Case of Zakharchenko: common cash fund turned into material evidence
Billions found in the apartment of a nondescript colonel - a small part of the income of the influential group of security officers, which took under control illicit flows in the Moscow region. Zakharchenko's arrest gave the chance to define the beneficiaries.
This Thursday, on November 3, the Presnensky district court of Moscow will consider the petition of the Investigative Committee of Russia on prolongation of arrest of the Colonel of the General Administrative for Economic Security and Combatting Corruption of MIA Dmitry Zakharchenko. To recall, the scandalous colonel is currently in pre-trial detention center of Lefortovo for almost two months on a charge of taking bribe, official power abuse and perverting the course of justice. Zakharchenko was detained by the staff of Department M of the Federal Security Service at the beginning of September. From the point of the charges brought to Zakharchenko, his case looks silly: the investigation accuses him of receiving bribes from an unidentified person, while two other episodes are based on doubtful testimonies of prisoners, familiar with Zakharchenko. At the same time in the case of the colonel there is one essential detail: about 8,5 billion rubles in foreign currency were found in the apartment of his sister Irina Razgonova on Lomonosovsky Avenue. But the Federal Security Service officers, who participated in detention of Zakharchenko, asks not to pay “excessive attention to quality of the brought charge”. “There was perational information regarding money, and criminal case – is just a motive to begin this investigation”, – said one of them.
On Monday September 12 at Glavpivtorg restaurant on Bolshaya Lubyanka Street it was noisy, as always: officers of FSB, whose divisions are based nearby gathered together on a lunch break. The resonant arrest of Dmitry Zakharchenko predictably became a lunch subject. Especially willingly it was discussed by the staff of the FSB, who directly participated in searches in the places of residence of the policeman and members of his family. “Can you imagine, at first he even did not believe that he will be arrested”, - shares the details one of officers of the Department M of the FSB. “Of course, nobody touched him for ten years, why should he be worried?!” – said someone of his colleagues in respond. “And his buddies will not go to lunch anymore?” – asked from the neighbor table. “Yeah-yeah, where is Dima Artioli?” – shouted someone, as it is possible to assume meaning colonel of organizational-inspectoral Department of the FSB Dmitry Senin, who received such nickname for his love to the eponymous brand of Italian clothing.
Apparently, nobody was surprised that Senin was mentioned in that conversation – everyone on Lubyanka knows that he is brother-in-law of the Colonel Zakharchenko.
“And once they had a launch with the whole team, - tells the FSB officer – Vitya Eshkulov, Serezha Gribanov, Zhenya Lobanov, Zhenya Veselovsky, Serezha Agapov, Dima Senin, who became the undisputed leader among them. Periodically, Aleksander Filin (the former Deputy Chief of Department M of the FSB, today — the Vice-President on safety of JSC MOESK) arrived to the Glavpivtorg. If there was someone new at their table we even did not joke: seems like they transferred someone else from Rostov to M”.
“Rostov Zemlyachestvo” in the FSB is highlighted by many employees, tells my interlocutor tells: “Count the number of natives of the Rostov Administration of the FSB in central office on one square meter – you will understand everything. The same also concerns the General Administrative for Economic Security and Combatting Corruption of MIA, by the way, all the subordinates of Zakhar (Dmitry Zakharchenko) are from Rostov.
Dmitry Zakharchenko was transferred to service in the Department for Economic Security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2005 from the tax service of the Rostov region. He was protected by fellow countryman and future relative from the Department M of the FSB Dmitry Senin. The latter, however, settled in Moscow not without family relations — as one might assume, his great-uncle, the General of FSB Vladimir Timofeev, helped him with employment in the Lubyanka. After that, Senin and his future companions from the Administration of the FSB of the Republic of Kalmykia Sergey Gribanov and Victor Eshkulov were fostered by the deputy then chief of the Department M Vladimir Maksimenko (it was this officer, who developed the former Chief of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee Dmitry Dovgiy).
Ever since young field investigators of the FSB and Zakharchenko, who interacted with them, did not separate: together matured, receiving increases in ranks, went on vacations together, as well as held operational events. To understand how close were the M employees it is enough to address police reports of the last years. In 2013, Zakharchenko’s relative Dmitry Senin and his younger colleague Sergey Gribanov fought at the restaurant Porto Maltez on Leningradsky Avenue with the owner of transportation company and the criminal leader (editorial office knows surnames and names of the latter), according to the employee of the FSB, allegedly because of the commercial conflict. “Then, by the efforts of Maksimenko, who at that time was affiliated employee of the FSB in the Investigative Committee (at the moment Maksimenko is working in the Ministry of Emergency Situations), the Investigation Directorate of the Investigative Committee in the Central Administrative District in Moscow initiated a criminal case, Gribanov and Senin's opponents incurred serious punishment”, - the interlocutor told.
By that moment Senin and Gribanov, he continues, were already “able to afford themselves such liberties”. “Yet in 2009, the Rostovs, as they were already called back then, gained real power”, he concludes.
On September 17, 2008 staff of the Moscow Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on air and water transport detained at the Vnukovo airport two passengers of flight No. 371 Makhachkala — Moscow – employees of Private Security Agency Karat Shamil Mamilabagandov and Kuramagomed Aliyev. The latter brought to Moscow 15 sport bags, in which there were 359,5 million rubles, 1,7 million dollars and 645 thousand euros. “Those were couriers of one criminal grouping, which was engaged in cashing of funds through banks of Dagestan”, the former MIA employee explains. Two days later field investigators of the Moscow Administration of MIA on air and water transport detained two more people, who arrived from Makhachkala – their bags contained 47,6 million rubles.
The scandalous operation, which the MIA staff called Dagestan cache, received unexpected development pretty soon - the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow, which considered legality of detention of the couriers, passed the decision on return of the withdrawn money. And a year later, in the summer of 2009, four non-management employees of the Field Investigation Unit of the General Administration of MIA on air and water transport were detained by field investigators of Department M of the FSB on suspicion of official power abuse and embezzlement of a part of the withdrawn money at the amount of 30 million rubles.
As it became clear today, detention of the police officers was carried out on the basis of Dmitry Senin’s and Sergey Gribanov's operational information.
As a result of operation on detention of employees of the MA of MIA by MIA on air and water transport, in which employee of the General Administration on Personal Security of the MIA Dmitry Sabynin was actively helping Senin and Gribanov, in 2010 large-scale personnel operation was carried out. Thus, structural divisions of department of providing law and order on transport of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were transformed to the Administration on Transport (AT) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in federal districts, and AT Ministry of Internal Affairs of Central Administrative District (in whose maintaining there were airports Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo) became a key division.
According to the operational material of the Federal Security Service, the AT MIA of CAD was the one that became the main object of attention of friends of Dmitry Zakharchenko — Dmitry Senin and Sergey Gribanov.
Fight for CAD
The General Andrey Alekseev became the Head of the AT MIA of CAD. He filled the state of subordinated to him the Administration on Combatting Economic Crime (ACEC) with police officers from Omsk. According the FSB, Dmitry Senin and Sergey Gribanov did not like such decision of Alekseev – and they began cultivation of his subordinates. “At the beginning, Gribanov through confidential intermediaries did attempts of unofficial contact with a management of the Administration on Combatting Economic Crime of the AT MIA of CAD on behalf of the Chief of the Field Investigation Unit Vitnitsky. However, both Vitnitsky and Parshin [then – Head of the ACEC], and Alekseev ignored Gribanov’s proposals, relying on their contacts in the management of MIA. Then, having been refused, Gribanov and Senin found several candidates for recruitment, against whom there were compromising materials”, follows from the FSB report.
Further, as employee of intelligence agency describes in the official report, “one of the recruited employees became a source of operational information concerning the staff of the 2nd Department of the Field Investigation Unit (ACEC AT MIA of Russia of CAD), which was directed by Evgeny Izergin [was a personal protege of the General Alekseev]. <…> Information on Izergin was passed successfully, and the latter was arrested. Then Gribanov, contacted him and intermediary Andreyev, received enough information on all management of the AT MIA of CAD”.
“After estimating situation and fining “approaches” to Gribanov, employee of the MIA Konstantin E. went to Vitnitsky with offer on a cooperation, - FSB officer continues in his report. – Gribanov and Senin planned to put Konstantin E. on a post of the Head of the ACEC. Konstantin E., on direction of Gribanov, suggested Vitnitsky to settle the conflict with Gribanov. Vitnitsky agreed. Thus, Gribanov, after he obtained operational information on attempt of bribery and physical threat in the address from object of his cultivation, brought this information to the attention of the management and on this basis achieved detention and arrest of Vitnitsky. Besides, Gribanov received the state protection – at that moment he was protected by the staff of the 6th service of the Administration of Personal Security of FSB”.
A year later, after Sergey Gribanov organized the state protection to himself, functional audit check was carried out against him and Dmitry Senin. The newly appeared Head of Department M of FSB Alexey Dorofeyev became the initiator.
Almost right after carrying out structural reform in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, recently transformed from the Administration of the FSB in the Rostov region Evgeny Veselovsky was appointed the curator of the AT Ministry of Internal Affairs in CAD through the Department M of the FSB.
While a certain entrepreneur Sergey Pushkarev became one of the main partners of the Department M of the FSB: “He [Pushkarev] performed deliveries of counterfeit products from the Far East Region, using details of the phony companies registered in tax authority through the lost passports or without the knowledge of their owners. Litvinenko I., Borisov E. and Skryabikov A. were his accomplices and workmates. Through his accomplice, citizen of Moldova by the name of Chorbe, Pushkarev came into contact with Gribanov and Veselovsky and told them about the scheme of delivery of a counterfeit to Moscow”.
To see results of work of the staff of Department M of the FSB with Pushkarev, it is enough to look at their declarations of that period: within a year Senin purchased several apartments in the center of Moscow, and also Mercedes GL500 and Lexus LX570 cars. Sergey Gribanov bought parcel of land in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow Region and two BMW X6 cars, while his spouse became the co-owner of car showroom Ford on Leninsky Avenue.
However, despite protection of Pushkarev's business by the staff of the FSB, the AT MIA of CAD on behalf of the new head (the General Victor Shimarov) started to detain the freights arriving in the capital airports from Vladivostok. “By results of operational actions, employees of the AT MIA of CAD initiated a number of criminal cases with withdrawal of large volume of counterfeit products. Only the number of the withdrawn phones made more than 30 000. The general damage to the owner of the Nokia trademark made more than 200 million rubles, the trademark of Apple — over 140 million rubles, the trademark of Samsung — over 200 million rubles”, the employee of FSB tells in his report, noting that "it is only about one consignment".
According to the employee of the FSB, the AT MIA of CAD was constantly asked not to prevent work of Sergey Pushkarev. “On the available operational materials, including those received with use of audio-and video equipment, Pushkarev S. B. performed material stimulation of the friends employees of Department M of the FSB of Russia, who were curators of the AT MIA of Russia of CFD”, follows from the report of the FSB employee.
It should be noted that at the end of 2012, there occurred some changes in the Department M of the FSB: Dmitry Senin famous to us left this structure, transferring to organizational-inspectoral administration of FSB, while Sergey Gribanov changed the direction – from that moment he started to supervise staffing in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and subordinated educational institutions.
In 2013, Sergey Agapov transferred from the Department of FSB in the Rostov Region to Department M of the FSB – he replaced Sergey Gribanov on a post of curator of the transport direction.
2013 seemingly became a significant year for opposition to Department M of the FSB and the AT MIA of CFD. At first, during the operation Counterfeit police officers withdrew at the capital airports a number of objects with illegally put symbolics of the Olympic Games in Sochi (according to report of the employee of FSB, 49 criminal cases on signs of illegal use of trademark were initiated, and the established damage to owners made more than 500 million rubles).
“During implementation of the arriving operational information on July 23, 2013, citizen Chegodayev Sergey Vasilyevich was identified at the Sheremetyevo airport in the territory of a warehouse of a freight terminal of JSC Sheremetyevo Cargo. He, acting by proxy from LLC Nikos, received the freight weighing 220 kg with women's jackets and raincoats of various producers in number of 130 <…>, with signs of illegal use of the trademark. Commodity transport documents on the specified freight were absent. <…> Employees of the AT MIA of Russia in the Far Eastern Federal District conducted investigative operations, as a result of which a significant amount of counterfeit products was revealed in delivery notes. The freight was inspected and withdrawn. <…> Active administrative pressure for the purpose of the termination of check and issue of freight to commercial structure was put upon the Chief of the AT MIA of Russia on the FEFD Volkov. Staff of Department M of the FSB of Russia took active part in creation of pressure”.
Upon termination of the Olympic Games in Sochi the curator of AT MIA of CFD Veselovsky was dismissed from service. According to the FSB employee, “by means of Zakharchenko he managed to get a job in one of the business companies which are engaged in trade of grain”.
In addition to import of the Chinese nomenclature employees of the AT MIA of CFD in 2015-2016 managed to stop import of the Turkish clothes from Armenito the territory of Russia, which also caused discontent. “Formal seller of consignments was LLC Trading, while the formal receiver — LLC Textiles Opt Torg, but actually the planes for transportation to Domodedovo were freighted by the top manager of Maksima group of companies (the surname and a name are known to editorial office)”, written in the report of FSB officer.
In the summer of 2016 general Victor Shimarov submitted official report on resignation. According to the police officer, familiar with the general, Shimarov “was simply tired to struggle with opponents from Department M of the FSB”: “Simple example - since 2013 he could not be entitled the lieutenant general. The personnel department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs twice a year prepared documents for his increase, but they have not ever reached the Presidential Administration – it was declined at a coordination stage in the Department M of the FSB". Besides, according to the interlocutor, Shimarov and his certain subordinates “suspiciously frequent” were exposed to functional audit checks: “Task for operational identification [check of the personality according to neighbors and colleagues] was issued by the management of the General Administrative on the Personal Security of MIA, while task for covert external surveillance – by the Department M of the FSB, in particular by Agapov”.“Yes, it is the truth. And in the summer Shimarov declared to staff that he leaves. “I don’t want you to suffer because of my position”, said he back then”, one of employess of the ACEC AT MIA of CAD.
As a result Shimarov was replaced by the Deputy Head of the General Administrative for Economic Security and Combatting Corruption of the MIA Oleg Kalinkin, who was in friendly relations with Dmitry Mikhalchenko, Sergey Gribanov and Dmitry Senin.
According to the employee of the FSB, Kalinkin have not authorized any operational action of the subordinates for the last two months. “He is as quiet as a mouse. According to some investigation operations, Kalinkin was well familiar with Zakharchenko, it is even very good… Now, he probably thinks that nobody will pay attention to his contacts with Zakharchenko and the staff of the FSB. But he is wrong”, said the interlocutor, explaining that Kalinkin's negotiations on the invitation of close companion of Zakharchenko, the Head of the Administration of MIA of Western Administrative District of Moscow Petukhov were revealed during the investigation operation.
While, after Kalinkin's appointment all chiefs of departments of the ACEC AT MIA of CAD were taken off the payroll, which meant that formally no one was engaged in fight against smuggling on the Moscow air hub. The scheme, one of incidental results of which could be those 8,5 billion, still works. But there is a confidence that Zakharchenko's arrest became only the first step concerning the group, which created and operated this pot of gold.
The Moscow City Court sentenced Mikhail Maksimenko to 13 years of strict regime and a fine of 165 million rubles ($2.7m) within the case of bribes from representatives of the criminal world. The ICR Colonel denied his guilt, calling the case a frameup.