Frauds in Russian Railways under Colonel Zakharchenko’s protection
In comparison with the Colonel Zakharchenko’s case, only in the light of the facts known to the investigators on the third day after his arrest, the most high-profile criminal cases of recent times fade. His arrest and the money seized during the searches revealed the true extent of corruption in power structures management.
How it all started
On Friday evening, the Investigative Committee and the FSB officers carried out an operation on arrest of the Acting Head of the General Administration T for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption (GUEBiPK) the Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, the specialist in crime investigation in the fuel and energy complex.
During the searches in his car and empty, not belonging to him, apartment in a luxury residential complex Shuvalov large amounts of cash, mainly in the US currency, were found and confiscated.
The total amount of seized cash in rubles amounted to 9 billion, claim sources in law enforcement. First, TASS spread information about the "bag of money", although it is clear that such an amount would not fit in any bag. 123 million dollars weighs 1230 kg, and the investigators who seized the money had to work as porters.
In the evening of the same day, after questioning by the investigators of the IC Main Investigations Directorate, Zakharchenko was charged under three articles of the Criminal Code: Obstruction of Justice and Hindering Conduct of Preliminary Investigation (Article 294), Abuse of Official Powers (Article 285), and Bribe-Taking (Article 290).
After spending the night in the pretrial detention facility, in the morning of September 10, Dmitry Zakharchenko was taken to the Presnensky Court of Moscow, where the pretrial restriction in the form of two months arrest the same facility was chosen in his respect, despite requests from the lawyer to release his client under the house arrest. The investigation was not convinced even by the amount of 70 million rubles bail (for the police colonel, a year earning is not more than 3 million), and assurances that Zakharchenko will be in the apartment of his flatmate, who, according to him, has video cameras even in the toilet.
By this time, quite a lot became known about the criminal cases in which Dmitry Zakharchenko was directly involved.
The initial theory spread by media immediately after the FSB operation, claiming that Zakharchenko’s arrest is linked with the case of the Deputy Head the ICR Main Directorate in Moscow General Denis Nikandrov and the Head of the ICR State interagency cooperation and private security Mikhail Maksimenko and his deputy Alexander Lamonov who are currently under investigation, was not confirmation.
But the important information on Zakharchenko’s illegal activities, in which the thief in law Zakhar Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) holding the top management of the ICR on the payroll was involved, went public.
It is possible that they have never been familiar with Zakharchenko and did not have common cases; the link between the two main suspects of the two high-profile cases appears to be almost the main person of interest of the case of a shootout at Elements restaurant in Moscow, designer Fatima Misikova.
The publication Rosbalt, citing sources in law enforcement, yesterday morning said that the evidence against the Interim Head of the T GUEBiPK of the Russian MIA Dmitry Zakharchenko, based on which he was arrested, were given by the designer Fatima Misikova.
In December 2015, the employees of a private security company controlled by Zakhar Kalashov armed with traumatic weapons arrived in prestigious restaurant of Oriental cuisine on the Rochdelskaya Street to protect her interests.
The owner of Elements Joanna Kim turned to her protection - a lawyer and former Special Forces officer Eduard Budantsev, who arrived on the scene with his men and not forgetting taking his combat Beretta.
As a result of these fights in the style of turbulent 90s, 2 people died and several were injured. Misikova told the investigators that she was very close to Zakharchenko, who, by virtue of his official position and access to the most important criminal cases, often provided her with valuable services. Thus, Misikova was one of the firsts to receive information about the investigation of the case at the restaurant on Rochdelskaya. When Zakharchenko told her that the law enforcement agencies are preparing for her detention, the designer has faked her own death and left the country under a fictious name, and has been quietly living abroad for a long time, until the authorities learned that she was alive and in 2016 placed her in the wanted list.
September 5, 2016, against the Head of the company VimpelCom Mikhail Slobodin a criminal case was initiated and he was put on the wanted list within the Renova case associated with Gaizer’s OCG case.
Other persons of interest in the case, the managers of the CJSC KES Evgeny Olkhovik and Boris Vainzikher are suspected of 800 million bribe given to corrupt officials of Komi for the creation of optimal conditions for the work of IES in the region (such as the establishment of favorable tariffs for electricity and heat). They were detained, Slobodin, according to a surprising coincidence, on the day when he was put on the federal wanted list, landed in Nice.
According to the investigation, there is no connection with the detention of the Colonel Zakharchenko there.
Like the operational information leak to Misikova, Zakharchenko, whose directorate was engaged in Renova case, warned Slobodin of impending problems, which resulted in the fact that instead of Lefortovo jail the former head of VimpelCom quietly went to the French Riviera.
This is all very interesting but everyone was interested in the main question: where did Zakharchenko get this money? A huge amount of cash that can catch anyone’s imagination by just its appearance. Even the most influential bribe-taker is not given this much money.
Several versions have been put forward.
How Nota-Bank quarreled with Rothenberg
The first one was announced by Zakharchenko at the court. It also is put forward by the investigative bodies as the main one. According to it, the money does not belong to Zakharchenko. 9 billion rubles in foreign currency is the part of the 26 billion rubles stolen from Nota-Bank which has lost its license in November 2015. The Bank has long served the business structure of the military industry, and its clients were successful companies.
However, in the summer of 2015 the Russian MIA has initiated a criminal case under the article on swindling against unidentified persons associated with Nota-Bank at the request of Vladimir Vlasov, the Head of the PJSC Mostotrest which is affiliated with Arkady Rotenberg’s business.
As part of the investigation on the theft of funds from the Nota-Bank depositors, the co-owners of the credit institution - a former board chairman Dmitry Erokhin and his brother Vadim - were arrested.
Mostotrest placed money on deposit in the amount of 1.5 billion rubles in August 2015 to obtain a bank guarantee in the amount of 2.2 billion rubles. The money was intended for reconstruction of the Khabarovsk airport complex Novy (New). Having learned in October that a temporary administration has been introduced in respect of the bank, the company tried to recover the money from the deposit, but it was too late.
In safe custody
According to the investigators, Zakharchenko took the money in custody from the individuals who stole it from the Nota-Bank. Zakharchenko’s own money, said the source of the CrimeRussia is safely stored in one of the Swiss banks, the details of the account of which Crime Russia has obtained. After the Erokhins’ arrest, it was the turn of Galina Marchukova, the bank's financial director, familiar with Zakharchenko, as they are fellow countrymen. The Colonel warned Marchukova of impending raids, reckon the investigators, and the stolen money were taken away from where it was kept.
Marchukova gave it to Zakharchenko for storage, according to the investigators. Until September 9, they were stored in an empty apartment owned by Zakharchenko’s sister in the elite residential complex Shuvalov.
Here is the second version, on which the investigators work as well. Zakharchenko, using his connections, was engaged in cashing of large amounts of money. It is confirmed by the informed source of the CrimeRussia. According to his information, until the last moment, Zakharchenko covered the activities of the famous Moscow cash-outer Ivan Stankevich, and, moreover, was involved in money laundering of the Kyrgyz AsiaUniversalBank, due to which he had a conflict with the wanted fugitive Russian banker Mikhail Nadel.
Russian Railway’s Money
At the same, it is not that simple. The Colonel’s interests ranged widely. According to the source of the CrimeRussia, the main thing because of which the law enforcement authorities started working on Zakharchenko was his involvement in the theft of cash from the Russian Railways, and in the process of the investigation, his involvement in other crimes became known.
In particular, in addition to the cases that yesterday received wide publicity, he provided the business structures of Markelov-Usherovich (theft from the Russian Railways) and the cash-outer Ivan Stankevich with security from the law enforcement agencies.
It is to be recalled that Vladimir Yakunin’s friend Andrey Krapivin, who came to the railway company in 2007, quickly became the adviser to the Head of the Russian Railways, and employed his people – Boris Usherovich and Valery Markelov – to cushy jobs, is closely associated with the Solntsevo criminal gang. The extensive criminal scheme of fly-by-night companies which got in the list of real contractors was organized, which over the years of its activity had stolen billions of rubles from the state company.
The material, which is collected by the operatives against Zakharchenko, would be enough for his arrest several months ago, but the investigation has decided to check him for involvement in other crimes, the results of which exceeded all expectations, says the source.
In addition, according to the source of the CrimeRussia, the Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, among the dishonest businessmen, had a reputation of the influential fixer capable of solving almost any problem with the law for an expensive service fee. At that, in addition to extensive contacts in his own department, the source said, Zakharchenko knew what was going on in the FSB management, whose members were working on the VimpelCom Manager Mikhail Slobodin.
Dmitry Zakharchenko is not the first senior GUEBiPK officer, who got under investigation in recent years. In 2014, his former boss, the head of the anti-corruption central board of the MIA, the Lieutenant-General Sugrobov and his Deputy, the Major General Kolesnikov became the defendants in the criminal case. The investigation also checks Zakharchenko’s possible connections with the former management. And the emergence of new episodes in the Colonel’s case is quite likely.
Video: The detention of Zakharchenko
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.