Yuri Chaika's son buys large salt mine

Yuri Chaika's son buys large salt mine
Artyom Chaika

In 2015, the net profit of the mine acquired by Artyom Chaika was estimated at 165 million rubles.

Artyom Chaika, a son of the Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, once again was featured in the media reports as the owner of a major business. Since the end of July, he became the owner of the largest supplier of edible salt in the Siberian and Far Eastern Regions. 

According to the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities in Russia, Chaika purchased 90% of the shares of Vostochno-Sibirskaya Torgovo-promishlennaya Kompaniya (East-Siberian Commercial and Industrial Company, or VSTPK). Until recently, they belonged to Andrey Svyatoshenko. Director General of the Tyretsky Solerudnik (Turetsky Salt Mine) Mikhail Karamushka owns the remaining 10%.

As  reported by Interfax, VSTPK owns 100% of this salt mine, which develops rock salt deposits salt near Tyret village in Zalarinsky District of the Irkutsk Region. The extraction is carried out by shaft method, with more than one thousand tons produced per day, as stated on the company’s website. Their revenues for the year 2015 amounted to 1.33 billion rubles, with the net profit of 165 million rubles.

After restrictions on the import of salt from Ukraine had been introduced, the Tiretsky mine turned into a second largest supplier of salt for the Russian market.

Curiously, the son of the Prosecutor General was called the mine’s beneficiary even before, but until July 2016 Chaika had no documented connections with this joint stock company.

In the spring of 2016, the Vedomosti newspaper  wrote, that the Federal Antimonopoly Service (the FAS) had given a preliminary agreement for the purchase of 90% of VSTPK to a certain Russian citizen, whose name had not been disclosed. At the same time, the name of the recipient was mentioned as Chaika A.Y. This name and the initials coincide with the name of the Prosecutor General’s eldest son, Artyom Chaika.  However, on March 16, the FAS  removed the name Chaika A.Y. from its website. The incident was explained as a technical error.

The official, who knew the circumstances of the transaction, confirmed to the media outlet that the son of the head of the supervisory authority had been involved.

In 2014, the Forbes magazine published an article, where it was stated that Artyom Chaika had built a business empire with 200 million USD revenues. In another article, the magazine wrote that Russian Prosecutor’s Office was kicking out out the competitors of Yuri Chaika’s son.

However, the name of the Prosecutor General’s eldest son actually drew attention only after the investigation results were disclosed and the controversial documentary film Chaika was published. This film was made by the Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) and told about the members of Yuri Chaika’s family and their businesses.

Among other things, the FBK experts claimed that Artyom Chaika took over multimillion-dollar enterprises across the whole Russia, including those that were owned by the state.

Among his business assets, the FBK named Tyretsky Salt Mine, Vorobyoskoe deposit in Kaluga, Pervaya Nerudnaya Kompaniya (First Non-Metal Company; formerly owned by the Russian Railways), Siberian Element, and other enterprises. 

Moreover, the FBK claimed that Artyom Chaika had businesses outside Russia. In particular, it was reported that in May 2015 he became the owner of a 4-star hotel in Halkidiki (Greece). The FBK also found that a villa registered on Artyom Chaika was being built on the same peninsula. 

The anti-corruption experts also found documents on one of the hotels where Artyom Chaika appeared as a resident of Switzerland. After that, they referred to the Swiss Post Address Database and found fictitious address that belonged to the Russian Prosecutor General's son and his wife Marina – a house, registered on the Ukrainian citizen Bogdan Lisurenko. 

Soon the FBK established that Artyom Chaika had real estate in Switzerland. As it turned out, in September 2014, he bought a house worth 198 million rubles. Since he had real estate, he also had accounts in the local banks. 

Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika refuted the claims and called FBK’s investigation FBK false and fudged. The spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov had the same approach.

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