"Shadow Banker" Kulikov may have to testify in FSB billionaire case
Alexey Kulikov has already given evidence against the co-owner of Promsberbank, Ivan Myazin. He is expected to elaborate on other crimes known to him.
Alexey Kulikov, one of the most prominent “shadow bankers”, signed a cooperation agreement with the investigation, Rosbalt reports. Now, he will have to give evidence against his clandestine financial activities fellow, Promsberbank co-owner, Ivan Myazin, and report on other crimes he may know of.
For a long time, Kulikov was associated with Dmitry Frolov, the ex-head of the banking department with the “K” Directorate of the FSB, who is now arrested on corruption charges with his successor, Kirill Cherkalin. Searches at Frolov’s and Cherkalin’s turned up 12-billion-rubles’ worth of property.
A law enforcement source of Rosbalt reports that Kulikov has signed a cooperation agreement with the investigation looking into the cases of embezzlement at Promsberbank and the insurance company Oranta. Kulikov is currently serving a term of 9 years for the first charge and he is just going to be brought to justice for the second.
According to the agency interlocutors, Kulikov avoided responsibility for a long time due to Frolov’s patronage. He was one of the key defendants in the embezzlement of billions of rubles from the budget under the guise of VAT refunds. The case was investigated by ICR Detective Denis Nikandrov, who has just finished his jail time for accepting a bribe paid for the release of Andrei Kochuykov (Italianets), an associate of the thief in law Shakro Molodoy.
According to the ICR, out of the 4.4 billion rubles stolen in 2009–2010 under the guise of VAT refunds, 790 million rubles were transferred to a shell firm, and then to the accounts of the companies entitled Diamond and Alfamed in Kreditimpeks Bank. Then, the money went to Turkey under fictitious construction contracts. The investigation alleged that Diamond and Alfamed were “transit” firms, through which the funds of dubious origin were shipped abroad. 25 billion rubles passed through them within several years. Diamond was established and re-registered several times with the participation of Yan Zelenkevich, the owner of a company named Nalogovy Konsultant. The man was associated with other "transit" firms, too. Investigators believed that Kulikov was the effective owner of Kreditimpeks Bank since he controlled the entire money siphoning flow. Federal Tax Service Inspection No. 28 led by Olga Stepanova issued permission for the VAT refunds.
When the investigation became interested in the embezzlement, a chain of suspicious events took place: Zelenkevich died, and Kulikov, after several interrogations carried out by Nikandrov, agreed to assist the investigation. Other persons involved in the case reported that Kulikov had visited all those involved in the scheme and asked to give certain evidence. In addition, he participated in the interrogations with Nikandrov.
In the end, the case collapsed and only the “switchmen” were convicted. There were no official charges brought against Olga Stepanova. Her subordinates were charged under mild articles but eventually, their prosecution was stopped. According to Rosbalt’s sources, all that could happen due to Frolov’s intervention.
Presumably, it concerns the US response to Ukraine’s help in the investigation against Joseph Biden, Trump’s main rival in the 2020 presidential election, who allegedly was in collusion with Kiev during the previous campaign.