The investigatory committee at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation began investigation of plunder of more than 10 billion rubles at "Investbank". On versions of police, these means were spent for purchase of world motorcar giant SAAB by the bank owners Vladimir and Alexander Antonov. "Investbank" is on the verge of bankruptcy and can already fail in the near future. These events were preceded by the really detective story which could be the base of any action-thriller. There are the custom-made murders, the corrupted police officers, showdowns with participation of top-level bankers and authorities of the Chechen Republic and plunder of $1 billion at the largest state corporation.
The first bank, the first blood
In 1999 49 % of the shares of «Academchimbank» which was on the verge of bankruptcy were bought by the chairman of the board of directors of "Informprogress" bank Alexander Antonov and his son, the ex-employee of Sberbank Vladimir Antonov. Victor Yampolsky who held a post of the deputy to the chairman of the board of directors in «Academchimbank» became their "right hand" and the nearest associate. According to investigation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Yampolsky used to be the regular employee of KGB of the USSR. The source in bank environment, in turn, assures that Yampolsky at Soviet period worked in the nuclear industry, and in KGB he was registered only to have admission for that work. Yampolsky involved Jury Molchanov as power support of «Academchimbank» who obtained a post of Security Manager. He graduated from KGB Higher school, served in the Western group of armies, then was sent to the state security bodies in Stavropol area where he finished his career. According to investigation, Molchanov had good relations with the former employees of special police service at war during the first campaign in the Chechen Republic, in particular he was friends with the ex-fighter of "Vityaz" Sergey Smirnov. Special forces members, including Smirnov, lived by various crimes including also single orders. Molchanov, according to investigators, was familiar also with a number of criminal "authorities" among which there was Jury Fedorov - one of the leaders of Lipetsk criminal group supervising the major part of "Luzhniki" market and executing illegal money transfers from Russia to Ukraine.
Under the version of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, after the Antonovs came "Academchimbank” began to be engaged mainly in money green-washing and encashment operations. Clients were selected by the Antonovs, Yampolsky, someone was brought by Molchanov. In the beginning of 2002 IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation initiated a criminal case in which “Academchimbank” appeared, and Alexander Antonov was a witness. IC then carried out an investigation about money green-washing through bank "Innovator" and OOO “Fluran”. The washing process was simple. Directly at the bank "Innovator" one office was occupied by Valery Sklyar - the leader of the right-wing party "Revvoyensovet" who was in the middle of trials on charge of blowing up of the monuments in Moscow and Moscow area. He stamped bills of "Fluran" or the bank "Innovator". And contracts were then made in a way that these securities were kind of bought by the foreign companies, and under this purpose money were transferred through some banks out of Russia. Investigators of IC established that at least several million dollars were sent to the West by this way. A number of banks, including «Academchimbank» participated in doubtful transactions. Inspectors found out that deputy to the chairman of the board of directors Sergey Ponomarev was in charge of bills of "Innovator" and "Fluran" in "Academchimbank".
When it was decided to invite him for interrogation, it was found out that he was killed in 2000. The source in bank environment familiar with Ponomarev describes him as "imperceptible man who did not leave a shabby portfolio". In bank he basically communicated with Molchanov and Yampolsky. However, by summer of 2000 "man" managed to buy a large share holding of «Academchimbank». Ponomarev celebrated this event which coincided with his birthday on June, 29th, 2000 at the office of "Academkhimbank", and late at night went home on Novokosinskaya street. When he entered the lift, the killer shot Ponomarev and sent the lift to the top floor. The Banker had $40 thousand which remained untouched. The folder with the documents confirming purchase of bank shares disappeared only. And in a month, on August, 1st, 2000, "authority" Jury Fedorov was killed also. He was shot at the house at Frunzenskaya quay. Thus the fighter of special division "Alpha" and his wife got hurt. Both these crimes were not solved, however under the version of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation they are connected with each other. Simply someone did not want that shares of «Academchimbank» would come into strange hands.
Bank "bombers" from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation
As to investigation in which «Academchimbank» appeared IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation seized documents and executed searches in banks mentioned in the case in which inspector Dzhangr Indzhiev participated. During one of such actions he got acquainted with Jury Molchanov. Being the person with the mentality inclined to swindles, Indzhiev quickly made friends with Security Manager of «Academchimbank». As a result they together started to "bomb" the banks. The sense of their actions was simple - Indzhiev withdrew various documents necessary to banks and securities. And Molchanov then came to heads of the banks, told about the relations in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and suggested to return documents and papers for a certain payment. So, in March, 2003 Molchanov offered the president "Promsvyazbank" Alexander Levskoy to help in return of bills of the bank withdrawn by Indzhiev during a search in financial company "Bill". For this service Molchanov asked 200 thousand dollars which were paid him. In the same way he received money also from representatives of the other banks.
B 2004 the Antonovs and Yampolsky were fed up with this Molchanov's side work. Besides at this time they established good relations with “K” Department of FSB of the Russian Federation (struggle against crimes in credit and financial sphere). As a result the Antonovs and Yampolsky asked Molchanov to leave bank "in an amicable way". He demanded compensation at a rate of 2 million dollars, having threatened otherwise with problems with IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and gangsters. the Antonovs and Yampolsky decided to get rid of Molchanov "in bad way". In the beginning president of "Promsvyazbank", apllied to police for him and then Alexander Antonov accused Molchanov of extortion of 200 thousand dollars under a far-fetched pretext. On April, 15th, 2004 Molchanov was arrested. During interrogations he did not split on crime partner from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, therefore he was accused only of swindle. Later the court sentenced him with seven years. The destiny of Indzhiev also developed not in the best way. He was kicked off police. And on May, 4th, 2006 the former inspector celebrated a meeting together with friends, was heavy drunk, but got behind a wheel of his Audi. On crossing of the Michurinsky prospect and Shuvalova street the car ran into other car. Two persons in Audi were lost. The criminal case was initiated concerning Indzhiev as the responsible for the road accident, and then he went on the run and was put on the wanted list. The former employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation was detained in Moscow on May, 30th, 2007; then the court sentenced him to several years in colony-settlement. Recently both Indzhiev and Molchanov are released.
Imprisoned Sokalsky, killed Kozlov
Meanwhile "Academkhimbank" continued to succeed. The Antonovs' gained ,new clients among whom there was a large "casher" Boris Sokalsky. As Investigatory committee (IC) at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation established, since 2003 the owner and the chairman of board of bank the NEP Boris Sokalsky for some years managed to cash out the huge sum in 71 billion rubles.
According to the investigation, «Academchimbank» was involved in this scheme also. The structures under control of Sokalsky have opened correspondent accounts through which for short time nearby 15 billion rubles were transferred. Later these means were cashed.
After these facts were discovered IC at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation invited Alexander Antonov for interrogation. The banker gave evidences for Boris Sokalsky and last was arrested on March 27, 2007.
In the end of 2004 the Antonovs had a conflict to the vice-president of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Andrey Kozlov who refused to accept «Academchimbank» into Deposit Insurance System (DIS). The bank was renamed into "Conversbank-Moskow", however Kozlov didn’t want to include even renamed bank into DIS. In the case materials regarding Andrey Kozlov's murder there are evidences of the former vice-president of the Central Bank Dmitry Tulin that in the spring of 2005 the present chief executive of Vneshtorgbank Boris Bulatov introduced him to the employee of criminal investigation department of the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow Region (a surname is not mentioned) which informed that the owner of "Converse-group" Vladimir Antonov roughly expressed to Kozlov, probably life and health of Kozlova are threatened with danger, people from the Antonovs' environment were dangerous. Tulin handed over this information to Kozlov, but he did not seriously concern it.
As a result Alexey Frenkel whose VIP-BANK was not accepted to DIS by Kozlov was recognized as guilty of Kozlov’s murder (he was shot in September, 2006 at sport centre "Spartak" in Moscow). Because of problems with Kozlov Frenkel had to sell transfer system "Leader" to "Incredbank" (owned by Peter Chuvilin and Herman Gorbuntsov). According to the source in bank environment, Chuvilin and Gorbuntsov were under dense guardianship of "M" Department of FSB of the Russian Federation and co-operated with the "king of encashment" Evgeny Dvoskin. As a result in the same 2006 the Antonovs and Yampolsky having not managed to push "Conversbank-Moscow" to DIS (former «Academchimbank») decided to transfer it to Chuvilin and Gorbuntsov who renamed acquisition into Capital trading bank (СТB) and managed to get it to DIS. And though the bank changed the name, it kept the same chairman of board - Sergey Mendeleyev. And after two years the Antonovs faced serious problems because of CTB.
Lost $1 billion of Russian Railway and Kadyrov's "brother"
By the time of sale of "Conversbank-Moscow for Chuvilin and Gorbuntsov, bank was the holder of the large sum belonging to "Russian railways". At some instant the state monopoly had free $660 million which Andrey Krapivin, the adviser of the president of the Russian Railway Vladimir Yakunin for bank questions, decided to place on the deposit in "Conversbank-Moscow". Officially this strange choice of the credit organization was explained as the Antonovs’ bank offers very favorable percent. Despite change of proprietors and bank signboards, railway money continued to be kept in it. The deposit was prolonged some times until the sum on the account made about $1 billion When in 2008 Russian Railway has decided to take away the billion from СТB it was found out that bank is not able to pay the specified sum. The situation was the extremely serious. It is known that Yakunin met Vladimir Putin concerning this problem, and that in turn asked the director of FSB of the Russian Federation Alexander Bortnikov to investigate the issue. No any relations could help Chuvilin and Gorbuntsov in such a situation. As a result after long negotiations bankers in writing issued obligations to pay all sum to Russian Railway structures, having distributed a debt as follows: Chuvilin and Gorbuntsov supposed to give back $500 million, their long-term partner Evgeny Dvoskin - $300 million, and Sergey Mendeleyev - $200 million. However, having conferred, businessmen decided that the Antonovs should bear a joint liability with them who as Chuvilin, Gorbuntsov and Co. counted, even before sale of "Conversbank Moscow" borrowed $200 million from money of Russian Railway. By that time the Antonovs had already built a new bank empire (see the scheme) which included a number of English and Baltic banks, and its kernel was "Investbank". The father and the son refused to pay. After that "heavy artillery" was attracted. Chuvilin and Gorbuntsov are still co-owners of BUT-BANK which, mainly, works in Southern Federal District and it is closely connected with Ramzan Kadyrov. Bankers asked him for the help. As the Antonovs wrote in their application to the director of FSB of the Russian Federation (see a copy), after numerous threats, Chuvilin set a meeting on January, 28th, 2009 in restaurant "Gold" on Kutuzovsky prospect. He came there not alone but accompanied by sworn Kadyrov’s brother, the deputy of the State Duma Adam Delimkhanov. The member of parliament for a long time frightened the Antonovs that in the Chechen Republic a criminal case concerning them would be initiated, and then under arrest they would be delivered in republic. According to the application of Antonov, in the end of conversation Delimkhanov declared them the following: "You will give not only 100 million, but also all that at you have and you will still owe".
The father and the son applied upon threats from the deputy and Chuvilin to the director of FSB and the Public prosecutor. Delimkhanov learnt about it at once. And already on March 11, 2009 the killer from the car opened on fire on Alexander Antonov in Raspletin street. The chairman of board of "Converse-bank" and his bodyguard Alexander Komarov got wounds, but stayed alive. Later inspectors found out that Timur Isaev shot at the banker, and Aslanbek Dadaev was driving a car of the criminals. Dadaev together with other killer in the autumn of 2008 made murder of the deputy of State Duma Ruslan Jamadaev - old enemy of Kadyrov and Delimkhanov.
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs became interested in purchase of SAAB
Right after crimes the Antonovs left abroad. Alexander Antonov who received five bullets, remained the invalid. They were not going to come back to Russia any more, therefore they asked the chairman of board of "Investbank" Maxim Skachko and his assistant Igor Dubina to transfer abroad $400 million. Money transaction was carried out under the pretext of delivery of credits to various structures and without approval of board of directors of the bank. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, $200 million from this sum went on acquisition of motorcar giant Saab. Officially firm Spykers Cars became its buyer, 30 which % of actions belong to Antonovym. However, they did not manage to escape from Chuvilin and Co. Conflicting parties carried on negotiations through Sergey Mendeleyev and as a result the decision was accepted that as compensation of a part of the gone means of Russian Railway the Antonovs would give back 72 % of shares of "Investbank". Mendeleyev was already handed over the first tranche - 20 % of shares, when a new large player interfered the situation unexpectedly - the president of Council about strategic development and partnership of "Petersburg fuel company" Vadim Glazkov. The personnel security officer close to vice-premier Igor Sechin was entered in due time in PFC as person capable to convince night owner of St.-Petersburg Vladimir Kumarin to leave this active. Last kind of agreed and even shared 12 % of shares of PFC, having promised soon to give also other share holding. And in 2006 Vadim Glazkov was poisoned by an unknown preparation. His hair dropped out, in a grave condition he was delivered to one of departmental clinics of the capital where doctors managed to save Glazkov’s life. And in 2007 Kumarin was arrested. Accusations in variety of crimes were brought to him.
Glazkov intended to use "Investbank" for service of the oil business connected with PFC suggested the Antonovs to accept at them remaining 52 % of shares of financial structure. In exchange he guaranteed that the bank remains alive, and the Antonovs would not be questioned concerning the deduced $400 million. Neither Russian Railway, nor Chuvilin and Co were not satisfied with such turn of events. And the Antonovs appeared already under the blow of police. In the beginning the investigation of the case of murder of Ponomarev was renewed. And recently Mendeleyev as the newly made shareholder of "Investbank" wrote an application to police with the request to bring action in the relation of "an unstated group of persons" which has stolen more than 10 billion rubles (those $400 million) from the. The investigatory committee at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation attached these materials to one already earlier opened case and began working actively. the Antonovs after that at once stopped negotiations with Glazkov and again returned to a question on transfer of 52 % to Mendeleyev. The transaction should take place literally one of these days. Just in case they also asked a political asylum in Great Britain. Yampolsky - right-hand man of the Antonovs - also was going to get over there and remained until recently in Moscow. Recently he received residence permit in England.
It seems only top-managers Skachko and the Dubina will have to answer the criminal case, who, predictably, will be expelled from bank on the nearest board of directors in July of this year. There are their signatures on documents regarding cashout of $400 million According to the source in bank environment, "Investbank" will have unenviable destiny in the near future. It has deposits of physical persons for 16 billion rubles, 17 billion more – deposits of legal bodies. However at present working actives of bank make only 13 billion rubles. Bank can scrape up some more 5 billion of idle actives. Thus, the financial hole of bank makes 12 billion rubles. To this sum it is possible to add 2 billion rubles received in 2008 as the stabilization credit from the Central Bank. Term of repayment of the credit expired in the end of the last year, the Central Bank did not prolong it, however "Investbank" still did not return money. According to our expert, "Investbank", as well as the majority of sinking banks, becomes for some time usual encasement platform, and then it will get bankrupt.
VICTOR REZNIKOV, RUMAFIA.COM