понедельник, 21 марта 2011 г.

Head of the city police turns St. Petersburg into the criminal capital of Russia


In the middle of February  Mikhail Glushchenko, an arrested ex-deputy of the State Duma, in his testimony to the Russian Investigating Committee disclosed the name of the person behind the 1999 contract-murder of  Pavel Kapysh, chairman of the board of directors of  Baltic Financial and Industrial Group. He claims that it was Vladimir Kumarin, leader of the Tambovskaya criminal group. Charges to the former behind-the-scenes governor of St. Petersburg may be filed in the nearest future. Indictments for a number of murders and illegal takeovers have already been brought against him.

However, Vladimir Kumarin had a chance to avoid all these charges of the law enforcement agencies. Rumafia journalists fount out that at a certain moment St. Petersburg Central Internal Affair Directorate (GUVD) attempted to protect the leader of the Tambovskaya criminal group and other crime bosses from being indicted for high-profile criminal cases. The crimes were supposed to be pinned on other gangsters but Federal Security Service (FSB) intervened and prevented it.

As a result, tensions between the agencies developed into a full scale confrontation on the federal level, including mutual telephone interceptions, continuous spying, mudslinging, and even fabrication of criminal cases.

The current head of the St. Petersburg police (GUVD) Vladislav Piotrovsky was questioned twice during the investigation. Previously the FSB collected massive evidence about his ties with the mafia. But none of this resulted in his removal from office or prosecution.  Poitrowski is still out there “fighting” crime and mafia thanks to the intervention and protection from high-profile Kremlin inhabitants.

A Rumafia journalist was able to meet with an officer involved in the confrontation. This FSB officer agreed to give an insight into the agencies war, provided that his identity will not be disclosed. The following is near full citation of his word with minor updates. Rumafia journalists in St. Petersburg found evidence proving all the information cited to be true.

                            St. Petersburg criminal police

The story is told in the first person:

«In 2008 we came to St. Petersburg to investigate a number of contract murders and illegal takeovers. It was very surprising to see how influential GUVD (the city police) was.  In other regions the FSB is the most heavily weighted law enforcement agency. But in St. Petersburg before we arrived it was the militia (starting March 1st 2011 the name of the agency is officially changed to police) who conducted high-profile cases operational assistance, checks on activities of the officials, behind the scenes communication with criminal group leaders, and high-profile cases witness protection.

It was especially surprising because all high rank FSB officers come from St. Petersburg. The city prosecution office and General Prosecutor’s Office also backed the police.

In Moscow we had been told that the GUVD officers would obstruct our work in any possible way. And it actually turned out that all investigators and FSB agents arriving from the capital to St. Petersburg were closely monitored by the police.

We were constantly watched by agents in disguise. They even tried to come up and talk to us several times. All in all, it became clear to us that we had left the capital with federal laws and entered a totally different world where federal rules and regulations did not apply.

The main goal of the police was if not to ruin the criminal cases under investigation, then to at least make sure the cases were progressing the way they wanted them to.

         For a long time four major criminal raid groups dominated in St. Petersburg.  Vladimir Kumarin (who later changed his last name to Barsukov and has been known under the new name for the last decade) was well-connected in the government which prompted his long-term immunity. The second group was headed by  Badri Shengelia. He was thought to be Kumarin’s business partner but the later more than once said that he would give Shengelia out without thinking twice. The man was of little significance to him.



The third group’s leader,  Mikhail Sliozberg also known as Misha Kupchinsky, is a unique person, flesh of the flesh of St. Petersburg police, so to say. At the moment he is hiding out in Israel. Local GUVD high ranking officers and he elaborated a brand new scheme of illegal raids.  This is how it worked.

Vladimir Sych and mafia

At first  Sliozberg’s men brought to a local tax office forged sale contracts, certifying their purchase of part of businesses and buildings thus bring them into ownership of their confidants. Tax inspectors took bribes and checked nothing when introducing changes to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.  Victims filed complaints to the GUVD. Some of the complaints were addressed to the head of the agency,  Vladislav Piotrovsky.

The head of the police sent them all to his subordinate, deputy head of the Department for Organized Crime Control, that is to the very GUVD department assigned to combat mafia.  Vladimir Sych, the department deputy head, would give the victims a red-carpet treatment, to the astonishment of claimants. He would promise to solve the case, inflict a strict punishment on the criminals, and restore the ownership within a shortest possible time.  Basically, he tried to be as charming as possible.

Victims, satisfied and calm, were waiting for the promised good news. Soon  Sych’s subordinates informed them that a graphological examination had been scheduled to check the paperwork that the mafia used to gain ownership by registering the stolen property as that belonging to their people or enterprises they controlled. The officers explained that the examination aims at proving the paperwork legal or forged.

The police officers then asked the victims to sign the bottom of two blank pieces of paper and put their full name there, for the examination. These pieces of paper were then handed to a lawyer who worked for Sliozberg-Kupchinsky and he used the papers to print out sale contracts for the very property taken away from the victims. The tax office would then get rid off the forged paperwork and replace it with the newly acquired legal one, leaving no traces of the forge.

This new paperwork signed by the victims in person was then taken for the examination to the local police investigators whose job was to solve cases of such illegal takeovers. Investigators following the orders of their bosses would only conduct a handwriting comparison. And the result was obvious. The signatures were proven to be authentic since the victims in their trust to the police had signed the pieces of paper themselves.

The point is that a wider examination would prove that the contract texts were printed after the papers had been signed. But the police did not check for that. The results stated in the certificates given to Sliozberg’s confidants only said that the signatures were authentic as well as the paperwork on the property sale. None of the cases of illegal takeover had the original forged paperwork.

When the Investigating Committee officers (since March 1st 2011 it has no affiliation with the Prosecutor’s Office) who had come from Moscow to combat St. Petersburg mafia, conducted interrogations and questioned GUVD investigators, all they could hear from the local investigators was “We had no that there is a wider examination” and “We returned the paperwork to the owners instead of having  it in the case evidence because these documents are important and we were afraid to lose the originals proved authentic”.  

This way all the written evidence of the crime, that is the forged contract documentation, was blotted out leaving Sliozberg confidants with paperwork signed by the victims in person and even proven to be authentic by a police examination. An ideal crime. Later during an Investigating Committee interrogation Vyacheslav Drokov, Sliozberg’s right-hand man, told about an incident, when he once asked  Sliozberg “Misha, how do you manage to get the genuine signatures?”   Sliozberg laughed and said “You can do anything with assistance from police” and offered to help with getting signed papers for the Tambovskaya group. This is the group that many of the arrested over the illegal takeover and murder cases (Kumarin,  Drokov,  Glushchenko and some others) are said to belong to. And of course he would do that for his fare share. 

The fourth group’s leader was Andrey Leukhin also known as Medvied, or the Bear. There was an ever existing tension between his group and groups of  Kumarin and  Sliozberg.

Looking for someone to blame

The number of unsolved contract murders and illegal takeovers in St. Petersburg did not only catch the eye of the FSB but also became yet more and more bold. St. Petersburg constantly matched up to its title of the criminal capital of Russia that had been gained during the 1990s gangster wars. That is when GUVD high ranking officers and the criminal gang leaders came up with a scheme. There were two stages in the plan. The first one pinned explosions and murders committed by the Tambovskaya group on  Oleg Makovoz, a gang leader from Siberia. The second stage was to pin all the illegal takeovers on  Leukhin.

The details of the scheme were discussed by   Sych, a state employee whose job was to curb mafia activity in the city;   Piotrovsky, head of the city police, Misha Kupchinsky (  Sliozberg), and   Kumarin. Moreover,  Kumarin told the police that he was ready to let them arrest  Badri Shengelia so that the scheme was not that obvious.

As a result just a few years ago all the crimes that  Kumarin is currently indicted of could have been indicted to   Makovoz and   Leukhin. The scheme was all planned out, with dozens of witnesses leading the investigation astray, biased articles appearing in mass media controlled by the head of police, GUVD and city prosecutor’s office taking action in accordance with the plan. But suddenly in summer 2007  Yuri Chaika,  Attorney General of the Russian Federation, ordered to arrest  Kumarin. Investigators and FSB officers from Moscow came to St. Petersburg to take up high-profile cases investigation.

«We do not need Moscow supervisors»

The conflict between FSB and GUVD was especially acute over  Oleg Makovoz, who had close ties with a kingpin,  Vladimir Tyurin also know as Tyurik. At some point  Makovoz organized armed operations for  Tyurin’s Desyatka criminal group. Later he turned into a full- blooded gangster and a mafia boss. Tyurik closely communicated with one of the most influential kingpins,  Alsan Usoyan also know as   Grandpa Hasan.

 Usoyan delegated the responsibility to promote his gang’s interests in St. Petersburg to  Tyurin.   Makovoz became his watchdog in the city. There was also a number of contract killers, lead by  Dolgushin. He knew the details of most high-profile contract murders in St. Petersburg because he either did the work himself or participated in the preparations, or else knew the details from his acquaintances among the killers.  Dolgushin was  an untapped source of information.

It was  Dolgushin who drew up the murder of a gang leader  Konstantin Yakovlev also know as Kostya the Tomb. In 2003 there was a major difference in opinions between  Grandpa Hasan  and Kostya the Tomb  over some business projects. Grandpa Hasan several times sent  Tyurin to St. Petersburg from Moscow so that he could closely monitor the situation. During one of such trips the supervisor from the pinking had an argument with  Yakovlev right at the airport.

The conversation turned into a quarrel right off. This is what  Yakovlev said to  Tyurin, “Tell Grandpa Hasan that we do not need any supervisors here in St. Petersburg. We can manage on our own.” Tyurik repeated his words to the boss. On May, 25, 2003 while being in Moscow  Yakovlev was shot by people on motorbikes.

Soon after this incident  Dolgushin chose to rid off his boss, Mt. Oleg Makovoz. He had several reasons. First of all, somebody told  Dolgushin that  Makovoz had put a hit on him. Second,  Dolgushin was fed up with being just a contract killer by that time. He was hoping to take  Makovoz’s place after killing him. He was ready to take advantage of the situation when he could pin the murder on Kostya the Tomb’s gang seeking revenge. On October, 14, 2003 contract killers peppered the car of  Makovoz in St. Petersburg leaving up to 90 bullet holes in the car. But the man survived. After that  Dolgushin realized that his life was then worth nothing. He was handed over to St. Petersburg GUVD officers, with some assistance from the Tambovskaya group, of course. According to some sources,  Kumarin spoke with  Dolgushin in person.

As a result  Dolgushin, this major information source, disclosed everything he knew about the murders that  Makovoz was involved in. And then in accordance with the scheme drawn up by the police and mafia he presented all the murders committed by the Tambovskaya gang as if  Makovoz was the consumer.  Makovoz was accused of murder after murder and it came to a point where he almost cracked and would be ready to plead guilty. The scheme was operating smoothly.  

It was the St. Petersburg GUVD officers who under the effective control of head of the police  Vladislav Piotrovsky conducted operational assistance. But suddenly FSB agents and investigators from Moscow showed up.  If it had not been for our intervention, there would have been literally no charges against  Kumarin as all the crimes in the criminal capital would have been indicted upon  Makovoz and  Leukhin. Our main goal was to stop wrongful accusations and crimes of the Tambovskaya group being pinned on Makovoz and to lift GUVD control from  Dolgushin. This is where the war broke out.

Sex with the prosecutor 

As commonplace as it may sound, the further events were much alike with the US action movies or TV series like Mentovskie Voiny. FSB increased their security measures to protect  Makovoz and GUVD did the same for  Dolgushin. The agencies closely watched the actions of each other, tapped telephone conversations, and collected information for mudslinging. For instance, we found out that GUVD and prosecution office officers had a sort of affection for  Denis Dolgushin, literally speaking.

In their conversations police officers and investigators referred to him as Deniska and treated him as the apple of their eyes. They gave him everything he would care for. As a result, our agents shadowed them to the best city hotels, saunas, restaurants, and night clubs. The police did literally everything for this contract killer of the blackest dye.

We installed a camera in one of the saunas that Deniska liked to go to with the GUVD officers. We watched them drink alcohol together there. Then a female officer from the prosecutor’s office came to the sauna. She was the state prosecutor in many of the cases heard by St. Petersburg courts. Some time later  Dolgushin and she were given some privacy. They had sex right in that room of the sauna. Later we found out that the contract killer and the prosecutor had been lovers for a long time.

It is worth mentioning that the prosecution demanded probation on all charges against  Dolgushin who had killed so many people. This did not come out all at once. At first in 2005 the prosecutor demanded 15 years of incarceration. But the hearings were urgently suspended. The head of St. Petersburg police,  Vladislav Piotrovsky, went to Moscow to the General Prosecutor’s Office. After the trip the hearing was resumed. But this time prosecution demanded eight years of probation for the contract killer. After that up to 2009 Dolgushin was only sentenced with probation.”

Head of police obeyed former mayor security guard

         Meanwhile,  Makovoz who was under protection of the FSB also started to cooperate. He told us about the murders that  Kumarin was involved in and about the ties linking the current head of police,  Vladislav Piotrovsky, and himself. They got acquainted in the 1990s when  Makovoz was head of a private security agency and  Piotrovsky was head of the Criminal police at the GUVD.

 Piotrovsky offered  Makovoz an alliance with him and  Roman Tsepov, another prominent figure of St. Petersburg criminal environment.  Tsepov was the head of security for  Anatoly Sobchak, former city mayor, who held this position since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and up to 1996. In 1996 he was not reelected and the title of the city government head was changed to “governor”. In fact in the 1990s the deputy mayor for  Sobchak was a Committee for State Security (KGB) officer,  Vladimir Putin (who was elected president of the Russian Federation in 2000, which made him the second president of Russia).

After  Sobchak left office  Tsepov became head of a private security agency Baltic-Escort. He was involved with the most prominent St. Petersburg Mafiosi,  Kumarin, and yet de facto he was watching the city unofficially for  Putin and had the widest authority. This authority was delegated to him by a former security guard of mayor Sobchak, General Victor Zolotov, who became head of the security of president Putin in 2000. In 2004  Tsepov was poisoned with the same substance as  Litvinenko, a former FSB agent who was hiding out in London, in 2006. Both men’s murderers have not been arrested and prosecuted.

         Anyhow, there were some slips. In exchange for his testimony  Makovoz asked to go out once in a while, convoyed by FSB agents. He would want to go to a restaurant or hook up with someone. They usually did it this way: an investigator gave permission for  Makovoz to be taken from the remand prison to a hospital for a check-up while in reality they would take him out to restaurants and so on. FSB was very careful about this. But several times GUVD agents saw these “trips to the hospital” and informed mass media controlled by a gangster boss about it. A scandal followed.

In fact the much discussed scandal concerning  Piotrovsky still has not resulted in his removal from office. On the contrary, due to a professional PR campaign his most obvious mistakes were presented as accomplishments and virtues.  President Dmitry Medvedev, elected in 2008 for four years, is taking measures to curb corruption among officials and law enforcement agents. Or at least that is what he says. But the first move, income monitoring, has already been made. Now all civil servants, intelligence officers and police are obliged to file tax returns every year. It turned out that St. Petersburg police head’s income was more than president Medvedev’s and prime-minister Putin’s incomes combined.  Piotrovsky stated an income of 28 million rubles (about 1 million dollars) in his tax return. But this did not alarm the government.  Victor Zolotov, head of the security, lulled the vigilance of everyone.

         There is no winner in the battle over  Makovoz.   On the one hand we managed to lift murder charges for crimes committed by the Tambovskaya group. On the other hand most of the information he disclosed during interrogations including that about  Poitrowski did not result in any action from law enforcement agencies. In June 2009 the court sentenced  Makovoz on charges of murders contracted by him to 23 years of imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony.  Dolgushin, the contract killer who actually performed the murders, was only sentenced to 5 years and 3 months of incarceration. And it is likely that he will be back on the street again much earlier than that. We have found out recently that St. Petersburg GUVD and the prosecutor’s office are working to have  Dolgushin made free on parole. Most likely it will happen in summer 2011 because St. Petersburg police is concerned that  Dolgushin may crack in prison and tell the actual facts about  Makovoz and  Kumarin conspiracy, as well as about the role that GUVD officials and  Piotrovsky played in it.

                    Kumarin’s men cracked 

One of the major opponents GUVD and prosecutors had to face was an Investigating Committee investigator, Oleg Pipchenkov. He led all the investigations in St. Petersburg.  He is quite a peculiar man.  Pipchenkov devoted most of his time to solving cases of racketeering, murders, and organized crime activities. He always says that his favourite character is a detective novel character Gleb Zheglov, head of the department that fights organized crime.

 Pipchenkov accepts no compromises. This is why there were way too many suspects and accused people in some cases. The largest number of accused we had in a case was 25 people. That was the case about an illegal takeover of the Frunzenskaya Wholesale Fruit & Vegetable Warehouse. Of course, later charges were lifted from most of the initially accused.

Russia’s Investigation Committee paid exceptional attention to the story with the warehouse, because investigation into it could reveal some damaging information both about Vladislav Piotrovsky himself and a potentially interested party – Petersburg’s leading banker Alekasandr Savelyev who owns “Saint Petersburg” bank.

The warehouse owner was an elderly businessman Semen Abramovich Shubik. Sliozberg’s people raided his property. Through his connections the businessman manage to organize a private meeting with police chief Piotrovsky and told him everything. The GUVD head sent aggrieved Shubik to the main ‘anti-mafia crusader’ Sych, promising he would help. Then Sych used the above-described scheme.

Sych’s subordinates took two samples of Shubin’s signature for a “handwriting analysis”. Later the lawyers hired by Misha Kupchinsky filled the signed papers with the texts of the contracts. However there was a serious flaw on the police side. When Shubik was writing his full name, he got very nervous and as a result misspelled a few letters which he corrected. The policemen did not ask him to re-write full name, and eventually the corrections appeared below the paper with contract. For the investigation it is a serious clue.

‘Anti-mafia crusader’ Sych could not stop lying during the interrogations. It is difficult to find person more stumbling over his words and more mendacious. Piotrovsky was questioned twice. He admitted he had met with Shubin, but said he had sent him to Sych because thought Sych was a real professional. The police chief characterized Sych very positively and said he was one of the best officers and had nothing to do with the criminal raids.

Speaking about Misha Kupchinsky the police chief was very accurate. As a result only Sych and his subordinates were indicted. Despite our numerous requests, the authorities did not give the go-ahead for “putting the squeeze” on Piorovsky. Although the evidence against him is huge in number, the police chief has not been brought to justice yet.

As for other cases of raiding, at the beginning the investigation moved slowly but then the arrested people one after another began to cooperate with the investigators. Pipchenkov’s invented his own way to get the information. It was certain for him he could not bargain because the Prosecutor General’s office was friendly with city’s GUVD and was backing Kumarin and would not ask for suspended terms for those who cooperated with the Investigative Committee. But there was no other way to induce low-level mafia foot soldiers to speak out.

Pipchenkov offered him a bargain. He would not bring more charges (including the charges which stipulated longer terms). In exchange for it they had to cooperate. The first who gave evidence was Shengelia (arrested in autumn 2006). Even before the arrest he began to realize that he had been betrayed by Kumarin but feared to speak. When Kumarin himself was arrested (in summer 2007), Pipchenkov put a question point-blank: either he would be indicted with a serious of forcible takeovers and murders or he would testify.

And Shengelia began to grass. He gave evidence about Kumarin, Drokov, Sych, Tsvetkov brothers (active members of the Tambov gang) and many others. More difficult the situation was with Kumarin’s right hand man Drokov. He did not want to cooperation so he was provided with a good lesson. In 2009 the court sentenced him to 15 years in prison (compare with Kumarin’s 14 years). After that Pipchenkov finally broke him down.

The investigator told Drokov that his choice was limited. If he carries on refusing to cooperate he will face the same charges as Kumarin (including charges of homicide). This mean he will never have a chance to be free. If he agrees to cooperate new charges will not be brought. Dukov cracked and turned out to be even more garrulous grass than Shengelia. He told the investigators about Kumarin, Slioazberg, his associate Leukhin and Piotrovsky. He told how they planned to accuse Leukhin of all raid takeovers.

If we can speak about any decency among this people Leukhin was one who surprised the investigation most. Arrested in 2006 he refused cooperating whatsoever and had never said a word against Kumarin, the very person who did his best to put Leukhin the Bear behind the bars.

The war must go on                          

When Pipchenkov’s team was still working in St. Petersburg, some officials from the city’s police and prosecution threatened that the consequence of the war would be sensible for them. It turns out they have kept their word.

For instance, Makovoz’s protection was supported by former deputy prosecutor of Moscow’s central district and now lawyer Ruslan Parkin. And the investigation into Sych’s affairs was carried out by Parkin’s close friend Andrey Grivtsov, an investigator from Russia’s Investigative Committee. When they came back to Moscow, they were put under surveillance by the inherent security department of Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry was petitioned by a report about $20 million bribe extortion from businessman Vladimir Palikhata.

Incidentally Palikhata had been a business partner of the above mentioned Roman Tsepov (poisoned in 2004) and also a good friend of Sobchak’s widow – member of the Federation Council of the RF Lyudmila Narusova. As a result Parkin was put on a wanted list, because there was some evidence against him. And in January 2010 the officers from the inherent security department arrested Grivtsov, who worked in our operational investigative group, although his involvement in the extortion could not be proved whatsoever.

Nevertheless the Prosecutor General’s office demanded that the court issue the arrest warrant to Grivtsov. And that initially took place. An officer from the Ministry of Internal Affairs came to the prison box and offered Grivtsov to give evidence in exchange of “just 2-3 years of prison”. He was offered to tell the court that the bribe had been destined for the head of the operational investigative group Pipchenkov.

Grivtsov was also offered to speak about numerous cases of misconduct and offences in the process of investigation in St. Petersburg. Moscow city court has recently released Grivtsov on parole, but the case is still open and the Prosecutor General’s office does not plan to close it. The prosecution refuses to approve the indictments which should be formulated for the homicide cases of the night governor of Petersburg Kumarin.

The war is going on. Now the battle scene has moved to Moscow”.

Dan Rossignol,
Well Miller

Prosecutor Kekhiopulo dislikes Apeks Group competitors



Deputy prosecutor of Saint-Petersburg Feofil Kekhiopulo seems to set himself the task of making life harder for anybody who competes with Apeks Group of Companies. Apeks Group’s rivals face obviously made-up charges with amazing regularity. It is interesting that the criminal cases are initiated by the authorities controlled by Mr Kekhiopulo.

First Accord

For reasons unknown since late spring 2010 Feofil Kekhiopulo has been displeased with Accord (Limited Liability Company) that imports and wholesale paint, varnish and lacquer materials. Of course, the bigwig prosecutor does not speak openly about his tastes. At the same time in summer 2010 the economic crimes department (UNP) of the city’s militia (GUVD) became interested in the Accord business. This happened after a strange petition to St. Petersburg Transport Prosecutor’s offices filed by an ex-lawyer Timofey Boyer, who had lost his license after violating the advocate’s ethics code.

UNP carefully inspected Accord’s documents from the period from January 1, 2007 to May 31, 2010. As a result of the inspection the executive auditor came to a dubious conclusion that the budged might have lost 43 million roubles because of tax evasion. Or it might have not! Did the company indeed evade taxes? No one can say for sure, because the inspection did not study all documents.

We have to say it is naked truth! The editorial board has obtained a copy of reference from the tax authority which clearly states that Accord Group has no tax liabilities for the period under investigation. However this has not influenced the approach of law-enforcement officials towards the company. At the end of October, 2010, the investigative department of St. Petersburg’s Kalininsky district militia instituted the criminal proceedings against ‘an unidentified person who really manages a business of the Accord Group’. John Doe faces charges under Article 199.2 of the Criminal Code of the RF (large-scale tax-evasion).

Initiating the case in a hurry, the militia missed a subtle detail. Article 199 of the Criminal Code makes it mandatory to acquire the decision of tax authority on bringing a taxpayer to justice before initiating the case. But, again, Accord Group has no tax liabilities whatsoever. And thus the tax authority cannot have come to such decision. It seems that legal requirements make no difference for Kalininsky district militia.

At the time when the proceedings were being initiated Feofil Kekhiopulo left his post of the Transport Prosecutor and became city’s Deputy Prosecutor. It was his duties then to pay attention to the very strange case which Kalininsky district militia initiated despite the legal requirements.


Veles Unidentified


Another company Feofil Kekhiopulo holds in abomination is Veles (Limited Liability Company). Incidentally this company also competes with Apeks Group. Previous summer when Kekhiopulo served as a Transport Prosecutor the officers of his department decided to check the cargo of paint, varnish and lacquer materials which had been imported to Russia and come through the Baltic Customs. In the opinion of the prosecutor’s office the goods had been smuggled.

The decision to check the cargo was motivated by the fact that the cargo invoice was issued by Riverford Limited, but the stamp belonged to a different company, namely Europe Star Corporation. We have to admit that this is a violation of customs regulations. But according to the law such violations are considered administrative not criminal. The criminal charges for smuggling may be brought if the cargo’s price exceeds 1.5 billion roubles. In fact, the Veles’ materials cost approximately 1.2 billion, according to the estimation of the customs officials. The transport prosecutor’s office decided to avoid this uncomfortable fact.

Deputy Transport Prosecutor Artyom Zatochkin asked the Chamber of Trade and Industry of Saint-Petersburg to evaluate the cargo’s market price. This clearly was a trick. Every businessman working in Russia knows that the customs works with so-called ‘customs price’ which is something different from the market price. All customs payments are made according to the customs price, which is a far cry from what the goods really cost. The Chamber’s estimation was easy to predict: with reference to unknown price-lists, the Chamber estimated the price to be over 3.5 million roubles, something really amazing. If the price estimation were true no one would buy these goods, because they would cost many times more than they really cost in the shops of Saint Petersburg. This artless trick was used by the investigation department of the Baltic Customs as a pretext to criminal proceedings’ initiation. Again a criminal case under Article 188.1 of the CC of the RF (smuggling) was opened against ‘a group of identified people’. And again the Transport Prosecutor Feofil Kekhiopulo overlooked a strange case. Kekhiopulo is again chasing John Doe.

Veles once more


Another case has been opened recently by the investigative department of St Petersburg’s Kirovsky District militia. A month ago the criminal proceedings against a group of unidentified people were initiated under Article 188.4 of the CC of the RF (smuggling committed by a group). This case implies the imprisonment for a period up to 12 years. The details of the proceedings are kept in secret, but the investigation has already questioned the director general of Veles (LLC). So far he gave a witness testimony.


Fred Blake, Rumafia.com

пятница, 18 марта 2011 г.

Yegiazaryan brags false charity projects


What Yegiazaryan's promoters try to make show of is his numerous philanthropic activities which stopped due to his departure from Russia. On the site one can find a list of public organisations, which enjoyed Yegiazaryan's financial support. In fact, many of them has never seen a penny from or heard of Yegiazaryan.

The list, for instance, mentions a children's house N70 for children with health problems. Director of the house says: «Ashot Yegiazaryan has never helped neither the children's house nor the children. There has never been any charity events on his behalf for our foster children».

Director of the perish school of All Saints Church in former Novo-Alekseevsky monastary Elena Vladimirova writes in a reply: «Yegiazaryan has never been a school's sponsor. He has never transferred money to bank account of the perish school or supported us in a different way».

There was indeed a purchase of “a bus to transport underprivileged children to the Derzhavnyy recreation camp for children in Kuzminskoye” but the bus was a present from Yegiazaryan’s wife Natalya Tsagolova. “Mrs Tsagolova participated in a charity programme for children in June 2010 and donated 1.6 million roubles for purchasing a minibus,” - says a representative of the St Philaret orthodox brotherhood who patronised the camp. Ex-deputy's wife is a well-off person who lets in the property. «We own a couple of flats and let them. Actually that is the way we make living,» - says Mr Yegiazaryan.

Some positions on the list are undoubtedly fake. For example, there are a K.P. Pobedonostsev school in Moscow and an icon-painting school for women. No school bearing Pobedonostsev's name operates in Moscow. As for the icon-painting school, it is true that there are nunneries in the Orthodox church, but there are no icon-painting schools for women exclusively. And cannot be in principle.

Another act of Yegiazaryan's kindness was directed toward Moscow State University, his alma mater. The press-service of the university and vice-rector for maintenance  Aleksandr Chernyakov say they have never heard of Yegiazaryan and can not prove getting any donations from him.

Such charitable programmes as "providing aid to and maintenance of a residential home for the elderly in Moscow, producing a 72-minute religious documentary shot in Russia and Israel,  organizing a benefit evening for orphaned children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, organizing aid for asylee children from the Crimea in 1998 and providing aid to and maintenance of a residential home for the elderly in Moscow" are not verifiable at all, and can not be proved neither authentic nor fake.

In Russia Yegiazaryan faces large-scale fraud charges. He is on international wanted list, because he fled from the prosecution to the USA.

Last week the State Duma approved his arrest. Apparently the next step would be to ask American side to extradite him. That is why Yegiazaryan makes all his best to show off his philanthropic activities and create an image of a good-doer, persecuted by the regime.

Novaya gazeta

State protection denied for prosecutors


Evidence was found that an owner of illegal gambling business Mr Ivan Nazarov had maintained contacts with Mr. Ignatenko and several other regional prosecutors and other top-brass officials in the region’s militia. Official representative of Russia’s Investigation Committee Mr Vladimir Malkin said the investigation seized documents that prove Mr Mokhov’s trips abroad were sponsored by the gambling business owners. Earlier Moscow region prosecutor’s office told journalist Mr. Mokhov paid for his trips himself.


In the middle of February Mr Ignatenko and Mr Mokhov requested state protection, claiming they fear the revenge from authorities of one of Moscow region districts. Their request was denied.


Illegal gambling case evoked a wide public response. According to the FSB, the illegal business brought a monthly profit of $5-10 million and was aided by the prosecutor’s office servants. Mr Mokhov and Mr Ignatenko, as well as several other officials, are now removed from their posts for the period of the internal investigation.


On February, 17, despite the objections from the prosecutor’s office, Moscow region’s Pushkin court issued arrest warrants to Mr Nazarov and his illegal business companions Mr Marat Mamyev and Ms Alla Guseva. 3 police officers were also suspended: deputy head of the economic crime department of Moscow region FSB Mr Nikolai Pyshkin, and two officers of the department Mr Dmitry Akulin and Mr Sergey Yermakov. They are accused of hushing up the illegal gambling.


Initially Mr. Nazarov was suspended in connection with illegal gambling. The investigator told court Mr Nazarov had been suspended at the Sheremetyevo airport while awaiting departure together with Mr Ignatenko. Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Mr Vladimir Malinowsky ordered to dismiss the proceedings. The investigators had to open another criminal case. Now Mr Nazarov was suspended on suspicion of fraud. Later the court issued an arrest warrant to him.


Subsequently Prosecutor General Mr Yuri Chaika claimed legal the demission of the first case against gambling boss. Meanwhile the investigators say they face the active counteraction from the “law enforcement agencies, namely by Moscow region prosecutor’s office”.

RIA Novosti

Polonsky’s copyright violation exposed


The request was filled by Muzyka Khoroshego Vkusa LLC on March, 15. Sergey Polonsky is incriminated with the breaking of copyright. ‘Today I have written a request, asking head of GUVD Vladimir Koltsov to institute criminal proceedings against Polonsky under Article 146.3 of the CC (copyright violation)’, said lawyer Mr Sergey Zhorin, who represents the complainant’s side. The above-mentioned article stipulates punishment from 2 to 6 years of imprisonment.

 The lawyer says that the commercial video which is available on the web site of Mirax Group holding of companies contains footage from Thomas Anders’ ‘Stay with me’ video clip, created by the Muzyka Khoroshego Vkusa. The company has the exclusive right on this object of intellectual property. The lawyer says he has repeatedly asked to remove the video from the site, but no action followed.

The request says that neither Polonsky, nor Mirax group has rights to use Anders’ video clip. ‘The violation is cynical, because the creative work is openly used and spread without consent of the possessor’s of the rights’. Besides, the complainant thinks that ‘a group of people acted in collusion, because S. Yu. Polonsky cannot have done this alone’.  

RBC daily

Russia will not swap Bout


‘Bout has never been on civil service. A swap is out of the question’, Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said. He stressed that Russia will continue to render necessary assistance to Mr Bout.  

Earlier some journalists had claimed that Mr Bout could be swapped for former Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) employee Colonel Andrey Khlychev. Ex-officer was sentenced to 18 years of prison after he was found guilty of treason. On March 4 Moscow City Court delivered the verdict to Khlychev who had revealed the identity of Russian agents working in the USA. The journalists were not allowed in the courtroom. Khlychev will be serving his sentence in a colony with a strict regime.

Mr Bout who says he was wrongly accused has to plead guilty to become eligible for swap.

The media had already discussed the possibility of Bout’s exchange for ex-head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

On March 6, 2008, Viktor Bout was arrested in a hotel in Bangkok in a US-led operation. In November 2010 a Thai court ruled that Bout be extradited in the USA. 

Bout goes on trial in a US Court accused of conspiring to kill the US citizens, murder of police officers and employees of American companies, as well as the trafficking of antiaircraft missiles.  

RBC, 10.03.2011

Kirilenko criminal case dismissed


Search for Mr Kirilenko has now stopped. The ex-head of Stroymontazh has a legal right to be rehabilitated. Moreover, the warrant to arrest 200 apartments and non-residential premises has been lifted, so that Stroymontazh clients can retrieve their property, the company’s press-service says.  

The criminal case against Mr Kirilenko and director general of Kosmoblan Company (LLC) Mr Vladimir Zakharov was instituted on September 24, 2009 under Article 196 of the Criminal Code of the RF (premeditated bankruptcy). Since last summer Kirilenko had been on the international wanted list.

In autumn 2009 Stroymontazh Corporation (LLC) went to court to begin its bankruptcy after the company failed to pay one billion roubles loan to Baltiysky bank. Mr Kirilenko was a guarantee, so Baltiysky bank began to chase his property all other the world. 

City militia of St Petersburg has not confirmed the information that the case against Kirilenko was dissolved. As a proof of its statement the company’s press-service showed copies of resolution about the discontinuation of the case. Baltiysky bank did not comment the situation. 

Meanwhile Mr Kirilenko is currently dwelling abroad and does not plan to come back, dp.ru says. He is afraid of further persecution, says the press-service of Stroymontazh.

‘I believe we did everything right. It is the bank that stirred up the situation. For half a year no one could get anything. The shareholder did not get apartments, the budget – taxes, the lenders – their money’ – said Kirilenko 

Experts say it has no sense for Kirilenko to come back. He will not be able to carry on with new projects. On one hand, he has overcome the difficulties. On the other hand, he still has to pay the lenders. Even the agreement with majority of banks does not guarantee their loyalty in case he comes back. Another thing is the fact that the story with Baltiysky bank has not come to an end, which weighs heavily against Kirillenko’s return.

State Duma agreed on Yegiazaryan arrest


The majority of 377 deputies voted for the approval of “implementing the court’s ruling which chooses the pre-trial detention as a preventive measure against Ashot Gevorkovich Yegiazaryan, the deputy of the state Duma of the Federal Assembly of the RF, suspected of committing criminal offences”. 38 deputies voted against with one abstainee.

The investigation into Mr Yegiazaryan’s affairs was initiated after his former business companion applied to the Prosecutor General’s offices alleging that Yegiazaryan fraudulently acquired 20% share in a development company which runs the Evropark shopping complex situated at the crossing point of the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (MKAD) with Rublevskoye highway.

On October 22, 2010, the state Duma allowed Russia’s Investigative Committee to institute criminal proceedings under Section 4, Article 159 of the RF Criminal Code (major fraud) against Mr Yegiazaryan. On December 16, 3 plots of land belonging to him were arrested.

Mr Yegiazaryan might have fled from the investigation to the USA. The state Duma approval of Moscow’s Basmanny Court order to imprison Yegiazaryan gives way to put him on Interpol’s list of the wanted persons.      

Ekho planety, 09.03.2011

SEC filed charges against Rajat Gupta


Securities and Exchange Commission of the USA (SEC) brought charges against a former managing director of McKinsey and a member of the Board of Directors of the Savings Bank - Rajat Gupta. According to the SEC, Gupta used to serve on the boards of directors of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble (P & G), and reported information on those companies to the founder of hedge fund Galleon Raj Rajaratnam, who was arrested in October 2009


A week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, on September, 21 and 23 2008, Gupta participated in two conference calls during which the board of directors Goldman discussed the prospects of the bank and the intention of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett to invest $ 5 billion in Goldman. A deal with Berkshire was announced on September 23 after the close of trading (on the NYSE - at 16.00). Gupta participated in the conference until 15.53. After hanging up, he dialed the phone of Rajaratnam. At 15.56 and 15.57, at the direction of Rajaratnam, Galleon Funds purchased 175,000 shares of Goldman, in addition to 120,000, that they had bought the day before. On September, 24 Galleon sold shares of the bank which had risen in price by 6,4%, thus it earned $ 900,000.

December 16, 2008 Goldman reported a quarterly loss –it was the only one since 1999, when it became public. The Goldman CEO, Lloyd Blankfein informed the directors about the negative financial result yet on October, 23 - at the time loss per share was $ 1.96. Gupta listened to the conference till 16.49, after 23 seconds he called Rajaratnam and talked to him for 13 minutes. The next morning after the opening trades Galleon began to sell shares of the bank. The same day, Gupta mentioned in conversation with another participant in the scheme, whose name was not disclosed in the lawsuit, that although the market expects Goldman to have $ 2,5 of revenue per share, in fact, it was going to receive approximately $ 2 of loss. Due to having time to sell shares of Goldman, Galleon avoided losses on $ 3 million

Information on the outcome of Goldman in the II quarter of 2008 turned out to be the most profitable; Galleon earned 13.6 $ million. Fiscal quarter of 2008 ended on May 30 at Goldman. A week before the official announcement of the results, Blankfein called Gupta and told him the results of the bank. That evening he rang round all the directors of Goldman - it was his usual practice. Later in the evening Gupta repeatedly called Rajaratnam.

The next morning, immediately after the opening of trading, Galleon began buying stock options in Goldman and shares themselves. Some of them were sold on June 16 after the bank reported earnings forecast, and the rest - on June 17, when Goldman reported for the quarter.

January 29, 2009, the day before the publication of quarterly reports P & G, Gupta participated in a teleconference of the audit committee of the company, to which he belonged. The day before he received an e-mail with the preliminary results for the quarter according to which the comparable sales of P & G for the year would grow by 2-5%, not 4-6% as it had been predicted earlier. The same day, Galleon sold 180,000 shares of the company to avoid loss of $ 570,000.

In general, the illegal income of hedge fund due to information provided by Gupta, amounted to about $ 18 million

Gupta did not do anything illegal, his lawyer Gary Naftalis said, because he received no income from these transactions.

On Tuesday, the same day when the SEC brought charges against him, Gupta "voluntarily resigned" the post of P & G Director, spokesman for the company claimed. According to him, Gupta resigned in interest of the company to avoid attracting too much attention to the board of directors of P & G and its business. Goldman does not comment on the claim by SEC. Gupta was a member of the board of directors of the bank from November 2006 to May 2010. During this period he also was a member of the audit and compensation committees of the bank, as well as the Corporate Governance Committee, according to the document by SEC. In 2010, he did not submit a nomination to the Board of Directors of Goldman, but in April it became known about his possible involvement in the insider scandal around Galleon.

If the fault of Gupta is proved, he will have to pay a fine of illegally obtained income and he will be unable to hold executive positions in public companies.

Gupta is staying in an international board of trustees of the Moscow School of Management called “Skolkovo”, a source from the school said. He found it difficult to clarify whether there is any special decision in connection with the presentation of charges against Gupta.

Vedomosti, 03.03.2011

Getting from the hospital to Spain


Moscow City Court has upheld the decision of the Russian Federation Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin on extradition of businessman Leonid Kaplan (Leon Lunn) to the authorities of Spain Spanish prosecutor's office calls the businessman "a financial manager of the Russian mafia" and accuses him of organizing financial scheme in this country to launder the proceeds of crime group by known kingpin Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Young). Lawyers are going to appeal the decision of the Moscow City Court, calling it illegal.


Moscow City Court considered the claim of the notorious businessman Leonid Kaplan and his lawyers against a decision of the Russian Federation Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin on the extradition of businessman at the request of Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu, issued in December last year, (Kommersant reported on details of the case on March 27, 2010). In Spain, Mr. Kaplan will be brought to justice on charges of belonging to “an unlawful community" and "money laundering". According to Spanish prosecutors statement outlined in the request for the extradition, businessman created a scheme in this country under which the proceeds of the Russian mafia had been laundered through their investments in a network of front companies and in the real estate on the Costa del Sol; he did so at the direction of the kingpin Zakhary  Kalashov. As already reported by Kommersant, several defendants in the scandalous investigation, including Zachary Kalashev, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms and multimillion-dollar fines in Spain.

Moscow City Court Judge Oleg Gaidar upheld the decision by Viktor Grin on the extradition of Leonid Kaplan. As the protection of a businessman assured, the trial was held in the absence of lawyers of the businessman, and with the assistance of appointed counsel. "It was an unfair trial”, businessman's lawyer Marina Jarosch told Kommersant. According to her, in the morning FSB operatives ignored the protests of doctors (the businessman is being treated with cardiac and cancer diagnosis at the hospital), and forcibly took him to the Moscow City Court where a judge promptly addressed the issue of legality of the decision the Prosecutor General to extradite him.

According to Ms. Jaros, City Court did not notify the lawyers of businessman on the forthcoming consideration of the complaint. A court hearing was held with the assistance of appointed counsel without the consent of Leonid Kaplan.

In addition, according to the lawyer, in the courtroom the businessman had blood pressure raised sharply. He told the judge that for health reasons he could not participate in the meeting, and asked her to call an ambulance. Marina Jarosch says that the judge ignored the request by Leonid Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan's defense is going to appeal against the Moscow City Court to the Supreme Court of Russia. Until it enters into force, businessman will be in the city clinical hospital № 23 due to preventive punishment made in the form of house arrest. According to counsel, doctors appointed her client surgery for cancer in a hospital, which is located outside Moscow, and they cannot transfer the patient there because it would violate the conditions of house arrest.

Kommersant-Online, 03.03.2011

Sergei Polonsky asks for farewell


One of the most controversial developers of Russia, Sergei Polonsky, made another surprise yesterday. The Board of Directors of his company decided to close the brand Mirax, without notifying the creditors of the corporation.  Sergei Polonsky promised to pay off all debts ($ 593 million) and complete the initiated projects (2.5 million square meters). Statement by the businessman may be a preparation for the transfer of Mirax Group to banks and well-planned show in anticipation of re-branding or possible bankruptcy, as many market participants predicted.


The main owner of development company Mirax Group Sergei Polonsky said at the yesterday's meeting with journalists that the board of directors of the corporation decided to close the brand Mirax. "This is an economical solution, which was weighed and consistent", added Polonsky. In this case, the developer promises to fulfill all their commitments: finish all the initiated building projects (about 2.5 million square meters) and pay the holders of securities of the corporation and creditors (about $ 200 million of bank loans, $ 392 million of securities). "From this moment please do not treat me as a businessman", added Mr. Polonsky, dropping a tear, and left the hall, refusing to answer additional questions. All employees of the corporation have been sent for a week vacation on company’s expense.  The press service of Mirax promised to provide more detailed explanations after March 14.

Statement by Mr. Polonsky was a complete surprise to his partners. Member of the Board of Alfa-Bank (agent on Mirax debt restructuring and a major creditor of the developer - about $ 90 million) Maxim Pershin told Kommersant that Sergei Polonsky did not agree with the Bank's decision unveiled at a press conference. "His statements resemble the beginning of the original advertising campaign," he added. Ex-partner of Mirax Group, Dmitry Lutsenko told Kommersant that thus “Sergei has once again decided to remind about himself to the masses:" All this is very reminiscent of the usual show business. «Managing Director of Uralsib Capital (a holder of securities of Mirax at $ 14 million) also called Sergei Polonsky a "marketing genius" and all of yesterday's events - a "show before the rebranding." Mr Ginsburg added that the creditors' committee (controls 80% of public debt) will appeal to the developer for clarification.

Some of the interlocutors of Kommersant speculated that the closure of the brand Mirax may be associated with the proposed change of ownership of the corporation. In particular, they said, part of the shares might be transmitted to Sberbank, which earlier this year approved the issuance of a loan of $ 370 million to Sergei Polonsky to complete construction of “Federation” Tower in Moscow-City (the total area of 494 thousand square meters), and currently they are negotiating a loan of approximately $ 100 million, which is planned to be spent on completion of the Residential Complex «Wellhouse the Dubrovka" (174 thousand square meters). CEO of Penny Lane Realty, George Dzagurov supposes that part of the company or its share in the project can go to creditors. Earlier, sources in the Mirax Group assured Kommersant that the terms of the loans do not involve the transfer of shares of the company to Sberbank, as the sale of constructed area will completely pay off the loans. One of the creditors assured Kommersant that the current shareholders of Mirax remained unchanged. "The decision to close the brand Mirax has no relation to the participation of Sberbank in the" Federation ", respectively, and plans for the lending company to complete construction of the tower has not changed", the press service of the State Bank said.

Kommersant № 38 (4579) on 04/03/2011

Rustam Tariko lost to Campari


Rustam Tariko can lose not only Nemiroff, but most of the import brands, distributed by his company, Rust Inc. Since January 1, 2012 Italian Campari Group (vermouth Cinzano) starts an independent distribution in Russia, and the British William Grant & Sons (Whisky Grant `s) chooses a new Russian partner.


CEO of "Region 50" (wholesaler of alcohol in the Moscow Region) Nikolay Laushkin confirmed to Kommersant that "the Rust Inc. notified their partners of terminations of the Campari products supply since January 1, 2012. "The following brands of Campari, Carolans and Irish Mist will get out of the portfolio of "Rust " this summer, and Cinzano and Cinzano Asti  will remain until the end of the year", - said Mr. Laushkin.

In late 2010, country manager of the Italian company Anton Degtyarev explained to Kommersant that Campari opened a representative office in Russia. In late January, the Federal Antimonopoly Service granted the application by DI.CI.E. Holding B.V. (Structure of Campari) about buying Ltd Vasco (CIS), which is a subsidiary of international distributor of alcohol Vasco International. Through its sales system  Campari will continue to sell their products.

In addition to Campari, this year William Grant & Sons (WGS) might eliminate contract with Rust Inc., according to several market participants. Currently the company of Mr. Tariko sells their whiskey Grant `s, Clan MacGregor, Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Tullamore Dew, Gin Hendrick` s in Russia. "The WGS contract with Rust will expire on July 1 this year, and by this time they want to find a new distributor in Russia, " one of the interlocutors of Kommersant said.

The CEO of distributor of elite alcohol Simple, Maxim Kashirin told about the fact that WGS is looking for a new partner in Russia. The top manager of another alcohol company said that the British were negotiating with a group “Russky Alcohol”, owned by Polish CEDC. CEDC’s president and CEO William Carey "Russky Alcohol" Carlo Radicati declined comment. But two sources close to the CEDC confirmed that the agreement will be signed soon. "WGS is not satisfied with the sales by the Rust: They believe that thanks to their pricing and credit policies at least twice as much product can be sold," one of the interlocutors of Kommersant said.

The representative of the WGS, David Hume, said that the managing director in the Europe-Middle East-Africa, which also includes Russia, is holding the "review of the situation in the commercial field." "At the moment we cannot add anything to this information yet," Mr. Hume said.

The "Russian Standard" yesterday did not respond to a request by Kommersant.

If Rust Inc. loses brands owned by Campari and WGS, it will have the only major foreign partner left - the French Remy Cointreau (Remy Martin cognac, and Louis XIII, brandy St. Remy and Metaxa, liqueur Cointreau, Champagne Piper-Heidsieck).

According to the Logistics company ILS, in 2010, Rust Inc. imported 647.7 million of alcohol production, which amounts to 1.6% of all alcohol imported into Russia. At its factory in St. Petersburg last year, "Russian Standard" produced 2.2 million of their own products (according to Rosstat) - Vodka “Russian Standard ", “Imperia”,"Aurora". According to market participants, the company exports over 60% of the volume .

Kommersant № 33 (4574) on 25/02/2011

Former MP has got another murder


Ex- deputy of State Duma, Mikhail Glushchenko, who is accused of organizing the triple murder of Russian citizens in Cyprus, as well as extortion of $ 10 million, according to Kommersant, at the next interrogation, "admitted involvement in another high-profile crime - the murder of the head of the Baltic Financial and Industrial Group Pavel Kapysh; it was committed in summer 1999. He said that he had organized the crime by alleged order of a reputable businessman Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin).


According to unofficial data, during the next interrogation Mikhail Glushchenko told investigators of the Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) about the circumstances of murder of General Director of the Baltic Financial and Industrial Group (BFIG) Pavel Kapysh  and asked to sign a pretrial agreement in this case.

as already reported by Kommersant, the crime was carried out in the morning of July 26, 1999. Ambush at Pavel Kapysh , an oil king of the North-West, was arranged in the center of St. Petersburg. As soon as an armored jeep of Mr. Kapysh stopped at a red signal, a few killers, dressed in bulletproof vests and masks, shot a car with a grenade launcher and machine guns. The businessman died from wounds in hospital.

Mr Glushchenko allegedly told investigators that the order to kill him was made by Vladimir Barsukov, who is accused of creating the Tambov organized criminal group, as well as of more than a dozen raider grabs, the attempted murder of the actual owner of the St. Petersburg oil terminal, Sergei Vasiliev, and extortion. Barsukov has been convicted for 14 years in prison for raiding and the legalization of criminal proceeds.

The motive of the murder of Mr Kapysh is considered to be the desire of Vladimir Barsukov, who was one of the leaders of the Petersburg Fuel Company, to purchase the retail network "Balt-Trade" from the CEO of BFIG and thereby to eliminate competition between two companies. However, the head of BFIG refused the offer.

according to unofficial sources, Yuri Kolchin was brought for this case; municipal court of St. Petersburg recognized him a technical organizer of the murder of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. Ostensibly it was he who committed murder of Mr. Kapysh together with two accomplices.

Lawyer of Mikhail Glushchenko - Yuri Khabarov - refused to comment: The ICR also declined to confirm or deny this information. And the lawyer Sergei Afanasiev, protecting Vladimir Barsukov, failed to clarify the situation. "I can only say that my client has not been filed any new charges, by the moment investigation did not question about the murder of Pavel Kapysh", he said. 

Kommersant № 32 (4573) on 24/02/2011

Sold to Russia


According to the Ministry of Regional Development, building on the Presnya Street 3 with area of 17 612.8 square meters was bought for 3.5 billion rubles in 2009 from LLC "Innovative Technology"Renova” ("Vedomosti” possesses documentation). There were two state contracts concluded: from December 10, 2008 and June 10, 2009.


This building was constructed in 1982; it housed a trade mission in Hungary. The Government decided to sell some overseas properties, as attaché of the Embassy of Hungary, Laszlo Owari explained to the press. CJSC "Management Council of Hungarian National Assets" sold the building in March 2008 for $ 21.3 million; it was bought by Diamond Air. According to the Luxembourg Chamber of Registration, Diamond Air was formed on May 30, 2005 and liquidated on Oct. 27, 2009

According to AP, on February 9, Hungarian authorities detained a former Hungarian Ambassador to Moscow, Arpad Szoke, former Secretary of Foreign Ministry of Hungary, Feksi Khorvat and the former Secretary of State Property Management, Miklosh Tartay on suspicion of fraud with real estate in Moscow.

"Innovative technologies Renova was registered in October 2005 and liquidated in May 2010, according to the register; it operated under an agency agreement from the company Diamond Air, as it is stated in the documentation. According to SPARK, address of "Innovative Technologies "Renova " coincides with the address of JCS “Renova Group of Companies”: Balaklavsky Avenue, 28B.

Viktor Vekselberg, who now heads the Development Fund for Innovation Centre “Skolkovo”, acted as mediator between Hungary and the Russian government, according to the four persons close to the deal. Sekey from the Hungarian Nepszabadsag said the same.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov signed the order of the government to purchase the building in Hungary on November 19, 2007, after the meeting, that was attended by five other officials - Dmitry Kozak (Deputy Prime Minister, then - Minister of Regional Development), acting Head of Federal Property Management Agency Yuri Medvedev, three senior officials of the device and Vekselberg, according to the minutes of the meeting (a copy is in "Vedomosti"). Kozak asked for additional space for the ministry, and Zhukov instructed Rosimushchestvo to take the necessary steps to acquire ownership of the building on the Krasnaya Presnya. Renova is called the buyer of the building without the involvement of the federal budget in the minutes.

Here, the government issued a decree on the acquisition of the building by Ministry of Regional Development; in October 2008, 3 billion rubles were amended to the budget law to allocate Ministry of Regional Development on Krasnaya Presnya. The money was supposed to come from the funds earmarked for the construction of social facilities and industrial complexes. Another 560 million rubles were found in the federal investment program for 2008. Purchase of the building was at the expense of the budget and in consultation with the Federal Property Agency, representative of Ministry of Regional Development told "Vedomosti". " Rosimuschestvo did not take part in preparing and signing the contract", representative of Rosimushchestvo, Arina Lazareva said.

It turns out that in March 2008, the Hungarian party sold the building to Diamond Air for $ 21.3 million (about 511 million rubles according to the exchange rate at the beginning of the month), and in 2009 the Ministry of Regional Development acquired it from the "Innovative Technology" Renova " 7 times more expensive - for 3.5 billion rubles.

The representative of the group "Renova" Andrey Shtorkh declined to comment.

A person close to the deal said that Vekselberg mediated at the request of officials of the Russian government: He signed a contract with the Hungarian party in December 2005 and in 2006 the requested amount was completely transferred to it – that sum was a little bigger than figures stated in the Hungarian press. Employees of the Hungarian Trade Mission emptied the premises in April 2009, he continues, it took three years to "Renova" to settle administrative and land use issues - Vekselberg designed the ownership of land under the trade mission, because the Hungarians had not settled ownership rights for the land.

Leadership of Ministry of Regional Development (Kozak, and then Victor Basargin) were confident that the Ministry staff was going to move to Krasnaya Presnya as soon as the Hungarians move away, an official of the Russian government said, but it turned out that the building was disrepaired and required a lot to spend on repairs. In September 2010, Kozak instructed ("Vedomosti" possesses this data) Basargin to terminate the contract concluded with apparent violations of the law. In October, the head of Rosimushchestvo, Yuri Petrov wrote Kozak (document is in "Vedomosti") that there is no evidence and documents proving non-compliance of contract or law by the parties that could serve as a basis for termination of the contract. Especially if the contract had been terminated, the Ministry of Regional Development has nowhere to move, Petrov says. Representatives of Kozak and Regional Development Ministry declined to comment.

It does not matter whether Vekselberg received money from transactions with a trade mission of Hungary, the participation in them might cause serious problems to him, as the founder of project Rospil.info, Alex Navalny said: Vekselberg is a tax resident of Switzerland, he has assets in the U.S., and therefore he can be prosecuted on corruption according to foreign laws. Navalny promises to send requests to the U.S. about possible violations by the entrepreneur and his company, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and if suspicions are confirmed, it is still unclear how Vekselberg can attract investors in Skolkovo.

Vedomosti, 21.02.2011, Photo: AFP

Elena Baturina found billions that had not been lost


Investigation of a criminal investigation into the issue of the Bank of Moscow an unsecured loan amounting to 12.76 billion rubles to ZAO "Premier Estate, which eventually ended up in the personal accounts of the wife of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Elena Baturina, yesterday launched a decisive stage. Searches using Special Forces soldiers happened in Inteko, Bank of Moscow apartments of its leaders, as well as in other commercial structures. Investigators came to the very lady Baturina, but she was not at home. In fact there are not defendants, but, as the searchers hinted, those could appear after studying the seized documents.


According to the IC at the Interior Ministry, searches and seizure of documents were made not only in Inteko, but in the Bank of Moscow, JSCB "Russky Zemelny Bank", CJSC "Kuznetsky most Development" and ZAO "Premier Estate”. In addition, the investigators visited the homes "of a number of top-managers” of Bank of Moscow. According to Kommersant’s source in the IC at the Interior Ministry, some investigators went to a country house, owned by Elena Baturina and Yuri Luzhkov, for a search, but failed to do so - the owners simply were not at home.

And while lawyers Ruslan Kozhura and Alexander Asnis, representing the interests of both Inteko, and Mrs. Baturina, told Kommersant that they have no claims to the work of investigators yet, Elena Baturin called the happening "an order." "I know for sure that these searches have nothing to do with us or with the Bank of Moscow. It is simply an order and the pressure on us," the owner of Inteko said to Interfax. According to Kommersant, Mrs Baturina is now in Austria.

Then a law enforcement source told the same "Interfax" that soon the question of presenting charges of fraud to Mrs. Baturina may be resolved. "Most likely, the charge will be charged in absentia, as Mrs. Baturina does not show up on the services on summons by investigation," the source said of Interfax. In turn, the lawyer Kozhura told Kommersant that Ms. Baturina had not received any summons from the investigation and no one summoned her.

As reported by Kommersant, the official representative of the IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Irina Dudukina, investigations were carried out as part of a criminal investigation under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code ("Fraud in especially large size). It was instituted by Bureau of Investigation Directory of the Internal Affairs of Moscow in December last year ("Kommersant" spoke about it on Dec. 22, 2010), and then in connection with “the resonance and complexity” it  was transferred to the IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for further investigation in early February this year.

As they explained in the IC at the Interior Ministry, a criminal case is investigated against «unknown persons" (it does not have any suspects or defendants), but they may appear - after studying the papers seized during the searches, and the results of interviews scheduled in the near future.

The deal, in which the investigation takes great interest, was concluded on June 25 last year. Then the OOO "Trade House "Ramenskaya" - subsidiary of Inteko - sold to ZAO “Premier Estate” 58 hectares of land to the west of Moscow (between Michurinsky Avenue, Lobachevsky and the Kiev railway) for 12.7 billion rubles. The company "Premier Estate” was established shortly before the deal, by Vice-President of JSC "Kuznetsky Most Development", Svetlana Timinina with registered capital of 10 thousand rubles, the money was acquired as a loan from Bank of Moscow. Three weeks prior to loan issue the Moscow City Duma approved the decision of the city government's contribution of 14.99 billion rubles to the capital of the Bank of Moscow.   Being the main shareholder of the bank, City Hall transferred the money as payment for additional shares. The Bank of Moscow repeatedly stated that Premier Estate "has received a credit on market terms, and even laid the land purchased from Inteko, moreover, they assured in the bank, that the borrower properly serviced the loan and prepaid part of it. Earlier, British media reported that Premier Estate "bought land in the interests of fund Argo Capital Partners Fund Ltd, registered in 2006 in the Cayman Islands. That information was confirmed by two former employees of Inteko to Kommersant. By selling the land to the west of Moscow, as well as selling her part of shares of Sberbank, Rosneft and Gazprom, Mrs. Baturina rescued 27 billion rubles; 18 billion of it went to pay off the debt to Gazprombank, another 9 billion rubles – to pay off other creditors, including the Bank of Moscow. Sale of assets enabled the owner of Inteko to reduce her debts by 90%, yet the spring of 2009 they were estimated at 30 billion rubles.

Kommersant № 29 (4570) on 18/02/2011

Documents of Berezovsky


Russian Federal Security Service found illegal gambling halls in 15 towns of the Moscow region, according to investigators, they worked under the patronage of prosecutor and police in the region. The office of the alleged organizer of the network, entrepreneur Ivan Nazarov, was located in the former house of receptions by wanted oligarch Boris Berezovsky at the Novokuznetskaya street in Moscow. During the raid on Saturday night they seized copies of important documents related to the case of Berezovsky.


This historic mansion now occupied by gallery "Triumph", its co-owner is a friend of Nazarov. The reason for search has become a criminal case against this businessman, who, as it turned out, also had the ID of Internal Affairs officer of Moscow region, as Interfax reported.

In the office at the Novokuznetskaya street they found notarized copies of documents on overseas property of Berezovsky and his daughter, personal documents of oligarch and his close relatives, documents for offshore companies by Berezovsky, a large number of seals of various companies, expensive paintings by Rembrandt and Picasso valued at over $ 5 million.

Lawyer Alxander Dobrovinsky told the publication, that he does not understand the motives behind the investigation. "Since when did friendship with figurant in a criminal case has become the reason for a search?" All these actions can be regarded only as an attempt to intimidate," he said. The expert alleged that after counting the damage caused during the search in the gallery a lawsuit will be served to law enforcement agencies.

Lawyer Dobrovinsky said in an interview with RBC that the owner of "Triumph" Ivan Nazarov had been detained in Moscow for 72 hours. According to the lawyer, Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky refused to bring criminal case under Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud) against his client.

Earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, the co-owner of the gallery -Yemelyan Zakharov - the press refers to him as the owner and the co-owner of "Triumph" - said that his friend Nazarov had been arrested the night before. However, Zakharov called Nazarov not a co-owner, but a collector, "who had been visiting the gallery frequently."

Law enforcement officers conducted 35 raids on the residences of the defendants in the criminal case. They seized about 1200 slot machines, accounting records, more than 60 stamps of various fly-by-night firms. Income of illegal gaming network ranged from 5 to 10 million dollars a month, considering the fact that it was carried out within three years.

According to the report of the FSB, which the agency refers to, during the searches, they seized photos and video to prove the existence of a sustainable relationship between managers and staff of the Moscow region prosecutor's office and representatives of the "shadow" gambling. "

During the searches, they also seized accounting and financial documents confirming the expenditure of large sums of money to pay for a foreign holiday of the heads of  prosecutor's office and the police department of the Moscow region, including proof of payment for the services  protecting illegal gambling», according to the report.

They also seized "documents of title to a large number of land located in the elite districts of the Moscow region - Krasnogorsky, Solnechnogorsky, Odintsovsky; lists of game rooms, controlled by persons involved in the case, a large number of questionnaires and copies of passports of the candidates to work in the underground gambling houses, documents for real estate abroad - in Spain and Hungary. "

Boris Berezovsky himself has already commented on the news. He told the Russian News Service, "that he has never had any relation to gambling and that he had never heard of Ivan Nazarov. At the same time he considers reports about searches in his former house of receptions in Moscow a provocation and an attempt to distract public attention from the scandal surrounding the sentence of ex-Yukos head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 

newsru.com on February 14, 2011

Investigation confined itself with an episode


Investigation Committee of the Russian Interior Ministry has completed a criminal investigation against the leaders of Russia's largest owner of warehouse property - JSC "Eurasia Logistics". CEO Alexander Volkov and his three subordinates are accused of defrauding the BTA Bank land in the suburbs. They do not admit guilt. A few more episodes for the same defendants have been identified in a separate proceeding, investigation into this matter continues.


The head of the investigation team investigating cases of particular importance when the UK Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Oleg Urzhumtsev has announced  completion of investigation of the accused and their lawyers in Pre-Trial Detention Facility. As lawyer Andrey Gromakov, representing the interests of chief financial officer of "Eurasia Logistics" Artem Bondarenko told Kommersant , this event was expected, since a few days before that persons had been charged with finalized prosecution.

As it turned out, the final charge was reduced compared with the previous one. It appears to contain only one of eight original episodes - it is associated with the theft of land with total area of approximately 2,5 hectares, located in the Domodedovo district near Moscow from BTA Bank with the help of forged documents. CEO and co-owner of the company, Alexander Volkov, and the head of legal department Denis Vorotyntsev, director of economics Alexei Belov and finance director Artem Bondarenko are accused of fraud in large-scale and forgery. According to the lawyer, it followes from a conversation with the investigator, the remaining seven episodes had been highlighted in the new case; its investigation will also deal with investigation team headed by Mr. Urzhumtsev.

As Kommersant told repeatedly, according to investigators in late January 2009 the main shareholder of Kazakh bank BTA,Mukhtar Ablyazov learned about the decision of state bodies of Kazakhstan to nationalize the bank, which was in crisis. After that, according to investigators, the banker ordered to withdraw most liquid assets from the bank he pledged. Four of those arrested heads of OOO "Eurasia Logistics", according to the case, as well as general director of OOO "IPG Eurasia” Igor Kononkov and chairman of the board of directors of this company Arthur Trofimov (the latter two, as Mr. Ablyazov, are wanted by police) were the executors of this order, since, according to the investigation, their companies also belonged to Mr. Ablyazov.

Gentlemen Volkov and Vorotyntsev, according to investigators, forged the signature of a representative of the Kazakh BTA-Bank and made false contracts to terminate the contracts of pledge entered into by the bank with a dozen borrowers, including JSC "Russian Real Estate, LLC Investholdingstroy, LLC Story-elites, LLC "The project operator “Bylovo”", etc. After this, Artem Bondarenko and Alexei Belov, who had posts in "Eurasia Logistics" and also held the posts of general directors of JSC "Russkaya nedvizhimost" and "Stroy-elite", have signed these fakes on behalf of companies- creditors, and then registered them. As a result, land in the Domodedovo district, estimated at $ 848.2 million in the bank as collateral, was stolen from BTA Bank, according to investigators.

Kommersant № 28 (4569) on 17.02.2011

Investigation confined itself with an episode


Investigation Committee of the Russian Interior Ministry has completed a criminal investigation against the leaders of Russia's largest owner of warehouse property - JSC "Eurasia Logistics". CEO Alexander Volkov and his three subordinates are accused of defrauding the BTA Bank land in the suburbs. They do not admit guilt. A few more episodes for the same defendants have been identified in a separate proceeding, investigation into this matter continues.


The head of the investigation team investigating cases of particular importance when the UK Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Oleg Urzhumtsev has announced  completion of investigation of the accused and their lawyers in Pre-Trial Detention Facility. As lawyer Andrey Gromakov, representing the interests of chief financial officer of "Eurasia Logistics" Artem Bondarenko told Kommersant , this event was expected, since a few days before that persons had been charged with finalized prosecution.

As it turned out, the final charge was reduced compared with the previous one. It appears to contain only one of eight original episodes - it is associated with the theft of land with total area of approximately 2,5 hectares, located in the Domodedovo district near Moscow from BTA Bank with the help of forged documents. CEO and co-owner of the company, Alexander Volkov, and the head of legal department Denis Vorotyntsev, director of economics Alexei Belov and finance director Artem Bondarenko are accused of fraud in large-scale and forgery. According to the lawyer, it followes from a conversation with the investigator, the remaining seven episodes had been highlighted in the new case; its investigation will also deal with investigation team headed by Mr. Urzhumtsev.

As Kommersant told repeatedly, according to investigators in late January 2009 the main shareholder of Kazakh bank BTA,Mukhtar Ablyazov learned about the decision of state bodies of Kazakhstan to nationalize the bank, which was in crisis. After that, according to investigators, the banker ordered to withdraw most liquid assets from the bank he pledged. Four of those arrested heads of OOO "Eurasia Logistics", according to the case, as well as general director of OOO "IPG Eurasia” Igor Kononkov and chairman of the board of directors of this company Arthur Trofimov (the latter two, as Mr. Ablyazov, are wanted by police) were the executors of this order, since, according to the investigation, their companies also belonged to Mr. Ablyazov.

Gentlemen Volkov and Vorotyntsev, according to investigators, forged the signature of a representative of the Kazakh BTA-Bank and made false contracts to terminate the contracts of pledge entered into by the bank with a dozen borrowers, including JSC "Russian Real Estate, LLC Investholdingstroy, LLC Story-elites, LLC "The project operator “Bylovo”", etc. After this, Artem Bondarenko and Alexei Belov, who had posts in "Eurasia Logistics" and also held the posts of general directors of JSC "Russkaya nedvizhimost" and "Stroy-elite", have signed these fakes on behalf of companies- creditors, and then registered them. As a result, land in the Domodedovo district, estimated at $ 848.2 million in the bank as collateral, was stolen from BTA Bank, according to investigators.

Kommersant № 28 (4569) on 17.02.2011

President Medvedev has stood up for Attorney General and the Prosecutor\'s mafia


MOSCOW, February 21 - RIA News. Pressure on the investigation on the case of "protection racket” of gambling business in Moscow is unacceptable, those responsible must be brought to justice regardless of their positions, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at a nationwide coordination meeting of law enforcement.


“A few words with regard to started investigation concerning illegal organization of gambling business in Moscow region. I would like to say one thing: the laws – I think everybody in the hall understand that – must be the same for everyone. And those who transgress them, should be responsible regardless of position, no matter where they work – in the prosecutor's office, the Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service or other state institutions,” – he said.


Also Medvedev stressed that in no case can the conclusions be drawn about the guiltyness or innocence of the people before the announcement of verdict, “moreover to press on the investigation, involving the media”.


“This is unacceptable. That who will be noticed – will be fired regardless of ranks and titles,” – said the president.

Federal Security Service and Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation announced of the disclosure of the network of illegal gambling establishments in the Moscow region, which, according to the investigation information, worked for more than three years in 15 cities in the region. Illegal business brought from $5 to $10 million a month and was under protection racket of senior representatives of Moscow region prosecutor's office and police department, investigators said. Alleged organizer of the gaming network is an entrepreneur Ivan Nazarov, who was arrested on February 11 at Sheremetyevo airport, where he had returned from a holiday with the first deputy prosecutor of the Moscow region, Alexander Ignatenko.


According to investigation information, Nazarov had close contacts not only with the first deputy prosecutor of the region, but also with other senior security officials. And Nazarov’s grouping paid for foreign trips of the employees of the regional prosecutor's office and police department.

The General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation accused the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation in defamation and denigration of the prosecutor's office, a mockery of the constitution. General Prosecutor’s Office also stated that the head of the ministry, Yuri Chaika, has supported his deputy Vladimir Malinovsky who quashed the legal resolution of the first criminal case against Nazarov.

[url]http://rian.ru[/url] 21.02.2011

Vladimir Lisin, robbed and put a hit out on Nikolai Maximov


Yesterday, another steel tycoon, a founder of the Max Group, Nikolai Maksimov was arrested in the interests of oligarch Vladimir Lisin. According to the order, the Central Investigation Department police department of the Sverdlovsk region alleges Maximov, as well as three other former senior executives of abuse in the sale of controlling stake in Maxi-Group to Novolipetsk Steel Combine (NLMK) by Lisin in 2007-2008. Defense of Nikolai Maximov believes that the prosecution was initiated to make the businessmen "compliant" in the upcoming proceedings between NLMK and businessman in International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce of the in the suit for damages caused by NLMK purchasing of shares in "Maxi-Group .


Nikolai Maximov was arrested after the press conference he held yesterday in the capital hotel "Marriott". Then Mr. Maximov once again laid out his version of his relationship with NLMK and law enforcement agencies. As told by witnesses, investigator of the Chief Investigation Office (GSU) under the police department of the Sverdlovsk region, Alexei Shisterov and several investigators came to the Marriott ahead of time and were going to arrest the businessman even before the event. However, Mr. Maximov managed to persuade police to allow him to speak.

After the press conference, Nikolay Maksimov approached the table where he had been expected by the investigator. According to the protocol drawn, Mr. Maximov was suspected of abuse of authority, and the reason for his detention was that he had been hiding and did not show up on the challenges of the investigator.

"In fact, Nikolai Maximov is not hiding, everybody knew he was going to hold a press conference, including the investigator with whom my client talked three days prior to that on the phone," the lawyer of businessman, Leonid Matveyev said. In this case, the defender believes that the prosecution of his client has been organized to make him more "compliant" in the upcoming arbitration proceedings on the suit for damages caused by purchasing shares in "Maxi-Group” by NLMK. Yesterday, Nikolai Maximov was transferred to Yekaterinburg, where he should be charged and a preventive measure will be set.

Let us recall that in October 2009, GSU under the police department of the Sverdlovsk region opened a criminal case under part 2, Art. 201 of the Criminal Code ("abuse of power"). The ground was made by the statement of NLMK. The claims od thw Combinat were caused by the action of the group of representatives of the former leadership of Maxi-Group headed by Nikolai Maximov, which also included Alexander Malyshev, Sergei Mironov and Alexander Loginovskikh (the latter three were claimed recently, they are under travel restrictions). According to the statement of GUS, in January-February 2008, immediately after the transaction of sale of 51% shares of Maxi-Group, which NLMK purchased from Mr. Maximov, Nikolai Maximov caused property damage to customers. NLMK reported in its statement, that, having received money for the company, Mr. Maximov gave them as a loan to "Maxi-Group, and later demanded the loan back by withdrawing those funds under to the companies under his control. NLMK said that those actions damaged the company amounting to more than 8.6 billion rubles.

It is worth noting that before the end of February the International Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) at the Chamber of Commerce may take its decision on the suit by Nikolai Maximov to NLMK. The businessman asked to charge NLMK the acquired shares in the amount of 14.7 billion rubles of the main loan, plus interest for wrongful use of another's money (the plaintiff means the money that, in his opinion, had not been paid by the buyer for the purchase of Max Group "). However, NLMK has also filed a counter claim to the ICAC, which provided its calculation of the value of the acquired shares of Maxi-Group. Based on these calculations, Novolipetsk Steel demanded to recover from Nikolai Maximov more than 2 billion rubles overpaid for the shares.

"Ruspres" on 10/02/2011

Norilsk has been blocked on the island


Rusal won first major victory for the year of the conflict of shareholders of GMK Norilsk Nickel, in which it owns 25%. The company managed to block the buy back of "Norilsk Nickel” and the sale of its shares in Trafigura, as well as to ban all the voting shares, controlled by GMK itself. As a result, in March the alignment of forces at the extraordinary meeting of shareholders of Norilsk Nickel may change for the benefit of "Rusal" - and he has a chance to restore and even strengthen its position on the board of directors of GMK.


Rusal said that the court of Nevis island decided to impose interim measures in respect of Corbiere and Raleigh - subsidiaries of GMK Norilsk Nickel, registered on the island. According to Rusal, those measures include a ban on the ballot of shares in Norilsk Nickel owned by Corbiere and Raleigh, as well as any disposition and transfer of these shares. In addition, the court blocked the transaction on sale of 8.54% shares of GMK to trader Trafigura by subsidiaries of Norilsk Nickel.

In Norilsk Nickel clarified that they also prohibited the completion of repurchase of about 7.3% shares of the company (buy back), who carried out by the same Corbiere. According to Kommersant’s sources familiar with the situation, the company managed to buy about 60% of the buy back, including those presented for ADR redemption. Rusal explained that they appealed to the court "to prevent damage arising as a result of repurchase of shares of GMK, and transactions with Trafigura. Security measures remain in force until March 2, until the next hearing.

Norilsk Nickel called the Rusal's actions "a deliberate policy to discredit the company, undermining its shareholder value and breakdown of management, using widely known methods of corporate blackmail the 90’s in Russia." GMK management believes that there are no grounds for interim measures available. According to the company, Arbitration of Krasnoyarsk region had previously denied introduction of LLC “Rusal Upravlenie Investiciyami” (‘Investment Management’). Interros (which owns 25% stake in GMK) believe that "Rusal" abused its rights of a shareholder. "

Interim measures can significantly affect the balance of power in the extraordinary meeting of shareholders of Norilsk Nickel, scheduled for March, 11 to re-elect the board of directors of the company. This is another stage of the shareholders’ conflict in GMK. It began a year ago, when Oleg Deripaska announced his candidacy for the Board of Directors of Norilsk Nickel, which Interros regarded as a breach of a settlement agreement between the shareholders. Then Rusal insisted on paying dividends of "Norilsk Nickel" in the amount of 115% of the profits. Management of GMK spoke strongly against, and Interros has supported the company's management. The conflict came in the open phase on 28 June, when by the annual meeting of shareholders of MMC Rusal lost one seat on the board of directors of the company (an extraordinary meeting on October 21 did not change the situation). Meeting in March was another attempt by Rusal to get restored in the board of directors of Norilsk Nickel.


Kommersant № 21 (4562) on 02/08/2011