What part does Neftyanoy Alliance bank play in case of the Ministry of Culture?
Grigory Pirumov, the major person of interest in the case of embezzlement from the Ministry of Culture, is tied to the bank through which the funds were flowing away to foreign offshore companies.
The Deputy Head of The Ministry of Culture Grigory Pirumov was detained on March 15, 2016 in Rostov-on-Don by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers. He was accused of organizing a large scale fraud involving a number of third parties. A number of embezzlement schemes were discovered within cultural heritage sites renovation. According to the investigation documents, Grigory Pirumov, the Deputy Head of The Ministry of Culture, set up a criminal gang in 2012. He drew in a number of his subordinates and several chief executives of contracting companies working on the conservation-restoration of cultural heritage. As a result of fabricated competitive tenders, these companies won the contracts which allowed them to work with the conservation-restoration of cultural heritage. Then, padding the expense accounts as well as making reference to counterfeit documents, the gang run the scam involving embezzlement of budgeted costs.
Amongst the objects of cultural heritage there is the State Hermitage Museum, the Novo-Devichi Convent, the Ivanovsky Convent - a Stauropegic Women's Monastery in Moscow, the Pskov Drama Theatre, the Izborsk fortress outside Pskov, six of Moscow Kremlin towers including the Kremlin ruby stars and the Chiming Clock on Spasskaya Tower.
Photo: after one of the monasteries' restoration
In hands of intelligence agencies there is a number of records of legal entities whose accounts have been used in embezzlement schemes. Of these, there is a commercial bank Neftyanoy Alliance, and one of the co-owners of the latter is none other than Pirumov. The Russian Central Bank's official documents indicate that Grigory Pirumov owns himself 2.67% of the bank (the shares are outsourced under trust to the Roslavtsev A. B. IP (a proprietory form registered as a sole proprietorship).
Moreover, he - along with his daughter Ekaterina Pirumova - owns additional 5.69% - via LLC Russkiy Dom Nedvizhimosti. And the company as a whole belongs to Aleksey Preobrazhenskiy who is also the owner of 5% of the bank.
Prior to 2005, Pirumov worked as a Head of the Directorate of Housing Program Implementation of Moscow Department for Construction Investment Programmes. Then he plunged into some business ventures and served as a Deputy Director for Russkiy Dom Nedvizhimosti until 2012 - just to join the army of bureaucrats again - now as a head of the Russian Culture Ministry's Property Management and Investment Policy Department. Eventually, he took up the Deputy Culture Minister office as well as State Secretary.
With all that said, he hasn't retired from his own business. At present, he is a record owner of LLC Forward - along with his daughter and Preobrazhenskiy.
According to multiple sources, Pirumov still runs the Neftyanoy Alliance bank. Notice that the credit institution - the one that acted as a guarantor and worked with a dozen of accounts of companies that made contracts with the Federal Protective Service (FSO) and its regional branches - owned a capital which equity could be described as 'modest' (No. 214 according to banki.ru rating). Those companies included LLC MPK Vladimirskiy, LLC Fordekar, LLC Inter-Pochta-Region, LLC M-Servis to name a few. The Neftyanoy Alliance pertained directly and exclusively to moving funds - under contract with FSUE Atex and those last contracts with the Culture Ministry.
FSUE Atex is a profit making organization 100% owned by the state. It was set up in 2003 by Evgeny Murov as an FSO's affiliate. Atex is empowered to manage budget funds. It distributes and carries out government orders. On a regular basis it joins as a main works contractor various projects focused on construction and renovation of Culture Ministry's facilities as well as those proposed by Moscow City Government and a number of other government entities.
In its history the Neftyanoy Alliance has also had close ties to VP Bank AG (Liechtenstein). Svetlana Alekseevna Moretti (maiden name Kozlova), a member of the bank's Executive Board, is a Walter Moretti's wife, and the latter (a citizen of Switzerland) is a head of VP Bank AG Moscow representative office.
Both happened to be at the center of a scandal, when Neftyanoy Alliance provided an impaired loan to an entrepreneur Vladislav Shusterov, Moretti's friend and business partner. In January, 2012 Shusterov was sentenced to 5.5 years in jail for fraud.
The investigators believe that it was just then when Pirumov put on considering cap as to making money on renovation of historical monuments. It is quite obvious that money was flowing away to Liechtenstein's offshore companies through the Neftyanoy Alliance.
Photo: Grigory Pirumov
It is worth noting that at present Walter Moretti is a representative of another global bank, and it was as early as in 2013 when his spouse Svetlana Moretti left Neftyanoy Alliance. However, Pirumov quite possibly still has his old ties to the bank or at least established the new ones. You can't hide 100 million rubles - material injury to the Russian economy Pirumov caused – in a sack.
Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Financial Monitoring Service) analyzed the data of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers and discovered thousands of offshore companies through which the Russians laundered billions of rubles. Materials on deputies and governors were handed over to law enforcers.
A spokesperson of the Prosecutor's office said that the ECHR had not studied all the materials of the criminal case, so they were offered not to overturn the verdict, but to send the case for a new review in court.