Arrested banker Kuzmin to be questioned in Colonel Zakharchenko case

Arrested banker Kuzmin to be questioned in Colonel Zakharchenko case
Dmitry Zakharchenko

Some sources say that the former member of the Board of Directors of the European Express Bank, Oleg Kuzmin, used to work with banker Ivan Stankevich, who ordered the billionaire colonel to give bribes.

The former member of the Board of Directors of the European Express Bank, who was arrested for withdrawing money from Russia using the so-called Moldovan scheme, may be questioned in the case of billionaire Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, Rosbalt reports referring to its sources. 

According to them, for a long time, Kuzmin worked with banker Ivan Stankevich, who, in turn, is associated with the co-owners of the 1520 Group of Companies, Boris Usherovich and Valery Markelov. The 1520 GC is the largest recipient of contracts from Russian Railways. In this business, Stankevich was responsible for financial and banking areas – including giving orders for the payment of large bribes to Dmitry Zakharchenko. 

In Moscow, Oleg Kuzmin was responsible for withdrawing the cash of Stankevich’s team. He worked closely with several large Moscow markets – the main sources of shadow cash. 

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Valery Markelov

In 2014, Kuzmin filed a statement claiming that former Director General of the Spartak hockey club Pyotr Chuvilin and ex-UFSB officer in Moscow and the Moscow region, Yury Yaroslavtsev, were extorting $5 million from him. The banker specified that Chuvilin and Yaroslavtsev offered him assistance in removing restrictions from the Central European Bank from ‘his’ European Express, referring to his connections in the leadership of the Central Bank and the FSB. In response, Kuzmin turned to the FSB, where he was advised to file an official complaint. In October 2014, Chuvilin came to Kuzmin to get a tranche in the amount of $1.5 million, upon receipt of which he was detained. Yaroslavtsev was detained soon after that. In 2016, the court sentenced both of them to 4 years’ ordinary imprisonment.  

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Pyotr Chuvilin

After being released, Chuvilin became a witness as part of the investigation into giving of bribes to Zakharchenko by 1520 GC co-owners. As a result, Markelov was detained, while Usherovich, Stankevich, and financier Dmitry Motorin were put on the international wanted list. 

On July 1, 2019, the arrest of Oleg Kuzmin was reported. He is accused of Participation in a Crime Community, which used to withdraw money from Russia using the Moldovan scheme. Rosbalt sources believe that the banker will be questioned as part of Zakharchenko’s case. It is likely that the investigation of the Moldovan scheme will be combined with the investigation into the withdrawal of money from Russian Railways by GC 1520. 

“Other cases may also be attached to these cases, for example, the one about the criminal community comprising of power structures and businessmen involved in the embezzlement of state funds. If this happens, then there will be an ‘investigation of the century’ with high-ranking defendants,” the agency’s source said.

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