Palgrave Gardens, St John’s Wood.

But after failing to attend a court hearing, Ablyazov disappeared and is believed to have fled the UK on a bus bound for Europe.

In his absence, he was given a 22-month prison sentence imposed for contempt of court in trying to hide his fortune.

Ablyazov was arrested last Wednesday in Aix-en Provence and is currently being held in custody.