понедельник, 31 октября 2011 г.

Gudkov complains to president and prosecutors about Gromov


An opposition MP has urged president Medvedev to trigger a vote of confidence in the governor of the Moscow Region. Gennady Gudkov, member of Just Russia political party, has also sent a letter to prosecutor general Yuri Chaika, calling for a probe into Boris Gromov.

Gudkov claims he has obtained a draft of a speech, which Gromov delivered to the members of regional government, heads of municipalities and members of the electoral commission, at the secret meeting on 6 October, according to Russian Mafia (rumafia.com).

According to the document, presented by Gudkov, Gromov ordered the officials to “take measures to secure a landslide victory for the United Russia party in the elections” to the State Duma on 4 December. He said that the heads of municipalities would be personally responsible for the outcome of the campaign. He called on them to raise funds for the United Russia campaign and watch the opponents’ activities in order to hinder the work of their staffs.

In an interview to Russian daily Kommersant, Gudkov said that the meeting in question took place on 6 October. The governor’s official web-page had “a meeting with the heads of municipalities” on Boris Gromov’s schedule for 6 October, without identifying the agenda.

Gudkov also told the newspaper that Sergei Moiseev, press and information minister in the government of the Moscow Region, had “used the same rhetorics to instruct 56 chief editors of local media”.

“There is no party pluralism in the region. Oppositional parties, and anti-Gromov groups are banned. The regional authorities are getting ready to rig votes,” Gudkov told the newspaper.

Moscow Region municipalities affairs minister Vladimir Demeshkan has denied the allegations. He said that his ministry had prepared a draft of a speech for Gromov, but not for the secret meeting. In a speech the Moscow Region was portrayed as a “quickly developing region”, Demeshkan said.


Investigation into murder of Starovoitova resumed


The directorate of the FSB for St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region has recommenced investigation into the murder of member of the parliament Galina Starovoitova, on-line publication Pravda.ru quotes an unnamed source in the State Duma security committee as saying.

Galina Starovoitova was shot down in her own house on 20 November 1998.

The investigation resumed on 14 October 2011.

Convicted co-conspirator in the murder Yury Kolchin told the investigators in spring 2011 that it had been former member of the parliament from LDPR political party Mikhail Glushchenko who had ordered him to ‘get rid of’ Starovoitova. The police arrested Glushenko in summer 2009 on charges of a triple-murder in Cyprus. Before 2009 Glushenko had been detained in connection with the murder of Starovoitova.

8 people have already been convicted of the murder with 3 of them sentenced to 11-23.5 years in prison. Among them are former foreign intelligence officer Yuri Kolchin and hitman Vitali Akishin.


Yuri Luzhkov summoned for questioning


The case on which the investigation is going to interrogate Yuri Luzhkov was initiated by Moscow police Main Investigation Department in December 2010 and currently involves as defendants Andrey Borodin, the former president of Bank of Moscow, and Dmitry Akulinin, his deputy. The case investigates a transaction concluded in June 2009 that is related to the sale of 58 hectares of land belonging to TD Ramenskoye, a subsidiary of Inteko owned by Elena Baturina. This land was sold to a little-known company Premier Estate for 12.7 billion rubles taken out as a loan from the Bank of Moscow. According to investigators, the money, loaned from the bank controlled by Moscow government, ended up on Baturina’s account.

According to The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), Luzhkov considers the future interrogations to be politically motivated. Luzhkov addressed Henry Reznik, president of Moscow Chamber of Attorneys, for legal assistance.

Reznik confirmed agreeing to assist Luzhkov, but added that he would be able to meet with Interior Ministry investigators “not earlier than in the second half of November this year.” “I will get in touch with the investigator and schedule the meeting, because soon I have to leave as I have been invited abroad to give lectures,” said Reznik. “As soon as Yuri Mikhailovich and I have time, we will meet with the investigator”


Abramovich falsified documents and blackmailed Berezovsky


The hearing of a 3 billion pounds lawsuit, filed by fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky against his fellow tycoon Roman Abramovich, continues in the High Court of London. Berezovsky’s “long-standing partner” Elena Gorbunova testified on his behalf before the court on Tuesday.

In a written statement Gorbunova, a key witness for the plaintiff, recalled meeting between Roman Abramovich, Boris Berezovsky, and Badri Patarkatsishvili on the French Riviera.

Berezovsky alleges that it was at this meeting when Abramovich discussed the conditions under which Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili gave up their shares in the TV station ORT. Shortly before the meeting the police arrested deputy director general of airline Aeroflot Nikolai Glushkov, Berezovsky’s friend and godfather of his and Gorbunova’s two children. Berezovsky claims that Abramovich clearly “threatened” him and that if he agreed to sell the controlling stake in ORT to the state, Abramovich would secure Glushkov’s release.

Abramovich maintains the meeting never took place.

Gorbunova testified that that she could clearly picture the meeting. “I did not hear the detailed exchanges, but the first 15 minutes were sufficient for me to understand that it was blackmail,” Gorbunova said.

Abramovich claims he was in a different place and says there is no stamp in his passport.

“We know everything we need to know about stamps in Abramovich’s passport”, Gorbunova said. “Strange metamorphoses are happening to these stamps”.

Abramovich says they have never been friends with Berezovsky and that he hired Berezovsky as a “godfather”.

Gorbunova said that she had been a good friend with Abramovich’s former wife Irina, and they had spent holidays together.

Gorbunova admitted that Berezovsky borrowed money from her for the litigation. Asked by Abramovich’s lawyer if Berezovsky would pay back if he was successfull, she said, “I think it’s natural to assume so”. Earlier Berezovsky said that it was obvious that Gorbunova would gain financially from his victory. “Naturally. We are the family,” the oligarch said.


Governor of Saint Petersburg is to be questioned?


Former governor of the Tula Region Vyacheslav Dudka has requested the Russia’s Investigative Committee to question governor of Saint Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko in connection with the 40-million bribery case, Dudka’s lawyers say. Dudka claims that Poltavchenko asked him to allocated a piece of land in Tula to a supermarket chain called GRINN and Dudka did not accept 40 million roubles bribe ($1.3m) from the company. According to the reports, Poltavchenko is on good terms with the officials of GRINN.

A source close to the investigation told Rumafia.com that, according to Dudka, Poltavchenko, presidential plenipotentiary in the Central Federal District, had asked him to help GRINN with getting a land plot for Linia supermarket.

Dudka claims that ‘true orthodox believer’ and ‘former KGB officer’ Poltavchenko described GRINN as ‘good guys’ who helped the church a lot and on that ground deserved being helped. Dudka also recalled the meeting between him and Poltavchenko during Dudka’s swearing in ceremony last spring. Poltavchenko allegedly reminded Dudka of ‘good guys’ from GRINN and asked the governor to show him an official who would be responsible for fixing the problem. Dudka brought together Poltavchenko and director of property and land department of the Tula Region Viktor Volkov. Poltavchenko asked Volkov to assist GRINN with the land deal. In the end, Volkov was caught red-handed while accepting 40-million bribe from a GRINN representative. Volkov testified that the bribe intended to Dudka.

Being confronted with Dudka, Volkov testified that Poltavchenko had indeed asked him to help GRINN. But Volkov added that Poltavchenko had nothing to do with the extortion. Volkov’s statements gave Dudka’s lawyer a chance to ask for the interrogation of Poltavchenko. They claim that the governor allocated the land to GRINN at Poltavchenko’s request and it was Volkov who decided to make a profit out of the deal.

One of Dudka’s close friends told Rumafia.com that ‘former KGB officer’ Poltavchenko knew Vladimir Gruzdev, whose father was also a KGB officer. Using the situation surrounding GRINN, Gruzdev Senior and Poltavchenko orchestrated Dudka’s resignation and paved the way for Gruzdev Junior to the office of the governor of the Tula Region.

It is unlikely that Russia’s Investigation Committee will summon newly appointed governor of Saint-Petersburg Poltavchenko for questioning. According to a source in the Committee, it is most probably that Poltavchenko has nothing to do with the bribe.

Poltavchenko has been a good friend of owner of GRINN Nikolai Greshilov. What they have in common are very special relations with the church. However, the friendship between Poltavchenko and Greshilov cannot but bring the company success.

Kursk-based GRINN has a privileged status in the Central Federal District, according to a number of businessmen and law enforcers. Popular stand-up comedian Vladimir Vinokur was one of the founding fathers of the corporation. He is an influential figure in the region and a high-profile business owner. Another founding father and the present-day owner of GRINN Greshilov quickly found a common language with Georgy Poltavchenko, who was appointed the presidential plenipotentiary in the Central Federal District in 2000. Both are orthodox believers. For instance, Poltavchenko chairs the supervisory board for reconstruction of Korennaya Pustyn monastery, situated in Svoboda settlement in the Kursk region. It is GRINN that gives money for reconstruction. Near the monastery the corporation has built Postoyaly Dvor hotel, where Poltavchenko is always a welcome guest. Greshilov supports all Poltavchenko’s orthodox undertakings with money. At the same time, GRINN has never had problems with getting land plots in the Central Federal District. Grinn has built its outlets in Kursk, Bryansk, Voronezh, Orel, Lipetsk, Kaluga, Tambov and Smolensk. The only outlet that is located outside the Central Federal District is the one in Belorussia.

Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

Investigative Committee PR-director caught on having bought a diploma


Vladimir Markin, Investigation Committee official representative, is not included in the United Russia electoral lists. Prosecutor General's Office has released the results of a probe into the Institute of Economy and Culture, from which Markin graduated, according to his diploma. The suspicion of Markin having bought his law degree led to a massive audit in the Institute. Rumafia.com presents its readers with the audit results and with other Prosecutor General's Office claims against Markin.


Prosecutors publicized  results of the audit exactly on the eve of the United Russia party convention, where the final electoral lists were announced. Markin participated in the primaries of all-Russian People's Front in Volgograd but he did not make it to the Duma elections list.


The audit revealed massive irregularities in the university. Many students did not attend classes but automatically got credits in their students’ record-books. Paperwork certifying internship was fabricated. Students’ record-books had credits for disciplines allegedly taken while getting first higher education, which students really never had. Apparently, the Institute of Economics and Culture simply sold diplomas of higher education to those with connections. This was how Markin got his law degree, without which it would have been impossible to be promoted and become a general.


In the report draw up in the result of the audit there is a whole paragraph about Markin (for the report see www.rumafia.com): "Students’ record-books of Danielyants, Stupurina, Markin, and other students contain knowingly false examination records made by unidentified persons in disciplines provided by the educational program, as well as the results of examinations in courses taken within first degree, which in reality had not been taken and were not confirmed by relevant documents on education." Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation immediately decided to check the legality of actions by prosecutors in the audit of the university.  The conflict between the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee saw a new escalation.


In addition to the bought diploma, Prosecutor General's Office has other serious claims against Markin. For instance, at one time investigative department under Moscow region police was investigating a case of public funds embezzlement, committed with the assistance of several regional government officials. Markin, who in 1997-2000 was Moscow region first deputy minister of press and information, was mentioned in the case file. However, he never received the status of a suspect or of an accused. In 2007, once Markin became the official representative of newly established Investigation Committee, the Committee took the case from police investigators and it was soon closed.


Other claims against Markin concern ethics. For many years he served as PR expert for back-alley oligarchs. Both the tycoons and their PR representative used techniques that are far from the high moral standards of a man combating corruption, which Markin claimed to be during the primaries. In late 1990s he worked for a businessman Shalva Chigirinsky, who now is bankrupt and is actively selling his assets. On behalf of his boss, Markin addressed major mass media agencies with an offer to publish defamatory materials about Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Menatep bank for a fee. It was the bank where after the 1998 crisis Chigirinsky had a large sum of money which he could not get back.


After that Markin worked for another controversial businessman, Aleksandr Yakubov, who is now a member of the Council of Federation. Again Markin had to address journalists, bribing them to engage in Yakubov’s fight with the enemies of his Trading House Transneft. Sometimes discussions turned into partying with vodka and girls. Markin, by the way, took quite of a liking to the drink. Journalists that work closely with the Investigative Committee often joke that there are days, when the PR-director is not available for personal conversation. In such cases his secretary cheerfully says "Well, you know, the boss is again on a short trip."


However, it is not the problem. Rumafia sources claim that Aleksandr Yakubov is either a relative or just a good friend of Yakov Yakubov, who once owned casinos Korona and GoldenPalace. He is also notorious for having built on the premises of the All Russian Exhibition Centre a huge mansion where his children and grandchildren live. Yakov Yakubov owned casinos at the time when Markin served the interests of Aleksandr Yakubov. Our source says that the current Investigative Committee PR-director had to assist both Aleksandr and Yakov Yakubov. And now Markin actively exposes Moscow region prosecutors who were hushing up the illegal casinos.


The Russian Federation Investigative Committee does not dare to wage dirty war on Aleksandr Bastrykin, the head of Prosecutor General’s Office, because Bastrykin is a protégé of Vladimir Putin. But Markin seems a perfect target. It is Markin who can be seen on TV when the Investigation Committee is mentioned. The agency is set to continue the battle against the Investigation Committee PR-director. It is possible that sooner or later these claims against Markin may be taken out of the Prosecutor General's coffers.

Interior Ministry Public Council and Solntsevskaya Gang


Security services panic over Rashid Nurgaliyev, the Minister of the Interior, approving on 6 October the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior. Among those to make recommendations to the police are Maria Maksakova, Mariinsky Theatre prima ballerina and the wife of kingpin Tyurikov; singer Tatyana Ovsienko, the wife of another kingpin, Sasha Chudnoy; and songwriter Ilya Reznik, a longtime friend of Solntsevskaya criminal group.

According to police data, it was the leader of Solntsevskaya gang, Sergei Mikhailov, who lobbied for all these people to be on the Public Council. The objectives of the two singers whose husbands are in custody are more than clear. Tyurik is in Russia awaiting extradition to Spain. And as for Sasha Chudnoy, law enforcement agencies are urging their Ukrainian colleagues to extradite him to Russia. Interior Ministry Public Council members list, just like an Oscar award, was a secret until the last moment. When the Council composition was announced it turned out that it went beyond all expectations. Lyudmila Alekseyeva, head of Moscow Helsinki Group, is the only more or less prominent human rights defender in the Council, and that was not an easy accomplishment. Among other members there are quite peculiar persons whose goals are like an open book to the police.

Rumafia.com already gave a detailed coverage of Maria Maksakova’s selfless struggle for the freedom of her husband, kingpin Vladimir Tyurin. He was arrested a year ago in Moscow at the request of Spanish authorities, who accuse him of money laundering and organizing a criminal group. In her attempts to free her husband, the prima even decided to run foe the State Duma as member of the United Russia. Her position on the electoral list ensures that she will be elected to the legislative assembly as a representative of the “party of power”. And now she has a further achievement. As a member of the Public Council, the kingpin’s wife will communicate with police top officials on a permanent basis.

Sources in the security services told Rumafia.com that Maskakova’s attempts to free Tyurikov already acquired an international dimension. Extradition to Spain became possible after Tyurikov was deprived of Russian citizenship. Federal Migration Service found that the kingpin had received Russian citizenship while still a citizen of Kazakhstan, which is prohibited by law. Kazakhstani authorities were willing to confirm the fact until recently. But then Maksakova visited this country where she had often performed for the local nobility. She managed to arrange a meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev. What they discussed is not known, but after the meeting the Kazakh authorities dramatically changed their stance in respect of Tyurin. Astana has sent an official letter to Moscow stating that Tyurin was included among the citizens of Kazakhstan by mistake and should be considered a person who lost citizenship.

Maksakova is often in the public eye, but Tatyana Ovsienko is not and it is quite surprising to see the pop star who had lost her popularity be a member of the Public Council at the Ministry of the Interior. But that is only at first glance. Her goals are the same as those of Maksakova, namely to help her husband get out of jail. Once Aleksandr was know under the surname Chudinin and was one of the leaders of Ryazanskaya gang nicknamed Sasha Chudnoy. Then the criminal boss changed his surname to Merkulov and settled in St. Petersburg, where he became an associate of Vladimir Kumarin, the leader of Tambovskaya organized crime group.

When in 2007 Kumarin was put behind bars, Sasha Chudnoy also began having problems with law enforcement agencies. Prosecutor’s office Investigative Committee collected evidence that it was Merkulov who at the direction of Kumarin had organized an assassination attempt on Sergei Vasiliev, the president of Petersburg Oil Terminal JSC, on 5 May 2006 in St. Petersburg. The cars comprising the businessman’s cortege were riddled with machine guns, one guard was killed, Vasiliev and three bodyguards were seriously injured.

When in 2008 there was a question as to the arrest of Merkulov, he and his wife Tatiana Ovsienko fled to Simferopol, where the singer was born. The kingpin was put on the wanted list. In Crimea, Sasha Chudnoy lived under the name of Anatoly Mazurenko and held banquets with celebrities, beauty contests, and published an entertainment magazine. In winter 2011 he felt so at ease that he made a few calls to St. Petersburg. The phones were tapped. Intelligence agencies quickly found where Sasha Chudnoy was, and on 22 February he was arrested in the Crimea at the request of Prosecutor General's Office.

This was when Tatiana Ovsienko took up defending her husband. While Sasha Chudnoy’s lawyers are trying to ensure him political asylum in Ukraine, the pop singer returned to Moscow and began to contact all the connections. She meets with officials, criminal bosses, and heads of law enforcement agencies. Often she comes to them with large sums of money. Chudnoy is not a poor man, and his fellow gang members also help him. "In fact Ovsienko took to ensuring that Russian law enforcers would not insist on the extradition of her husband, or if and when already in Russia, that he would be freed from custody quicker," said a source in the intelligence services.

It is noteworthy that Tyurik and Sasha Chudnoy are old acquaintances of Sergei Mikhailov, Solntsevskaya criminal group leader. As a result, he came to help the two kingpins and their wives. Mikhas is now a problem solving mediator between the criminal world and the authorities. Solntsevskaya gang leader is hesitant to get involved in any major issues since he may find himself in a position similar to that of Kumarin. But he is quite capable to ensure membership in the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior for wives of his friends in distress. According to intelligence, it is thanks to the efforts of Mikhas that Maksakova and Ovsienko became consultants to the police. It is still under investigation to whom he applied for such a favour.

By the way, poet Ilya Reznik, another longtime friend of Solntsevskaya gang, also made it to the Council. According to investigators, he spends quite a time at the offices of kingpins on the Leninsky Prospekt. Especially often he can be seen in 101, Leninsky Prospekt, in the building that hosts the furniture store owned by the Averin brothers and Mikhas. Reznik’s TV show Moscow resident is filmed in the same building.

There is no doubt whose interests these people will defend in the Public Council. But apparently, police chiefs prefer them over human rights defenders.

Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com


British Petrolium Against Everything


BP has announced that it will stop investing in joint projects with Skolkovo. That way the British got back at the Russian shareholders of TNK-BP. After all, it is Viktor Vekselberg, the co-owner of TNK-BP, who heads Skolkovo. This is one of the stages of a long-lasting economic war between the Russians and the British that has been in place for several years now and still does not seem to ever come to an end.

Rumafia.com correspondents talked with a number of people actively involved in these battles and found out many underhanded secrets. For instance, how the company wanted British shareholders to spy for it; how German Khan, co-owner of TNK-BP, participated in a showdown with St. Petersburg gangsters; how the company was blackmailed by Anatoly Kucherena and Oleg Mitvol; and what is it that the British now want from the Russian shareholders.


The army of Khan

Vice president and co-owner of TNK-BP German Khan is one of the key figures. In the1990s he faced a difficult choice of whether to become an influential kingpin or a legit businessman. For a long time Khan was somewhere in the middle. Even now he sometimes is reminded of his gangster past.

Several years ago TNK-BP had a conflict with a number of firms over networks of filling stations in Saint Petersburg. The issue was not at the level of Khan. But he found that these firms were controlled by St. Petersburg gangsters, whom he had known since the “wild nineties”. Accompanied by lawyers and security officers, TNK-BP's vice-president went to St. Petersburg.

When the delegation entered the meeting room, they saw a group of men whose faces pointed to their serious attitude to the issue. One of the gang leaders whom Khan had known since the 1990s, asked: "Shall we sort out the issue as businessmen do or by the rules of the underworld?". Khan chose the first option, but rules of the underworld still made their way into the process of solving the problem. As a result the conflict was settled.

German Khan considers TNK that is now part of TNK-BP to be his favourite child. He is used to having all the levers of the company's management in his hands and is trying to carefully protect his turf. He fully controls all legal issues monitored by the vice-president Igor Maydannik and Security Service supervised by the vice-president Boris Kondrashov, who is also a unique person who can solve problems with several agencies at once. At some point of time he was deputy head of Moscow police, a people's deputy, and Deputy Minister of Justice - Chief bailiff of Russia.

At the beginning of the conflict with the British, TNK-BP Security Service had three powerful factions of security officials. The largest, about 20 people, consisted of former Interior Ministry Investigative Committee officers. Its leader was Sergei Novoselov, a vice president, director of TNK-BP information, planning and control department. He used to be first deputy chief of the Investigative Committee. He had a significant group of former Investigative Committee employees work for TNK-BP. Among them are Vasily Zimarin who supervised the case against swindler Zagrebelny, the case of embezzlement in SBS-Agro bank, the case on the Chechen remittance advice; General Ivan Popov, former head of organizational department and deputy head of the Investigative Committee; Andrei Goncharov, a former department head in the Investigative Committee; Vasily Kholodov who investigated drug trafficking cases; Denis Podchasov who supervised cases investigating money thefts from Ingosstrakh, Avtobank, and businessman Andreyev; the investigator Sergei Khazov, etc.

Novoselov’s group was in charge of solving any issues arising from a police investigation and law enforcement in general. It was the Investigative Committee former officials who at some point of time successfully stalled the investigation of tax-dodging by TNK, Sidanko, and other related entities. The amount due was about 25 billion rubles. The investigation was conducted by the Ministry of the Interior department in Central Federal District. Novoselov solved the issue through giving a $ 7 million bribe. But before the investigation was frozen, the Russians badly battered the nerves of British shareholders.

Two other groups in TNK-BP Security Service were former employees of Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of Justice. A Rumafia source drew special attention to several people. Evgeny Shirokov served in the prosecutor's office for nearly 20 years. His last post was that of the head of department for supervision over the implementation of tax laws. In the early 2000s he joined the Ministry of Justice as bailiff department deputy head. In 2003 he joined TNK, and then the Department of Economic Security at TNK-BP. Shirokov is a board member in Chernogorneft and TNK-Ugra.

Nikolai Galanin is thought to be his closest friend in TNK-BP. Galanin was head of the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office and then first deputy head of the bailiffs department. In this position Galanin solved the problem of SBS-Agro investors. Then he worked for Sidanko and then at the Department of Economic Security with TNK-BP. Currently, Galanin is a board member of oil refineries in Saratov and Ryazan.

Mikhail Gorodov, head of TNK-BP Management Department of Economic Security, served as Lyubertsy city prosecutor for eight years. According to our source, Gorodov developed friendly relationship with the prosecutors of different ranks. In particular, he made friends with Vladimir Lyseyko, the former chief investigator. TNK-BP hired him to develop connections with the prosecution, since Security Service was noticeably short of such connections. Gorodov coped well with solving problems at the regional level, including criminal cases and various probes by the prosecution. In 2007 he became a TNK-BP representative on the boards of directors in Samotlorneft and Priobneft.

In turn, these two groups within TNK-BP were in charge of coordinating work with various state agencies and officials including prosecutors, courts, bailiffs, etc. German Khan personally dealt with counterintelligence. Russian shareholders of the company are monitored by the FSB, officers of which are on good terms with Khan. Our source explained that such cooperation had been in place for a long time, and both the mentioned government agency and German Khan bitterly hate British shareholders of TNK-BP.

Back in 2004 they raised questions about work permits for foreign managers in Russian companies and about limiting access to information on British strategic reserves of natural resources. It happened exactly when Aleksandr Bortnikov came to the Department of Economic Security. Later he headed the Federal Security Service. According to the source, as long as Bortnikov heads the FSB, the Russian shareholders will have no problems with that agency.

But in 2004 British shareholders decided not to fight. The war began in 2008.


British Go Home

The main emphasis of Russian shareholders was on pressing Robert Dudley, the CEO, and the majority of British executives to leave TNK-BP. Khan was very pleased with the chosen plan of the war and was a complete winner in the situation. All documents necessary for the confrontation were developed under the supervision of Igor Maydannik, executive vice president of TNK-BP. As a result, Tetlis CJSC, a minority shareholder, filed a suit against TNK-BP and BP demanding termination of the contracts with 148 seconded staff, all of them being citizens of the United Kingdom. According to sources in the company, they have long ago worked out a clear mechanism as to filing claims by minority shareholders. The mechanism required excellent relations with different courts of arbitration, particularly in Tyumen region, that TNK-BP had. The lawsuit by Tetlis was a warning to the British, but they would not understand.

Then Maydannik prepared for Federal Migration Service (FMS) an application to hire foreign employees of TNK-BP, where the quota was reduced to 63 people. However, there was no intention to have all 63 stay. According to a Rumafia source, Maydannik almost personally explained to the representatives of the FMS that foreign employees had irregularities in their visa documents because they had business visas instead of foreign worker visas. Therefore, they could not work at TNK-BP and the quota can not apply to the situation.

Meanwhile, Moscow Labour Inspectorate handed certain material over to Moscow prosecutors. The materials stated violations of labour legislation by TNK-BP top management. The documents were forwarded to Presnenskaya prosecutor's office, which began an inquiry and summoned Dudley for questioning. As a result, it was revealed that all foreign employees of TNK-BP violated labour laws. They began to leave Russia.

Dudley tried to resist and to solve the issue in courts of arbitration, but to no avail. In private, he confessed that he was well aware that Khan and Maydannik were behind all those problems. He said that "they use the methods of the nineties, against which we are powerless." Dudley was furious about the "dirty tricks" of Khan. He even mentioned that he could not stand the man. The dislike was mutual.

TNK-BP Security Service employees who used to work at the Ministry of the Interior organized questioning by police investigators for Dudley. TNK was suspected of tax evasion, with the amount due reaching 22.5 billion rubles in the period 2001-2003. At that time TNK president was Simon Kukes, and Robert Dudley became president with the establishment of TNK-BP. It happened in 2003, that is, formally at the time of tax evasion by the company. This fact gave grounds for summoning Dudley for questioning that lasted for over seven hours.

However, the threat to be accused did not frighten him. Then Security Service brought about more problems for Dudley, namely those in obtaining visas. The employment contract with TNK-BP had a provision saying that if Mr Dudley does not terminate the contract two weeks in advance to its termination period, which was the end of 2007, the contract is automatically extended for an indefinite period. When the contract was sent to the FMS for Dudley to obtain a work visa, it had to be filed together with other documents explaining all the conditions including the automatic renewal for an indefinite period. But the corresponding documents never got to the FMS, and that was on purpose. The Migration Service had a contract that had expired. Accordingly, Dudley could not get a work visa. Moreover, the FMS received a letter from Victor Vekselberg, in which he reported that he could not present a new contract with Dudley because they did not sign one.

Dudley did receive a visa, although it took some efforts. However, he was no longer the CEO. The last straw was the story about espionage.


Shareholders or spies

Foreigner and Russian employees of TNK-BP, who joined the company under the patronage of the British, were under constant supervision by the company’s Security Service. The service collected dirt on them. In particular, the Security Service found out that Ilya Zaslavsky, the British appointee and TNK-BP Management employee, dealt in selling secret information, predominantly to British top managers. Before the conflict Security Service turned a blind eye on such business because classified information concerned Gazprom, but not TNK-BP. However, after the escalation of the conflict Khan needed a headline-making case which would cast a shadow upon all representatives of BP.

TNK-BP Security Service received a paper from Gazprom Security Service on Zaslavsky. Materials came in very handy for TNK-BP and were handed over to the Federal Security Service. The officers caught Ilya and his brother Aleksandr when the two were trying to purchase a new portion of classified information about Gazprom.

TNK-BP Security Service had a task to have the story covered in the media to the maximum. At first FSB was against it. They even considered a possibility of TNK-BP Security Service making a statement to the media on exposure of industrial espionage in favour of British shareholders. But then they decided not to issue such a statement. In the end, FSB Press Service made a little comment about the exposed espionage, without mentioning the British in the press release.

At first Ilya Zaslavsky decided to be a hero and denied being guilty. Then they explained to him that if he did not cooperate, he might face charges of espionage against the state rather than industrial espionage that he was accused of then, because some of the documents were classified meaning the minimum sentence would be ten years of imprisonment. And Zaslavsky began giving testimony.

As a result of these conversations, the FSB asked six UK top managers of TNK-BP to leave the country. Other foreigners led by Robert Dudley became noticeably less vigorous.

After Dudley was expelled from TNK-BP, BP vice president David Peattie personally took to settling the conflict. For the period of settling disputes Britain's Tim Summers was appointed as interim CEO. The Russian shareholders, especially Viktor Vekselberg, quickly found ways to manipulate and Summers fell under full control of the Russians. BP once again got itself cornered.

"Summers completely satisfied Friedman, Vekselberg, and Khan as the CEO. And since he was from BP, the British could find no arguments to replace him," said a Rumafia source. However, BP quickly realized that there was a traitor among the staff and flatly refused to have Summers appointed as CEO on a permanent basis. The question of who will fill this position is still hanging in the air and has not been resolved so far, which is beneficial for the Russian shareholders. By the way, after leaving TNK-BP, Summers took up a job at an enterprise of Viktor Vekselberg.


CEO at the beck and call

There were several candidates to fill the position of CEO, until Russian and British shareholders have not agreed on Maksim Barsky. However, he was also made interim CEO. Barsky stands little chance to hold the post on a permanent basis. Mikhail Friedman sees Barsky as an "ordinary executive," gives him orders and does not trust to act on his own in any major issues.

As an example, our source spoke of President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Algeria in October 2010, where he was accompanied by Friedman, Khan, and Barsky. TNK-BP considered purchasing BP shares in a number of gas-oil projects. Barsky only took part in the official event, namely in the expanded meeting of Heads of State, officials, and local businessmen. Then came the most important part - personal conversations. It was Khan and Friedman who discussed all the issues with Foreign Minister Lavrov and President's Special Representative Prikhodko. Barsky was not even in the same room during these discussions.

The same happened during talks with Algerian representatives. Friedman invited Barsky to join the discussion only when it came to discussing some technical issues. Our source said the situation repeated in other negotiations. All key issues are decided by Friedman and Khan, sometimes also by Vekselberg, and Barsky takes part in talks only at the stage of technical realization. It was embarrassing when a delegate in Algeria asked Khan "Who is that boy that came with you?" and pointed at Barsky.

"Russian shareholders treat him only as a subordinate. When talking about him Khan repeatedly used the phrase “it is out of his reach", said a TNK-BP insider. The source described Barsky as "technically a subordinate to Friedman and Khan." At the same time TNK-BP managers call Barsky an extremely arrogant, unsociable, impudent person. "He speaks rudely with his subordinates, and treats everyone with disdain."

Over time, Barsky’s arrogance and insolence to his subordinates grew into superiority complex. According to our source, his high self-esteem resulted from the fact that his nomination was agreed upon by all shareholders of TNK-BP, and no one wanted to replace him. First he began arguing with Khan, then with Friedman. At the end of 2010 Barsky demanded higher bonuses for the year. He began to choose negotiations that deserved his participation.

In December 2010 he refused to travel to India with Dmitry Medvedev. Barsky said that he had other plans. As a result Veskelberg had to cover for him, although Veskelberg had been going to accompany the President during this visit anyway.

Barsky made new appointments to subsidiaries of TNK-BP, which outraged Friedman. Our source said that the Russian shareholders took measures for Barsky to better understand his position. "They told Barsky what role they assigned to him in the company and that if he did not understand this, he had to leave”, said the source. According to our source, after that conversation Barsky pulled in his horns. All throughout 2011 he tried to stay down. He sprang up only when it came to raising bonuses.


Knocking down the door to Europe

Having significantly reduced influence of the British shareholders in TNK-BP, Russian shareholders continued the war with their enemies-partners. In particular, they froze the deal between BP and Rosneft. The Russians now have a new goal of getting a stake in BP, through which they plan to go international.

A Rumafia source has recently had a conversation with Peter Aven, a co-owner of Alfa Group, which, in turn, controls a stake in TNK-BP. He made it clear that the conflict with British shareholders would continue. According to Aven, when the British started a major strategic project with Rosneft in Russia, they acted extremely arrogantly towards their Russian partners. TNK-BP Russian shareholders learned about the official signing of the contract between BP and Rosneft only from the press. Aven assumes that the British are confident that now they have leverage through deputy prime minister Igor Sechin. But Sechin acted deliberately and did not put pressure on the Russian shareholders.

When initiating the conflict with BP over the deal with Rosneft, the Russian shareholders had one goal, says Peter Aven, to swap their stake in TNK-BP for a stake in BP. However, the British do not want such an exchange on any conditions and offer to buy shares in TNK-BP. BP shares would help Russian shareholders to reach a new international level. When asked about further plans of Russians if they get hold of the package, Aven replied as follows: "As my father said, once you grasp the door handle, you find a way to knock the door down."

Plans of going international demanded major changes in TNK-BP Security Service. A group of employees, including Viktor Novoselov and Mikhail Gorodov, left the Security Service. Novoselov was replaced by Major-General Vadim Ogar, former Ministry of the Interior deputy chief of Criminal Investigation department. He has experience in the oil industry and excellent contacts with law enforcement agencies in Western countries. He used to work in Security Service of Moscow branch of the Menatep - St. Petersburg bank, and then a few months in Security Service of Yukos. Then he worked at GUBOP (Main Office for Combating Organised Crime, later renamed to DBOPiT) where he was investigating into transnational gangs with ties abroad.


Public Chamber member extorted money from oil companies

According a Rumafia source, in 2008-2009 TNK-BP had to confront not only the British shareholders, but also Oleg Mitvol, who then was deputy head of Rosprirodnadzor, and lawyer Anatoly Kucherenoy, now a prominent member of the Public Chamber. Both tried to extort money from TNK-BP.

The source described the sheme used as follows: Rosprirodnadzor found evidence of leakage or contamination at TNK-BP subsidiaries in other regions, like a leak from pipelines, oil fields, etc. Moreover, according to the source, some of pipes were suspected to have been damaged intentionally. Rosprirodnadzor drew up relevant acts. Then people of Anatoly Kucherena found entities, the territories of which were allegedly contaminated, and urged to file suits against TNK-BP demanding to pay large sums as compensation for the damage. Then Kucherena’s men offered TNK-BP to solve the issue for an amount much smaller. This was accompanied by pressure and inspections by Rosprirodnadzor and public statements by Mitvol.

As a result, TNK-BP had to agree. But later Khan ordered Security Service to start a "war" with Mitvol and Kucherena. According to our source, they found evidence that Mitvol had been treated for suspected schizophrenia. Khan handed the materials over to the government. That was when Mitvol stated to have problems. According to the source, Mitvol had to claim that he had got in an accident, after which he had had to be treated in hospital because he had headaches. He claimed that he had no chronic mental illness.

However, Mitvol left Rosprirodnadzor and left TNK-BP and Kucherena alone.

Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

Prosecutors protect Metalinvest LLC


For the first time in the modern history of Russia, the Prosecutor General’s Office have publicly reproached its own department for wrongfully pushing the largest unit in the Russia’s Federal Customs Service, or FCS, its Northwest Directorate. A prosecutor responsible for supervising shipment of goods and traffic in the North West of Russia wanted to shove aside the head of the customs authority that run the Baltic Customs. Earlier prosecutors prevented customs officials from prosecuting a business owner for smuggling.


Please, stop checking the customs

A few weeks ago deputy prosecutor general of Russia Aleksandr Buksman sent a memorandum to northwest transport prosecutor Aleksandr Chubykin, which had a title It Is Inadmissible For Public Prosecutors To Interfere In The Work Of The Customs Without Good Reason. In the memorandum Buksman, the second person after Russia's prosecutor general, explains to his high-level subordinate what the latter has to know like the back of his hand.

Aleksandr Buksman reminded his subordinate of the obvious. The FCS Northwest Directorate is entitled by law to run the Baltic Customs in St Petersburg and supervise the customs proceedings.           

The reason why the deputy prosecutor general sent the memorandum was the alert that came from a unit within the FCS Northwest Directorate, claiming that local prosecutors tried to forbid members of the working group to supervise the customs formalities at the Baltic Customs.

After the FSC control commission recently found multiple violations of customs proceedings at the Baltic Customs, Russia’s central customs authority ordered its northwestern branch to form the working group to prevent further violations. The move was successful, and the collected customs duties increased.

It has emerged that the northwest transport prosecutors were dissatisfied with the results working group of the FCS Northwest Directorate showed. Why? Dissatisfied, and that was it. In July 2011 the prosecutors, supervising transport and shipment of goods, demanded the working group stop controlling the customs proceedings. Despite not having facts of breaching the law by the members of the working group, the prosecutors decided to put an end to its activities.

To make a long story short, the prosecutors wanted the group stop doing the work it had been installed for.

The prosecutors might find it difficult to understand why the superiors exercise control over subordinates, but if we use common sense it becomes obvious that it is the way the things work. 

No surprise that the memorandum of the deputy prosecutor general ended with the following words, “I emphasize that it is not allowed to make such demands and advise you to strengthen control of your own subordinates”.

Let us found out, what made the transport prosecutors of the northwest of Russia demand such unconventional things from the customs officials?


Favourite Metalinvest

These events happened a year ago. In December 2010 the northwest transport prosecutors began sending multiple warnings notes to the Baltic Customs. The customs were snowed under the documents, warning the customs officers against “possible violation of law” or asking them to “eliminate transgressions”.

There were a lot of warning notes, but all of them referred to the same company, Metalinvest LLC, which is a part of Khors Group. Prosecutors concerned themselves with the legality of implementation of the customs law towards this company.  

Metalinvest bought German equipment for blending dry semi-processed materials. Two containers with the shipment of the company arrived by sea freight. Passing the goods through the customs, Metalinvest stated that the price of the goods was 120,000 euros. However, investigative department of the Baltic Customs found out that the true price of the cargo was 800,000 euros.

The customs officers opened a criminal case under Article 188 of the RF Criminal Code that is smuggling. The containers were arrested and placed in a temporary storage. For prosecutors it would have been more logical to hail the actions of the customs officers. Smuggling prevention is an integral part of state economic security strategy.

But the northwest transport prosecutors had another point of view. Multiple warnings, which they sent to the Baltic customs, said that the customs officials had no right to take measures against Metalinvest. The actions of the customs officials, the prosecutors claimed, were illegitimate.

Reading these documents, one stumbles upon prosecutors’ unexpected concern for Metalinvest. One of the warnings said, “each day of keeping the goods in the storage… brings additional expenses to the company in the sum of 3,000 roubles… Metalinvest will be charged over 90,000 roubles [$3,000] for keeping two containers”.

It is the first case ever when the prosecutors take care of the “expenses” of a small private company.

The prosecutors’ letters went to the Baltic Customs, Northwest Customs and event to a private company, operating the storage, where the containers of Metalinvest had been placed. Top prosecutors, including northwest transport prosecutor Chubykin, deputy transport prosecutors of Saint Petersburg Titov and Zatochkin, showed righteous indignation at the customs officials.

The concern of three local prosecutors for the cargo, belonging to a private company, surprised the prosecutor general, who ordered his deputy Buksman sent a memorandum to Saint Petersburg. However, Buksman’s memorandum, quoted at the beginning of this article, had a peculiar effect on the transport prosecutors.


'Take the case materials and study'!

Having received the memo, Aleksandr Chubykin, northwest transport prosecutor, signed a decree, saying, “in order to improve and better organize the control over law implementation… customs control department is authorized to reclaim and study the criminal cases… for elimination of violations of customs rules”.

Chubykin authorized Igor Zaitsev, first deputy northwest transport prosecutor, to supervise the execution of the decree. Zaitsev is rumoured to lobby for the interests of Metalinvest.

It is difficult to say why the northwest transport prosecutors were unable to “study” the files of criminal cases, which was their duty, but they indeed did not study them before Chubykin’s order. What happened next? We assume that prosecutors should have taken materials of criminal cases and scrutinized it in order to secure rights and interests of all participants of international business.

Not at all!

The customs control department, engaged for the task by Chubykin’s order, intimidated the customs officials by opening cases against them.

Prosecutor Galushka, which serves in the office of the northwest transport prosecutor, opened a new probe into the Baltic Customs, half a year after the probe, opened by head of the FCS Andrei Belyaninov that had revealed a few violations of the customs regulations. Transport prosecutors of Saint Petersburg were authorized to conduct the probe. They initiated 5 criminal cases under the Article 293 RF Criminal Code that is “negligence”.

The prosecutors invented new type of offence as if they were lawmakers.

An officer of the Baltic Customs cleared a shipment a year ago. The declared price of imported goods was much lower than its true price. The FCS probe found out that the price was underestimated and that the state did not receive its duty. After the probe a businessman, who owned the goods, repaid the rest of the duty.

However the officer, who cleared the shipment, committed an offence. That is why the criminal cases against them were opened, the prosecutors claim.

From legal point of view, it is absolute nonsense. In Russian legal system, “negligence” implies damages infringed on the state. However, the state collected all the arrears.

The prosecutors stepped over Russian law and have already opened 5 cases. The suspect in one case is Ms Bogdanova, a customs officer and daughter of the head of personnel department of the Baltic Customs Aleksei Bogdanov.

Memorandum of deputy prosecutor general Aleksandr Buksman has been ignored by transport prosecutors in Saint Petersburg, who continue solving the problems of Metalinvest.

Dave Krueger, Rumafia.com

четверг, 20 октября 2011 г.

NY Southern District Court hears Viktor Bout’s interception



A jury has heard intercepted tapes in which alleged ‘arms dealer’ Viktor Bout talks with an informer of a USA security service who poses as a leader of an insurgent group in the Revolutionary Arms Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

For the first time the jurors heard Bout’s discussing the details of a potential deal to provide FARC with arms, which also included its transportation and maintenance. The conversations on the record are mostly in Spanish.

The prosecutor handed out the transcripts of the talk, translated into English, to members of the jury. He read out the fragments of the conversations, which he said were most significant.

“It came as no surprise. The jurors heard the prosecutor, who drew their attention to the fragments, pulled out of the document. We look forward to the word of defense,” Mrs Alla Bout said.

He added that the witness of the prosecution was not credible, because of his past as a drag trafficker and one of the most well paid informers of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

According to Russia Mafia (rumafia.com), Bout pleads non-guilty.


Russia’s richest woman wins libel case against Sunday Times


Elena Baturina, the billionaire wife of former Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has won a two-year battle against British weekly Sunday Times after it wrongfully reported that Baturina had bought a mansion in London.

In two September 2009 articles the newspaper quoted well-informed sources as saying that Baturina had purchased Witanhurst, a large Georgian-style mansion in North London, which can be compared in size only with the Buckingham palace. Sunday Times claimed that an offshore company, registered in British Virgin Islands and linked with Baturina, paid Ј50 million ($79.5 million) for the property.

The newspaper was obliged to pay damages and costs, the size of which is not disclosed. The newspaper has also apologized.

Baturina’s press secretary said that he hoped that the case against Sunday Times would make journalists responsible.

“Two years have passed, but the names of the true owners of the mansion have not been revealed. I do not rule out that their names, which eventually will be made public, are well known”.



Pochinok recalled from the parliament


Aleksandr Tkachev, the governor of the Krasnodar Region, has relieved Pochinok from his position of the representative of local government in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He replaced Pochinok with vice-president of the Russia’s Olympic Committee Akhmed Bilalov, who is also a head of the state-run development company called North Caucasian Resorts.

Pochinok was due to resign in spring 2012, however the governor decided to recall him before the end of his term. The decree, signed by Tkachev, has recently appeared on the internet page of the government of the Krasnodar Region. Until Friday, 14 October, there were no reports of Pochinok’s dismissal, however the document is dated 10 October. Pochinok has taken part in the recent session of the parliament.

Government of the Krasnodar Regional have been unavailable for comments. Aleksandr Tkachev twitted Friday in reply to the question about Pochinok that “he had written a resignation letter”.

However, Tkachev did not answer the question, whether it had been Pochinok’s own decision.

Pochinok was reported by Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) to have plans to stand for the parliament as a member of Right Cause political party. His political ambitions might be a rationale for his resignation, the analysts say.


Supreme Court confirms former deputy Izmestiyev’s life sentence


Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld the life sentence for former representative of Bashkiria in the upper chamber of the parliament Igor Izmestiyev, who is convicted for terrorism, contract killings, and other crimes.

Izmestiyev’s lawyers appealed against the sentence by the court of Moscow City, and asked the Supreme Court to drop the case against their defendant, because of his “non-involvement in the crimes”, which he is being accused of. But the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Former member of the parliament denies any wrongdoing and wants the reinvestigation of the crimes.

“I have absolutely no motive for the crimes I am convicted for. Everyone knows who benefited from these crimes. It is Ural Rakhimov, son of former president of Bashkiria,” Izmestiyev said before the court.

Russian human rights activists, including leader of For Human Rights group Lev Ponomarev, publicly supported Izmestiyev. This resulted in other convicts having their sentence cut, although not considerably.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that Izmentiyev’s indictment was illegal on 2 counts, but it upheld his life sentence.

“We will appeal against this insane decision. We will go to the Court of Human Rights. They have cut sentence to the butchers who cooperated with investigation. They freed Izmestiyev of two crimes, but confirmed his sentence,” the lawyer said.


Investigator of Magnitsky case lets $1 billion sable scam suspect go


Investigative department of the Russia’s ministry of internal affairs made up their mind and did not open a criminal case against Sergei Dankvert, head of Rosselkhoznadzor, the state control agency in the field of agriculture. He is suspected of an attempt to sell abroad a unique sable population, worth $1 billion. Incriminating evidence against him has been received from a number of defendants, who accepted plea bargains. Despite that evidence, investigator Oleg Silchenko preferred not to bring charges against the public servant. Noticebly it was Silchenko who investigated the controversial case of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in custody.

Back in spring 2008 the FSB agents discovered evidence of a criminal scheme, which could have led to the entire population of rare black Russian sable being stolen. The internal ministry opened a criminal investigation into the case. The police and the FSB agents seized paperwork and discovered more of incriminating evidence.

In 1929 the Pushkinsky fur breeding farm was set up in close vicinity of Moscow. In 1931 the biologists raised a new type of species, black Russian sable. During the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945, the USSR paid the USA for lend-lease products with the sable fur. The sable fur prices have steadily increased, now reaching the level of $3-4 thousand for a single fur-skin. The whole population is worth valued $1 billion.

In 2000 Sergei Dankvert was appointed a first deputy minister of agriculture. The valuable fur immediately attracted his attention. He conspired with the director of Pushkinsky farm Vladimir Los, who made a profitable farm an utter bankrupt. Los stroke credit deals with front companies, registered with the lost documents. The sable farm owed too much to the debtors and could not repay its debt.

The investigation found out that Dankvert and Los had earlier been associates and committed other financial crimes. Los run a number of state companies. All of them declared bankrupt and were privatized.

The assets of Pushkinsky farm went under hammer. It was Dankvert’s confidant Denis Lavrov, a businessman, who bought the farm. He paid 30 million roubles, or about $1 million for it. Noticeably, the bailiff, who was in charge of selling the farm’s property, soon moved to his newly bought mansion in Europe.

Meanwhile, Lavrov continued plundering the farm. A company called Russian Fur was a key debtor of the farm. The company had already started to sell the animals to the Kaliningrad Region on the boarder with Germany when the FSB intervened. According to the documents, the company aimed to sell the sable population to Denmark. Both governor of the Moscow Region Boris Gromov and governor of Kaliningrad region Georgy Boos were aware of the scam. Boos acted in the interests of Russian Fur and asked Gromov to secure that the local authorities would not interfere. The investigators told Rumafia.com, that Dankvert-controlled companies planned to build offices on the site of the farm when the animals would be abroad. Dankvert had a chance to profit from the affair twice.

The investigative department began the invesigation. In March 2009 the police placed Lavrov under custody. He denied any wrongdoing, but very soon he began to cooperate with the investigators. The police was but a few steps from catching Dankvert. But then, all of a sudden, investigator Gennady Shantin was removed from the investigation, and Oleg Silchenko took over from him. But that time Magnitsky had already died, and Silchenko could use his time for other cases. He promised to “lock down” all corrupt officials, but in the end the investigation into $1 billion fraud turned out to be a fraud itself.

Denis Lavrov signed a plea agreement and gave evidence against Los and Dankvert. The police arrested Los. He also pleaded guilty and testified against Dankvert. The prosecutors wondered why to strike plea agreements with people whom the investigation had sufficient evidence against. Silchenko explained that he wanted to trap Dankvert, who has been the head of Rospotrebnadzor since 2004. Silchenko postponed the date of Dankvert’s arrest. The rationale behind that was “to wait until the end of Los and Lavrov’s trials”. After their verdicts Silchenko promised to lock down Dankvert.

In the end, thanks to the plea bargain, both Los and Lavrov escaped true punishment. Los got a suspended sentence of 6 years in prison, whereas Lavrov was sentenced to a year, which he already served during the pretrial detention.

It emerged recently that Silchenko is not going to “lock down” Dankvert. He dismissed the case, killing two birds with one stone.

He has helped the high profile official escape punishment, and helped Los and Lavrov get lesser sentences.

Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

Final ruling on Izmestiev?


The Supreme Court of Russia turned down the appeal against life imprisonment sentence on Igor Izmestiev, a former representative of Bashkortostan in the upper chamber of the parliament, convicted for contract killings and terrorism, reports said on 13 October.

The Supreme Court supported the earlier ruling of the Moscow City Court which had sentenced the oligarch to life in prison. The Russian media was almost silent about the verdict in that high-profile case, involving top officials and their relatives. Speaking before the judge, Izmentiev said that “everyone knew, it was Ural Rakhimov, the son of the president of Bashkortostan, who benefited from the crimes”. Izmentiev denied he was guilty and said he had had no motives to commit the crimes.

The Supreme Court ruled that Izmentiev’s conviction had been illegitimate on two charges of preparing an attempted murder, but the court confirmed he was guilty of other crimes.

Unnamed sources close to Izmestiev told Rumafia.com that the former billionaire expected a lesser sentence, since his people had approached Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov and he had promised to put in a good word for Izmestiev to Vladimir Putin.

Igor Izmestiev has already spent four years in prison, and over that period had a few chances to change his fate. It did not happened, due to two reasons, the sources told Rumafia.com. Firstly, he indeed paid for the public campaign against his conviction, but the funding was not sufficient. People, who would willingly accept money from him, usually come back, saying, “Sorry, man, we just could not help you”. No one wants to pay back, that is way Izmestiev is very cautious with additional payments.

He had his first chance to change the situation immediately after his arrest in Bishkek in January 2007. It was the time when the Kremlin began to ouster regional lords from power in order to re-stamp central authority on the country. One of those who the Kremlin wanted to get rid of was president of oil-rich Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. For many years Izmestiev was a shadowy financier for Rakhimovs’ clan, and handled their murky business affairs. He knew everything about Murtaza Rakhimov and his family. The prosecutors offered him a deal. Izmestiev could expect that judges reduce his sentence to 10-12 years if he betrayed family secrets of Rakhimovs, which could be the trump card in forcing the wilful leader of Bashkortostan out. Izmestiev had every reason to accept the offer. By that time the relationship between him and his business partner Ural Rakhimov had soured. Izmestiev ordered assassination of Ural, but it failed.

For Izmestiev to reveal the Rakhimovs’ secrets meant to provide the prosecutors with incriminating evidence against himself. Former oligarch was convinced of his impunity, and thought that his connections in the FSB would help fix the problem. He expected to go at large without giving evidence against the Rakhimovs. Above all he had a lot of money.         

Izmestiev hesitating, the prosecutors added in new charges against Izmestiev, he stood trial with the members of the Kingisepp mob, accused of murders. In the end, he was charged of terrorism. Russia’s Investigative Committee accused him of blasting a petrol station and a publishing house. It was president Rakhimov who scored points from both explosions.

The gravity of charges did not threat Izmestiev. He hired a team of lawyers, who were capable of convincing jurors, which is a rare case in Russian court system, and a group of people who worked with the jurors outside the courthouse.     

In May 2010, the lawsuit entered its final stages. The defendants and their lawyers told Rumafia.com that they had no doubts about the acquittal verdict, because the jury was leaning to it.

Rakhimov was still the president of Bashkortostan. Incarcerated Izmestiev was a good warning for Rakhimov to put up struggle for the power in the region. The FSB could not simple let Izmestiev escape punishment, otherwise the president of Bashkortostan would have received the wrong signal.

Jurors were approached by state security officers who urged them to withdraw from the jury because helping the criminal who committed crimes against the state would be very risky for themselves.

Only a few days before the jury were due to return the verdict, the number of jurors dropped to 11 people, which was not enough to pass the verdict. The jury was dismissed. Long awaited freedom flit away from under very nose of Izmestiev.

By the time of the repetead trial the law prohibiting trials heard by jury for such grave charges as terrorism had come into force. Three professional judges heard Rakhimov’s case. Seeing that, Rakhimov gave in and resigned. In December 2010 Izmestiev was sentenced to life in prison.

After the trial, the spirits of the former ‘senator’ drooped, and he began to rush around as if a trapped animal. He hired a whole crowd of famous people who supported him, including popular TV host Vladimir Soloviev, anti-corruption campaigner Kirill Kabanov, human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseeva. It was all but useless. They accepted money, but did nothing to help Izmestiev get lesser sentence.

That moment the former oligarch made up his mind and decided to do what had been expected from him a few years ago. He offered the prosecutors to testify against Rakhimov in exchange to a different term in prison. Neither the Kremlin, no the FSB needed his help any more. Toppled president of Bashkortostan gave away his oil assets, and was no threat for the federal center. Apart from that, Izmestiev was a deterrent for other businessmen who wanted to defy the state security forces. Izmestiev’s offer was not accepted.

In September 2011 Izmestiev found another way-out. A source in the FSB told Rumafia that Izmestiev’s people approached president Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, a close ally of ‘former and future’ president Vladimir Putin. For a long time Kadyrov has dreamt of building a refinery in oil-rich Chechnya, which will make Kadyrov an oil tycoon. Izmestiev said he was ready to finance the project and to bring in everything necessary for it. When arrested in Bishkek, Izmestiev was actually on business. He participated in talks to finalise the project of a refinery in Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz government abandoned the project, but since everything had been prepared for it, Izmestiev could easily transfer it to Chechnya.

Izmestiyev asked Kadyrov to speak with Putin about his problem. Kadyrov had publicly said that the construction of a refinery would begin in December 2011.

But the Supreme Court confirmed the life-imprisonment sentence. The sources told Rumafia it was difficult to say why it happened. Either Izmestiev was dumped as usual, or there can be a possibility of an appeal court overturning the verdict.

The lawyers of Izmestiev plan to appeal the verdict.  

Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

воскресенье, 16 октября 2011 г.

Supreme Court confirms former deputy Izmestiyev’s life sentence


Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld the life sentence for former representative of Bashkiria in the upper chamber of the parliament Igor Izmestiyev, who is convicted for terrorism, contract killings, and other crimes.

Izmestiyev’s lawyers appealed against the sentence by the court of Moscow City, and asked the Supreme Court to drop the case against their defendant, because of his “non-involvement in the crimes”, which he is being accused of. But the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Former member of the parliament denies any wrongdoing and wants the reinvestigation of the crimes.

“I have absolutely no motive for the crimes I am convicted for. Everyone knows who benefited from these crimes. It is Ural Rakhimov, son of former president of Bashkiria,” Izmestiyev said before the court.

Russian human rights activists, including leader of For Human Rights group Lev Ponomarev, publicly supported Izmestiyev. This resulted in other convicts having their sentence cut, although not considerably.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that Izmentiyev’s indictment was illegal on 2 counts, but it upheld his life sentence.

“We will appeal against this insane decision. We will go to the Court of Human Rights. They have cut sentence to the butchers who cooperated with investigation. They freed Izmestiyev of two crimes, but confirmed his sentence,” the lawyer said.


$10 million embezzlement in Russia’s e-government project


Unnamed officials, developing e-Russia program, have stolen approximately 280 million roubles ($10 million), the probe by the Prosecutor General’s Office showed. The Ministry of Internal affairs will decide whether the evidence is sufficient enough to bring charges against the suspects, who face 10 years in prison for what falls under Article 159.4 of the RF Criminal Code or “large-scale fraud”.

The probe revealed facts of corruption in the Ministry of Communications and state-controlled telecommunications company Rostelecom over the equipment supply contracts in 2009-2010. For instance, the state allocated 270 million roubles for purchasing software and hardware, according to the contract signed on 15 November 2010. But the contract price was seriously overvalued.

Rostelecom bought 155 servers from IBM, a source in the Russian company said. But the ministry received just 127 servers, less than it had been stipulated by the contract. A system integrator company called Nvision Group (owner Dmitry Taraba) was the contractor of Rostelecom.

The probe found out that the chain of resellers was set up in order to make the price higher.

Envision Group purchased 383 million roubles worth software and hardware, which Rostelecom bought for 511 million roubles. The communications ministry bought it from Rostelecom for 653 million roubles.

Aleksei Tarasenko, director general of Nvision Group, said that the calculations of the investigators were incorrect, because they did not include VAT and the price of software. The company paid 409 million roubles for IBM products, he said.

Rostelecom said that it had also bought 47.5 million worth equipment from Kraftway under the same contract.

Deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov, responsible for IT, is reported by Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) and other sources to have links with Nvision Group.

There was a “conflict of interests” between the companies purchasing products for e-Russia project and the companies selling it, according to the August statement of the Prosecutor General. Aleksei Naschekin, vice president of Rostelekom and former head of Nvision Group, was involved in the situation, the Prosecutor General referred to.

A spokesman of the Ministry of Communications said, that the ministry “had sent official explanations and objections” to the conclusions made by investigators.

However the probe into Rostelecom goes on, a source said. No charges have been brought yet.


A construction firm working in Moscow City filed for bankruptcy


Techinvest, which is building a skyscraper called Eurasia Tower for Moscow City business area project, filed for bankruptcy to the Moscow Arbitration Court.

Techinvest JSC was established by a developer holding MosCityGroup (MCG) owned by Paul Fuchs and Eurasia Group which belongs to Mukhtar Ablyazov, the former owner of Kazakhstan BTA Bank. Later Eurasia sold its stake to MCG. In June 2008 Techinvest took out a 12.5 billion rubles loan from Sberbank for five years to spend the sum on the construction of the tower.

Before the crisis, Techinvest invested about 4 billion rubles in the skyscraper, after which the construction was frozen. In March 2011 Sberbank appealed to arbitration court demanding to collect from the developer mortgaged property worth $ 5.2 billion rubles, since as of February 2010 the borrower defaulted on its obligations under the contract. In early September the court suspended the proceedings on the suit until completion of market valuation of the skyscraper.

According The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), Nafta Moscow owned by Suleiman Kerimov bought out the loan obligations from Sberbank. Nafta may resell the object to entities controlled by Bin owned by Mikhail Gutseriev and Mikail Shishkhanov.

The total area of the ​​75-storey Eurasia Tower will reach 214 000 square metres. The skyscraper will include Class A office space, apartments, a shopping mall, restaurants, cafes, and an underground parking space. Experts estimate that total investment in the project exceeds $ 700 million. At the moment construction works reaches as high as floor 50.


Suspect in the middle of the illegal casino scandal asks for indictment


A suspect in the Moscow region illegal casino chain case has lodged a complaint against decisions of the Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and his deputy Viktor Grin. Vladimir Glebov, former prosecutor of Noginsk, 34 km from Moscow, asks judges to overturn the resolution of the Prosecutor General’s office, which for the second time has not given its official approval for the indictment.

The rationale behind the Prosecutor General’s decision was “discrepancies in the evidence”, gathered by the police. Besides that, the draft of the indictment includes “insufficient evidence”, as well as unreliable technical expert examination, the prosecutors claim.

The defense sees no discrepancies in the evidence. Glebov is quoted by Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) as saying that the investigators described the actual events and that the indictment does not falsify the facts. The evidence is enough for indictment, Glebov said. Speaking before the Court of Tver, he said that he had been aware of the illegal gambling spot, located in the former By the Fountain café in Tretyego Internatsionala Street, which was owned by Ivan Nazarov. Former prosecutor confessed to the court that despite he had known about the casino, he had not taken measures to stop the criminal activity. Glebov also said, he had known about the conspiracy between businessman Nazarov and former first deputy chief prosecutor of the Moscow region Aleksandr Ignatenko, who is wanted by the police. Glebov told the court that following the Ignatenko’s orders he had helped the casino to avoid police raids by ringing up Ivan Volkov, Nazarov’s associate, before the operations.

The prosecutors did not give their approval for the indictment and returned it to the Russia’s Investigative Committee for redrafting. Glebov is suspected of abusing his power. The charges against him were part of the case of prosecutors, accused of protecting underground casino chain. Now when Glebov’s case has been singled out, the investigators agree to bring it before the court as it is.

When asked why he wanted his case process hastened, the former prosecutor said that during previous months he suffered from psycological tention and wanted to “get the whole thing over with”.

Suspect in the middle of the illegal casino scandal asks for indictment



The scandal over participation of local prosecutors in protecting the chain of illegal casinos in the Moscow region affects more and more people. “Godfather” of corrupt prosecutors Yuri Sindeyev, head of the inner control department in the Prosecutor General’s Office, has resigned. Searches were conducted in the office of Nikolay Golovkin, chief of the Moscow region police. However, there is a person in the headline-breaking case that seems to have immunity. That person is the lawyer Dmitry Yakubovsky, better known as General Dima.

Testimony of witnesses, including prosecutors, show that Yakubovsky was involved in many shady activities in Moscow region. But he has not been even summoned for questioning. The reasons for such an immunity stem from the 1990s, when General Dima participated in the wars over power in the country and was a very influential person. Since then he has damaging information on various officials including acting ones.


King of theatre tickets and lavotary pans

Dmitry Olegovich Yakubovsky was born on September 5, 1963 in the family of Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Yakubovsky, a senior researcher in a top-secret USSR Ministry of Defense Research Institute № 4. His two brothers, Stanislav and Aleksander, were born later. In 1979, when Dima was 16 years old, his father died of cirrhosis of the liver. Moreover, the disease was not caused by alcohol, but by exposure to radiation at work.

Dmitry is rumored to have undergone treatment for schizophrenia as a child. He went to the same school as Andrey Karaulov, who later became a well-known television journalist and host of popular show Moment Istiny (Russian for “the moment of truth”). Friends of Dmitry’s father tried to help the boy enter a prestigious military higher education institution, namely Leningrad Institute of Military Engineers. But at the time such prestigious universities had a clear limit on Jewish students. Yakubovsky did not get into it. So he entered a more modest Perm Higher Military Academy of Strategic Rocket Forces. The academy did not get through the grind of military training, because Dima was not used to such atmosphere. As a result, he was expelled from his first year "for low moral standards." The young man went to serve in Zlatoust, a city near Chelyabinsk.

When the military service was over, he went to work as a loader in the suburbs, but he did that for just a couple of months, and then Dmitry got tired of the dirty work. He was determined to get higher education in the simplest way, which was to enter an evening department of a university. But only employed young people could enter evening departments and preference was given to those who worked in the same field as their future degree would be in. Dmitry began to ring up various agencies trying to find a job. In institutions related to culture, he claimed that he needed a job because he wanted to enter a relevant university course. In trade institutions he claimed that he wanted to become a student of the university, which trains sales staff. But nobody wanted to hire him.

Then for the first time Dima came up with a shrewd move. He phoned a USSR Prosecutor General's office mid-level employee and said that he wanted to enter a law school and was looking for a job. The man, who was not pleased with being bothered on such matters, yelled at Dmitry and told him to address an ordinary clerk for that matter. When Yakubovsky phoned the clerk, he said that he was calling "upon the recommendation of" the middle manager, whom he had called earlier. In Soviet times the phrase "calling upon the recommendation" could solve many problems. The clerk thought that Dima had connections and offered him a job. He was hired as a lowest-ranking technical clerk. Almost immediately it became clear that the newfound employee did not really have any useful skills. As a result, his first task was to get tickets to the theatre for the chief, which at that time were a major deficit. Dmitry succeeded and was again charged with the same task.

Soon all ticket office employees in Moscow knew Yakubovsky as the young man, for whom they should always put off tickets. He thanked the cashiers by giving them various presents including lipstick, perfume, and sweets. Prosecutor General's office employees who wanted to purchase tickets through Dima grew in number and there were so many of them that he decided to take a step further. Once Yakubovsky brought tickets to the reception of Deputy Prosecutor General and ran into him at the door. Dima quickly put two and two together and told him that all the other government agencies had a permanent reservation for the tickets and only the Prosecutor Generals’s Office did not. Soon he was handed a letter signed by Deputy Prosecutor General addressed to the Ministry of Culture for assistance in obtaining tickets for the staff of the law enforcement agency. Dmitry personally brought the letter to the Deputy Minister of Culture and Ivanov, the then deputy minister, signed it.

Dmitry Yakubovsky's first assignment as prosecutor's office employee was to get theatre tickets

All theatres easily agreed to have tickets reserved for prosecutors. Only the Bolshoi Theatre persisted because to get there meant to withstand competition from other agencies that had tickets reserved for them. Tickets to Bolshoi became a matter of principle for Dima. He addressed Deputy Prosecutor General and Deputy Minister of Culture with a claim saying that the theatre did not act in accordance with the orders he had received from the mentioned officials. The Bolshoi staff gave in, but they were not pleased with such persistence of Yakubovsky.

Having virtually unlimited access to theatre tickets, Dmitry quickly became a needed person for the wives and children of various officials. During the Soviet era people who could get something in short supply were highly valued. But the career in the prosecutor's office quickly collapsed. Representatives of the Bolshoi Theatre complained that tickets reserved for prosecutor’s office staff were often used by strangers. This resulted in Yakubovsky being fired from the agency.

But by that time he was already a student at the All-Union Correspondence Institute of Law and had different useful connections. As a result, Dima immediately got a job as an engineer at USSR Gossnab central warehouse. Such a job meant having the access to building materials which were even more of a deficit than theatre tickets. Yakubovsky quickly acquired new connections. Among them there were underground millionaires, factory directors, managers of construction companies, and generals. The latter helped Dmitry to get a job in Moscow Military District housing unit. But he got fired very soon.

One of the new friends contributed to the further career of Dmitry. Yuli Bocharov, deputy director of Lobnensky plant which produced sanitary faience, helped Yakubovsky to get a job at Glavmosremont. There the young man worked for a short period of time as a low-ranking employee, and then was promoted to deputy chief of construction Remstroytrest management in Pervomaisky district. In this position, Dmitry was responsible for plumbing in residential homes, which, in fact, was what Bocharov wanted from helping his friend to get into the agency. Together, they carried out large-scale fraud in the supply of lavatory pans. Yakubovsky started to make big money.

Dmitry’s boss was extremely displeased with this activity of his subordinate, and Bocharov arranged for Dmitry to become chief of Remstroytrest supply department in Leninsky district. Once Dmitry was introduced to Constantine Apraksin, the permanent head of Moscow City Bar, over some work-related issues, the lawyer complained that the City Bar was allotted a building for offices, but there were problems with relocating tenants and with renovation. Yakubovsky immediately offered his services, and specifically mentioned that he was getting a law degree. That way he entered the world of advocacy.

Prosecutor's office procurement agent

In 1984, when Yakubovsky was only 21 years old, Apraksin appointed him as his assistant. Dmitry quickly adapted to the new job. Through his connections he was able to get flats for tenants of the building aimed for offices, and then had it placed on Glavmospromstroy plan for reconstruction. Soon the Bar had a freshly renovated office building. Yakubovsky was promoted to senior consultant of the panel. However, his duties were not connected to law. He helped with getting an apartment, constructing a county house, or dacha as it is called in Russian, etc.


Politburo problem solver

In 1986 Yakubovsky entered into a marriage that was considered very lucrative at the time. He married Elena Muravyeva with whom he had a daughter Daria Yakubovskaya. Muravyeva’s father was deputy chairman in Mosoblispolkom, i.e. Moscow region executive committee, which was in fact the government of Moscow. Among other things, he oversaw the construction and allocation of dachas in the suburbs.

Thanks to his wife and her father, Dmitry got in the party highest circles. In particular, he actively communicated with the children of party bosses. The Yakubovsky couple became especially close to the son and daughter of Anatoly Lukyanov, who later became all-powerful secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. Several sources of Rumafia said that in the 1980s Dmitry who had a lot of high-ranking friends interested KGB and became its agent.

Dmitry’s career developed rapidly, although it was still in construction. In 1987 Boris Yeltsin appointed a new Moscow prosecutor Lev Baranov, to whom Yakubovsky was introduced as the right person. The young lawyer became head of property maintenance department in the office of the chief prosecutor of Moscow city. He quickly got several buildings on Novokuznetskaya Street for his new office. Moscow prosecutor’s office still occupies those buildings. Yakubovsky actively helped employees get apartments. An important achievement of Dmitry in this department was the installation of telephones, connecting senior management of the city and country. Yakubovsky also installed one in his reception. Even then, the young man loved to use this means of communication to solve even the tiniest issues. The main thing was to make sure that people he called remembered him, so that he could use them again later.

In 1987 Boris Yeltsin was dismissed from his post as first secretary of the Moscow City Party Committee. The relationship between Yakubovsky and Baranov became very tense. Yakubovsky considered himself a gray cardinal of Moscow prosecutor’s office because of his connections. Baranov did not think so. Once the Moscow lawyer sent an acquaintance of his to talk to Yakubovsky and ordered that she was driven home in a service car. Dmitry was outraged at Baranov’s attempt to use him almost as a driver. Being a quick-tempered person, Yakubovsky spoke rudely to Baranov. A conflict broke out. As a result, Yakubovsky faced criminal charges for the first time in his life. He was accused of having run over a man in a car accident. No connections could help him with that and Dmitry had to leave the prosecutor’s office. The case was soon closed.

For a few months Yakubovsky worked at Moscow City Executive Committee in the hotels department. Then he settled down with the old connections in the Bar, namely Gregory Voznesensky, Chairman of the USSR Union of Lawyers, appointed him secretary of the Union. Again, Yakubovsky engaged in construction. Having renovated rooms, Dmitry was able to arrange to have a phone in his office. He also lobbied for the adoption by the Council of Ministers of the USSR "The provisions of the Union of Lawyers", equating the agency in rights with the Union of Writers and other creative unions. It happened in 1989.

Then Yakubovsky decided to give it a try as an acting lawyer. However, throughout his career he was engaged in quite specific advocacy. Dmitry introduced clients to people who could solve their problems. He collected information at the top as to what the clients needed to do to avoid being put behind bars. In the meanwhile he always kept in mind his extremely excessive financial interests. Simply put, Yakubovsky never was a lawyer, he was a problem solver.

One of his first clients was Gaidar Aliyev, the then a member of the CCPU Executive Committee Politburo and First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers. Aliyev had a conflict with Mikhail Gorbachev. In February 1990 Pravda newspaper published devastating article about Aliyev. He was in disgrace, all prominent party members refused to communicate with him. There were rumours of his possible arrest.

Gaidar Aliyev, first major clients of Yakubovsky as problem solver

Aliyev frequently contacted the journalist Andrey Karaulov, who advised to seek assistance from the lawyer Yakubovsky who had extensive connections. Dmitry perfectly played the role of problem solver. Having found out how serious the problems of Aliyev were and having discussed them with relevant people, Yakubovsky explained to the client what to do in order to avoid serious consequences. He advised Alieyv to leave Moscow for Azerbaijan where he was born and to become a national deputy so that to try to return to the pinnacle of power in the status of a deputy. The plan worked. For many years Aliyev ruled independent Azerbaijan.

After that incident, Yakubovsky had other clients. Among them there were senior officials and representatives of the emerging organized crime.


A twenty-seven-year-old general

Dmitry Yakubovsky’s brother Stanislav was enrolled in the army in 1990. For his brother Dmitry turned compulsory military service into a dream. He arranged for Stanislav to be sent in the Western Group of Forces. Yakubovsky would travel to Eastern Germany to visit his brother. In Germany Yakubovsky befriended Mogilatov, the aide to the WGF Commander in Chief. By 1990 the Soviet government had lost control of the financial affairs of the WGF. Every year Moscow transferred huge money to Germany to maintain the forces. This money was being embezzled. Alcohol, cigarettes, and home appliances were smuggled from Germany to Moscow under the guise of military cargoes. Antiques were transferred in the opposite direction. The WGF brought huge profits to high-profile officials, who still have cushy jobs, to generals, business owners, leaders of organized crime groups, and such con artists as Semen Mogilevich, Arkady Gaidamak, and Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov. At the beginning Yakubovsky and Mogilatov were involved in minor scams.

With the USSR falling apart it was clear that the WGF were living out their last days. Sooner or later the government would have to put military property on sale. Naturally, Yakubovsky could not miss a chance to line his pockets. During Yakubovsky's visit to Moscow he got in touch with the then defense minister Dmitry Yazov. Once, after having come back from his trip to Germany, Yakubovsky made a call to the defense minister.  Speaking with Yazov, Yakubovsky suggested a scheme of selling the property of the WGF. Yakubovsky promised that the scheme would be profitable, and the USSR Union of Lawyers would guarantee the legality of every deal. Yazov liked Yakubovsky’s proposal. Having asked about the details, Yazov decided that Yakubovsky could become a reliable ally for pondering military assets. Above all, Yakubovsky had recommendations from high-ranking military officers, whom Yazov trusted.    

Cooperation between Yazov and Yakubovsky resulted in the unprecedented order signed by the defense minister on October 19, 1990. Below is an extract from the order:

<…> To establish a working group, consisting of generals and officers of the USSR Armed Forces from one side and lawyers, members of the Union of Jurists and Union of Lawyers, from the other side for managing and selling the assets of the Soviet Forces in the territory of the former GDR to natural and legal persons.

<…>To designate major general Yu. A. Belikov, deputy head of the staff of rear services, as the head of the working group from the side of the Armed Forces, and to designate D. O. Yakubovsky, secretary of the board of the Union of Lawyers, as the head of working group from the side of the Union of Lawyers and the Union of Jurists.

<…>To authorize the group to act on behalf of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR and its military units".

<…>To authorize major general Yu. A. Belikov, deputy head of the staff of rear services, and major general Ye. A. Gorbatyuk, head of the WGF rear services and deputy Commander in Chief of the WGF, to sign any documents, including contracts, agreements or other, pertaining to the above mentioned affairs, on behalf of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR and its military units if there is a written approval signed by D.O. Yakubovsky, the head of the working group from the side of the Union of Lawyers and Union of Jurists of the USSR <…>

Dmitry Yazov authorized pondering USSR military assets in former GDR

Together with a group of high-ranking generals from the defense ministry, 27-year-old Dmitry Yakubovsky decided on all affairs relating to the property of the WGF. Hardly had Yazov signed the order, Dmitry arrived to Germany on board of a military aircraft and got down to plundering military assets. He worked with a group of generals, led by Konstantin Kobets, deputy head of the USSR General Staff. The group controlled the whole process of selling out military property and guarded their cash bonanza from outsiders who wanted to have their share in the profitable deals. For instance, the group ousted Aleksandr Rutskoi, the first and the only vice-president of Russia, from lucrative deals with military property. It was Grigory Miroshnik who represented Rutskoi’s interests in the WGF.

Yakubovsky displayed no politeness to the majority of generals, who saw him as an arrogant boss and who had to suffer from his rudeness and bad temper. They nicknamed Yakubovsky General Dima.

In a short period of time Dmitry Yakubovsky became a wealthy man. His name was legendary in the USSR. Politicians referred to him as a mighty KGB general, who enjoyed unrestricted powers and could fix every problem through his numerous connections with the country's leaders.


Dirty archives

Indeed General Dima worked for the KGB. He secretly reported all corruption cases and began to gather damaging materials about all participants of the military property fraud scheme. Yakubovsky had all his talks with the top brass recorded. His associate was Boris Birstein, head of the KGB-controlled international firm called Siabeko. They both collected an archive, containing incriminating materials against the generals. Birnstein was involved in a money-laundering scheme. Through the front companies set up by Birnstein, Yakubovsky and Kobets legalized money they made from selling state property. Birnstein also legalized money for both the KGB and its officers.

General Dima and General Kobets made a lot of enemies. They irritated Rutskoi, General Arkhipov, head of the rear services of the Armed Forces; certain members of politburo, and generals of the KGB, who did not have their share from selling the WGF property. Yakubovsky and Kobets did their best to protect themselves from the attacks of their enemies. Yakubovsky got in touch with Anatoly Lukyanov, a party leader, and brought him to his side. With Yakubovsky's help Kobets became a member of the RSFSR Supreme Council, Russia's parliament at that time. However their enemies reached out to Mikhail Gorbachev, secretary general of the central committee of the CPSU. Gorbachev ordered to probe into Yakubovsky's affairs and drive him out of the WGF.

This time his connections and his services to the KGB did not help. Yakubovsky fell out of favour, and his friends, including Lukyanov, advised him that he should stay away from the USSR for a while. Birstein and Yakubovsky had a common friend, Nikolai Olshansky. Olshansky chaired a state-run producer of fertilizers called Agrokhim. He appointed Yakubovsky director of Basle-based Fersam, a subsidiary of Agrokhim.

Anatoly Lukyanov, introduces Yakobosky to the high-ranking party members

In Switzerland Dmitry Yakubovsky cooperated with local intelligence service. In 1991 he went to Canada to attend Boris Birstein's daughter nuptials. Yakubovsky decided to settle down in Canada. When in Canada, Dmitry Yakubovsky conspired with Boris Birstein to launder money for Russian officials. Both kept records of this activity.

When the August 1991 putsch failed, the CPSU collapsed and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Gorbachev, who disliked Yakubovsky, was toppled, while Konstantin Kobets got a promotion. During August 19-21, 1991 Kobets coordinated the defense of the White House, Russian parliament building, and became a close ally of Boris Yeltsin, leader of Russian anti-communist forces and first president of Russia. Yeltsin appointed Kobets the country's defense minister. Soon after the disintegration of the USSR, Russian government established a commission for military reform, charged with the task of reorganizing the defense ministry, army, and navy. Konstantin Kobets was a member of the commission, and he decided to do a favour to his friend Yakubovsky. He invited Yakubovsky to Russia.     

For fears of being arrested, Yakubovsky did not come back to Russia. Kobets brought Yakubovsky to Moscow in March 1992, using his personal plane for that purpose. Yakubovsky was named an advisor to the military reform commission. Together Yakubovsky and Kobets devised a scheme to defraud the state money for military reform. They misappropriated the state funds, allocated for other purposes. General Kobets and Dmitry Yakubovsky established a company called Information Agency LLC. The firm sold arms and defense systems, oil, gas, rare-earth metals, precious stones, etc.

Konstantin Kobets, closest accomplice of Yakubovsky

Kobets belong to one of the competing clans inside the Kremlin, namely to that of vice Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko. Yakubovsky joined the same group. When in summer 1992 Shumeiko was appointed first vice Prime Minister, he offered General Dima a post of out-of-staff advisor to Russian government for legal affairs and security services. Dmitry had a personal office in the government building, a permission to carry a firearm, and a dacha in Zhukovo settlement. By that time Yakubovsky had already realized that the land in Zhukovka and Odintsovo district of Moscow Region would become prestigious and bring enormous money in future. He began to buy up this land. Dmitry Yakubovsky's neighbours were Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov, security minister Viktor Barannikov, and deputy minister of internal affairs Andrei Dunayev. Soon they all became friends. Yakubovsky made new connections and got himself involved in the number of affairs. His wealth grew day by day. Dmitry Yakubovsky continued gathering his collection of dirt; his archives filled up with information provided by his new friends.

In Yeltsin's time using damaging materials against political rival was an everyday practice. It is no secret that Boris Yeltsin was very suggestive and feared conspiracy. So if a person wanted to destroy his enemies, the first thing he had to do was to try to meet with the president, which was a hard task, but yet achievable. Then he had to present compromising documents against his rival to Yeltsin and hint at the possibility of conspiracy. The same moment Boris Yeltsin would dismiss this person. Dmitry Yakubovsky traded in damaging information.

Which documents were authentic and which Dmitry Yakunovsky forged was not so important. Aleksandr Voloshin, head of the presidential staff in the late 1990s - early 2000s, and oligarch Boris Berezovsky both used Yakubovsky's services. Since Yeltsin's time Yakubovsky, Berezovsky, and Voloshin have been good friends.

Meanwhile Shumeiko's clan planned to put their people to key positions in the military and security forces of emerging Russia. The operation took place in autumn 1992, and Yakubovsky played a key role in it. On September 17 he was appointed a plenipotentiary of the law enforcement and state security forces in the government of Russia, which gave him a status of a first deputy minister. At the same time he was appointed deputy head of Main Directorate of Radio Reconnaissance, advisor to Russia's Prosecutor General for the issues of international legal system, and consultant of interior ministry's criminal police and National Bureau of the Interpol in Russia. 

News about Yakubovsky’s appointment was an unpleasant surprise for Aleksandr Korzhakov, head of Yeltsin's bodyguards, and Yury Skokov, secretary of the RF Security Council, Shumeiko's rivals. They immediately turned to the president and persuaded him to dismiss General Dima. Five days after his appointment Yakubovsky stepped down. This incident showed that there was rivalry between different groups inside the Kremlin. Yakubovsky's archives played important role in that struggle for power.

Each day brought a new configuration of power. One day Barannikov and Stepankov would plot against Skokov, then Rutskoi would plot with Birstein and ask Dmitry Yakubovsky for another piece of compromising materials about his rivals, or Shumeiko would make it up with his main enemy Korzhakov etc. But whatever configuration it was, Yakubovsky was a scapegoat. The question was whether to put General Dima behind the bars or to eliminate him. It was decided that the first variant would do. Skokov's protégé Viktor Yerin, the interior minister, ordered his deputy Mikhail Yegorov to arrest Yakubovsky. A SWAT team arrived to Yakubovsky's dacha in Zhukovka… just to find out there was another group of fighters inside his house. In the end Shumeiko's protégé Andrei Dunayev, also deputy interior minister, took Yakubovsky off to Yerevan, Armenia, and Yakubovsky went to Canada through the UAE.


Robbery, bribing a judge, attempted rape of a man

The Kremlin clans were struggling for power. Numerous anti-corruption commissions appeared. The heads of such commissions made public statements saying they would investigate major cases and find the guilty ones. It was always Yakubovsky and Birstein who had evidence.

Vladimir Shumeiko, political playboy

Within a short period of time, Stepankov, Barannikov, Shumeiko, heads of the RF Anti-Corruption Commission Andrei Makarov and Aleksei Ilyushenko, all made their visits to Dmitry Yakubovsky in Canada. They wanted compromising materials, and Yakubovsky gave them what they wished to have. He personally appeared on TV in the programmes hosted by his schoolmate Andrei Karaulov.

At some point Yakubovsky felt he was fed up with his role of a person who leaked damaging materials to the media. He wanted to take part in real politics.  But for fears of legal persecution he could not come back to Moscow. In autumn 1993 Russia faced a new political crisis. Vice President Rutskoi and Khasbulatov, speaker of the Supreme Soviet of Russia, were in opposition to Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin disbanded the parliament by his decree, which was the violation of the constitution of the RSFSR. There was popular unrest in Moscow, and Yeltsin tried to discredit his political rivals. He used the commission, led by Makarov and Ilyushenko, for throwing a lot if mud at Rutskoi and Khasbulatov. Makarov and Ilyushenko asked Dmitry Yakubovsky to help them with compromising materials.

Yakubovsky provided the commission with materials about a trust, allegedly owned by Rutskoi. In exchange he asked Makarov and Yakubovsky to give him an official paper. The following statement came through:

 To whoever it might concern. About Dmitry Yakubovsky"

Notice is hereby given by me, Aleksei Ilyushenko, that 1) the Anti-Corruption Commision, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, has not accused Mr Dmitry Yakubovsky of any wrongdoing and that the Commission has not got any sufficient evidence to bring legal actions against Mr Yakubovsky. Neither me, nor the Commission, have reasons to think that Dmitry Yakubovsky has been involved in any criminal activity.

2) Mr Dmitry Yakubovsky has not given me, as the member of the Commission, any documents, records or any other materials, relating to Boris Birstein, Siabeco Trade and Finance AG, Siabeco Metalls AG, and Siabeco Canada Inc<…>

 However, it was too dangerous for Yakubovsky to come back to Moscow. Even if he had such a document, his return would disappoint his former friends Stepankov and Barannikov, who frankly warned him against returning to Moscow. Stepankov and Barannikov arranged things so that the police opened a criminal case against Yakubovsky on charges of illegally crossing the boarder. Yakubovsky hit back with a campaign to discredit Stepankov and Barannikov. Records of telephone talks between Yakubovsky, Barannikov, and Stepanov appeared in the media, as well as the record of Yakubovsky's conversation with Birstein, when Birnstein had asked Yakubovsky to give him damaging materials about Shumeiko. The records of conversations became available for the media through Yakubovsky.

Boris Birstein, a prominent businessman, involved in former KGB money laundering

When Yeltsin won a victory over Rutskoi and Khasbulatov, a lot of Yakubovsky's rivals, including Barannikov, lost their high positions. Finally Dmitry Yakubovsky could come back to Russia. After all, this time people from the very top asked him to stay out of politics.

Yakubovsky chaired Moscow's legal advice bureau no.59. In Moscow everyone knew that he was the key figure for fixing problems. His connections opened every door for him, and this began to bring money. Among Yakubovsky’s clients there were both officials and members of the organized crime groups. Once General Dima helped leader of Solntsevskaya organized crime group Sergei Mikhailov, also known as Mikhas. Mikhas lived abroad, but the police searched his Moscow flat as part of the investigation into facts of corruptions in law enforcement bodies in 1993. At the very moment when the police seized the paperwork Yakubovsky rushed into the flat and took away the documents under the noses of the police.  

Yakubovsky's hopes for a peaceful life ended when in 1994 his enemies, including Aleksandr Korzhakov, Viktor Barannikov, and Valentin Stepankov who were most prominent among them, asked Birstein to kill Yakubovsky, because "he continued compromising Barannikov and Stepankov". Birstein sent a confidant to Russia, but this person failed the task, being unable to find a hitman.

The same year Dmitry made a very big mistake and gave grounds for the police to arrest him. His brother Stanislav lived in Switzerland. He was a shadowy antiques dealer. Antiques were the Yakubovskys' family business.

Stanislav was involved in various affairs. A number of manuscripts, stolen from the Russian National Library by Viktor Lebedev, the keeper of ancient eastern manuscripts, passed through his hands. When Lebedev emigrated to Israil, he passed to Stanislav the list of the most precious manuscripts worth 250-300 million dollars that were kept in the library. The list also contained the exact location of the manuscripts in the manuscripts' department where Lebedev worked.

A good client of Stanislav, a Hattendorf, citizen of Austria, was interested in the manuscripts. Stanislav Yakubovsky contacted his influential brother Dmitry in St Petersburg. Dmitry decided he would organize the "robbery of the century". Thieves entered the library, stole manuscripts, and left them in a flat of Yakubovsky's friends in St Petersburg. They told them that inside the sacks there were kitchen items.

The friends worked as the FSB agents. By the way, at that time the FSB was called the FSK. They looked inside the sacks and understood that those contained the stolen manuscripts, not kitchenware. As the news about the robbery spread around the city, they reported to the police. Police officers made an ambush and caught Yakubovsky's bodyguard and driver. Earlier the driver worked for Andrei Karaulov. The driver and the bodyguard betrayed their boss.

Ankdrei Karaulov, a childhood friend

Dmitry Yakubovsky was arrested. It was a top story in the newspapers. Yakubovsky's friend could not help him out.

However, it was not easy to put Yakubovsky behind the bars. During the trial, he tried to bribe Fedor Kholodov, judge of the Russian federal court. The attempt was suppressed by the FSB. On November 14, 1996Yakubovsky was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He served his term in the colony for convicted policemen in Nizhny Tagil. While in the colony, he beat up his inmate and was sentenced to an additional term for an attempt to rape the man.

======= Organized Criminal Groups 2003 RUSSIA =======

Surname ............ YAKUBOVSKI

Name ................ DMITRY

Patronymic ........... OLEGOVICH

Birthday ...... September 5, 1963.

Place of birth ..... Bolshevom Moscow region.

Addresses ............. № 1 registered at 4 Obrucheva, apt.1 14,  MOSCOW , RUSSIA

Passport ............ № 1 CRIMINAL CASE number 393 917 Episodes: 1. Article 174, part 2 of the RF Criminal Code. BACKGROUND: AN ATTEMPT to bribe a MUNICIPAL COURT judge FOR THE ADOPTION knowingly unjust decision in the case against YAKUBOVSKI; INSTITUTED April 24, 1996


The owner of Rublyovka

Yakubovsky was released from prison in 1998. For a while he tried to play politics. He undertook to defend Anatoly Sobchak and Lyudmila Narusova, and then held a press conference denouncing Alfa-Bank. Quite quickly Yakubovsky became an advocate for such people like Solntsevskaya gang kingpin Arnold Tamm, who in 2002 was charged with involvement in cocaine trafficking. General Dima no longer produced the same effect on people as before. Wars of damaging information were coming to an end. Authorities preferred to solve their problems in their offices, keeping their dirty linen away from the public eye.

Yakubovsky was quick to realize the upsides of such behavior. He had ceased to be a public figure many years ago. Rumafia journalists interviewed famous lawyers and found out that Yakubovsky continued to be listed in the registry, but no one could recall at least one criminal case in which Yakubovsky served as defense counsel in recent years. According to the lawyers, General Dima now led a quiet life of a major problem solver and rentier. He is still welcome in many officials’ offices, so sometimes different people who have problems with the authorities address him for help. Such problems are solved through Dmitry’s connections.

Yakubovsky no longer seeks to be a public figure

However, his main source of income is not problem solving. In the early 1990s he bought a large plot of land in the prestigious Odintsovo district. In particular, almost all the area around the presidential residence Gorki-10. When released from prison, General Dima immediately began building Gorki-8, an elite housing estate near the presidential residence. In 2007 Dmitry sold 75% of his stake in Gorki-8 LLC. for more than $ 100 million to Sistema-Hals, a subsidiary of AFK Systema. Yakubovsky still owns 25% of the shares.


======= Single state register of legal entities 2010 02 NATURAL PERSONS AS ENTITY ESTABLISHERS =======

Surname ................... YAKUBOVSKY

Name ....................... DMITRY

Patronymic .................. OLEGOVICH

Personal tax reference number....... 771002513807

Invested amount, in rubles ......... 43925000

Established entity ... GORKI 8 LLC

Primary State Registration Number........ 1075032011372

Date of entry ...... December 5, 2007


Established entity



PSRN 1075032011372 

PTRN 5032172562

Status  ACTIVE   

Date of Update APRIL 2008




Name  Sistema Hals JSC

PSRN  1027739002510

PTRN 7706032060

Address 115184  35 B, TATARSKAYA ULITSA, APT. 4, MOSCOW





Patronymic OLEGOVICH

PTRN 771002513807

Invested amount (USD) 43925000

Date of entry December 5, 2007

Even after the deal Yakubovsky still owned land in Odintsovo district, including plots not yet used for construction, the cost of which rose almost daily.

In 1998 General Dima also began to help his people get various positions as Moscow region authorities and now he is one of the shadow owners of the region. In particular, in 2001 Dmitry Yakubovsky beat up a local businessman. He failed to hush up the incident since the businessman filed a claim to the police. Stanislav Buyansky, a 21-year-old employee of Odintsovo prosecutor's office, was in charge of the pre-investigation checks. A refusal decision followed and after that General Dima took care of Buyansky helping him with promotion so that by 28 the officer became deputy prosecutor of Moscow region. Buyansky was also a member of the prosecution group providing support for the underground casinos.

It is worth noting that all members of this group were associated with Yakubovsky, helping him in the land business and other projects. Ivan Nazarov, the man who set up the network of illegal casinos, in fact at one time was a part of Yakubovsky’s family, so to say. For a long time the man and the daughter of General Dima, Dasha, had lived together as a couple. And it was at that time that Yakubovsky introduced Nazarov in the gambling business.

In addition to prosecutor’s office, for many years General Dima has had control over Denis Panaitov, the head of Odintsovo department of the Russian Federation Investigative Committee. He also controlled successive heads of district administrations. However, Yakubovsky’s influence spread beyond Odintsovo district. He is acquainted with the leaders of the regional government of various ranks, who also assist him. As a result, Yakubovsky has a strong position in the region. In addition to the land business, Dmitry owns Transoil CJSC. He and his wife own half of the shares in Moscow Regional Energy Company CJSC.

Yakubovsky, a prominent rentier, and his seventh wife, Ekaterina

He is a very rich man, who no longer plays politics. General Dima focuses most of his efforts on the thing that is the most important one for him at the moment. It is women's volleyball team Valero which he recently bought in Switzerland. In spring the team became national champion. In Russia, such a manifestation of publicity like the acquisition of a sports club can be interpreted as an attempt to start a new political game and, therefore, it may entail imprisonment. Therefore, General Dima is forced to be a quiet investor and speak of former battles for power with other former key personalities of the 1990s. Such quiet life ensures that the security forces turn a blind eye to petty pranks of Yakubovsky. And so far he retains his immunity.


Surname ................... YAKUBOVSKY

Name ....................... DMITRY

Patronymic .................. OLEGOVICH

Investment value, rubles ......... 50 000

Established entity ... Transoil JSC

PSRN...................... 1037739036312

Date of entry ...... January 09, 2003




Name    Transoil JSC

PSRN   1037739036312      

PTRN 7707307007


Update NOVEMBER 2008






Partonymic  OLEGOVICH

PTRN 771002513807

Invested amount (RUB) 50000

Date of entry  January 9, 2003


=======Single state register of legal entities 2010 02 NATURAL PERSONS AS ENTITY ESTABLISHERS =======

Surname ................... YAKUBOVSKY

Name ....................... DMITRY

Patronymic .................. OLEGOVICH

Invested amount, in rubles......... 500 000

Established entity ... MOSOBLENERGO JSC

PSRN...................... 1065032057848

Date of entry ...... April 16, 2007


Established entity



PSRN   1065032057848  

PTRN  5032157483

Status  ACTIVE

Update APRIL 2009





Name Ekaterina

Partonymic Viktorovna


Invested amount (RUB) 250 000

Date of entry  December 29, 2006




Partonymic  OLEGOVICH


Invested amount (RUB) 500 000

Date of entry  April 16, 2007


Surname VASIN

Name Vladimir


PTRN 771205793483

Invested amount (RUB) 500 000

Date of entry April 8, 2008


Surname Alekseyev

Name Denis

Partonymic Valirievich

PTRN 773116358436

Invested amount (RUB) 500 000

Date of entry April 04, 2008


Thomas Petrov, Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com