Banker Aleksey Alyakin hiding in Ukraine faces extradition to Russia 

Banker Aleksey Alyakin hiding in Ukraine faces extradition to Russia
Aleksey Alyakin

Member of the Ukrainian parliament from the party Servant of the People Anna Skorokhod accused members of the same party and President Vladimir Zelensky of personal revenge. The other day, siloviki detained her common-law spouse, who had fled from Russia to Kyiv, Alexey Alyakin, a shareholder of the now-bankrupt Pushkino bank, who was arrested in absentia in the Russian Federation for the theft of 14.8 billion rubles ($232 million). A Kyiv court placed Alyakin, a stateless person, under house arrest with an electronic bracelet. The CrimeRussia found out the ins and outs of Alyakin's banking story, the circumstances of his flight to Ukraine, and the immediate prospects of the ex-banker undergoing the extradition check procedure.

Parliamentary trace?

The other day, there was another scandal in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. MP Skorokhod was expelled from the Servant of the People faction, allegedly because she had voted against the faction’s position, including against land reform.

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Ukrainian MP Anna Skorokhod

The 29-year-old people’s deputy reported “pressure” in the presidential faction, as well as the fact that “servants of the people” receive hidden wages for the “correct” vote. In addition, she talked about receiving threats from Head of the faction, David Arakhamia, and blackmailing by telephone by “people who appear to be members of the government office.” Moreover, Anna Skorokhod accused President Vladimir Zelensky of personal revenge and prejudice against her.

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Anna Skorokhod and Vladimir Zelensky

One would think, who cares what is happening in the Ukrainian parliament, where hidden wages, threats, accusations, and other scandals are commonplace, and the Verkhovna Rada itself has long been called a circus. Indeed, Anna Skorokhod is of no interest to Russian readers. But there is one thing that makes her interesting. The last place of her work before becoming a deputy was Stroitelny Kombinat Progress LLC (EDRPOU: 40087050), located in the city of Borispol, Kyiv region, and engaged in the construction of residential and non-residential buildings. The owner of this enterprise, where Skorokhod worked as deputy director of legal affairs, is ex-banker Aleksey Alyakin, who had fled from Russia 

It is known that on the morning of November 14, Aleksey Alyakin was detained by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police in central Kyiv at the intersection of Pilip Orlik and Institutskaya Streets.

“Before that, there were no questions to him. However, after my vote against the opening of the land market, my husband was illegally detained on behalf of one of the deputies of the presidential administration, Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Kasko,” Skorokhod said.

On November 15, the Shevchenkovsky court of Kyiv elected Aleksey Alyakin a preventive measure in the form of a house arrest at night time: from 21:00 to 7:00, he must be at his place of residence in the Kyiv region, wear an electronic bracelet, and be available to investigator or prosecutor.

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Aleksey Alyakin in the Shevchenko court of Kyiv

Together with Pavel Fuks

Leader of the Servant of the People, David Arakhamia, immediately denied the party’s involvement in the detention of Aleksey Alyakin, stressing that Anna Skorokhod herself “lobbied the interests of specific oligarchic groups” and “repeatedly appealed to the people's deputies, offering them financial assistance.”

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Leader of the Servant of the People, David Arakhamia

In addition, Head of the parliamentary committee on energy, Andrey Gerus, said that allegedly, Aleksey Alyakin had made attempts to influence the work of people's deputies and the decisions they make when preparing bills.

“He spoke in a rather unpleasant manner during discussion points, for example, when deciding who would be the head of the subcommittee on nuclear energy. We tried to solve this problem inside the committee,” Gerus said.

“I knew that there was some ball-breaker on the wanted list. We have no right to intervene; let law enforcement bodies deal with it,” Arakhamia concluded.

It should be noted that the advance in the career (up to the deputy mandate) of his paramour, Anna Skorokhod, was sponsored by Aleksey Alyakin, hoping in this way to get a certain protection for himself. In addition, according to available information, the future “servant of the people” was also helped by Alyakin's friend, Russian oligarch Pavel Fuks, who also escaped from Russian justice to Ukraine in 2015 and had his own business interests in this country. It is possible that David Arakhamia had Pavel Fuks when talking about “lobbying of interests of specific oligarchic groups” by Anna Skorohod.

Briefly recall that the aforementioned Pavel Fuks was a friend and partner of Aleksey Alyakin, in particular, in relation to Pushkino Bank and Sovcombank, as well as the construction business of the Moscow region. In Russia, Pavel Fuks is accused of Swindling on an Especially Large Scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code), namely, the withdrawal of about 7 million rubles ($109,690) from the construction of an elite residential complex Sky House in Moscow, for which co-investors were attracted by Pavel Fuks's development company MosCityGroup.    

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Fugitive businessmen Aleksey Alyakin and Pavel Fuks

The case against Fuks was instituted at the end of December 2018. He was put on the international wanted list. In October 2019, the Tagansky court of Moscow arrested him in absentia for two months, and a request for his extradition was sent to Ukraine.

Set up Polonsky under the protection of Patrushev

But let’s go back to the main character of our story, Aleksey Alyakin, who surfaced in the muddy political swamp of Ukraine. It is known that in 1994, he founded the group of companies Reinvestirovanie, which was engaged in the development business in the Moscow region and investment in real estate. This company included the KSE trading house and the Inna-tour travel agency. At the end of the “dashing 90s,” Alyakin acquired stakes in Mast Bank, Intercapitalbank, Unicorbank, as well as in the following banks: ABFinance, Oksky, Kedr, and Pushkino.

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Aleksey Alyakin used to “collect” banks

Since 2000, Aleksey Alyakin served as deputy head of the industry department of the Russian Ministry of Property, and in 2003, he became director of the Moscow Research Institute of Chemical Reagents and Chemicals. Since 2008, he was Director General of the Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics and Chemistry. In the fall of 2012, he became the main shareholder of the Potok developer, which had been transferred to him by Sergey Polonsky for the purpose of subsequent repurchase.

But something went wrong. In the winter of 2013, Polonsky, hiding in Cambodia, accused Alyakin of withdrawing assets, after which the parties terminated the deal. In this regard, it is known that the enterprising banker Alyakin pledged assets to Pushkino Bank and Unicorbank to secure loans: the Literaturnaya Gazeta project in Moscow (30 thousand m²) and 200 hectares of Khimki-Land in Khimki, Moscow region. The company never received any profit for these operations.    

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Sergey Polonsky busted Aleksey Alyakin on swindling

In March of the same year, Aleksey Alyakin sold his stakes in Kedr and Pushkino banks. The latter lost its license and was declared bankrupt six months later. In October 2013, the Moscow Arbitration Court accepted the bankruptcy petition of Aleksey Alyakin, who in February 2014 lost his last banking asset by selling a stake in Unicorbank. At a time when Russian law enforcement officers accused Aleksey Alyakin of fraud, Euromaidan was already raging in Kyiv.

The banker managed to escape. Good relations of Alyakin, including family ones, played a role in this case. It is known that his mother is a senior employee of the Central Bank, Lydia Alyakina. Aleskey Alyakin’s elder brother, Andrey Alyakin, worked at the Central Bank’s Main Directorate for Moscow until 2010 and then was transferred to the post of Deputy Chairman of the Board of Dmitry Patrushev’s (the son of former FSB Director, current Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolay Patrushev) Russian Agricultural Bank. It is noteworthy that many considered Nikolay Patrushev the patron of the Alyakins’ “banking family.”

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Nikolay Patrushev was considered the patron of the Alyakins

However, later, the protection soon cracked. After a series of banking scandals in the fall of 2013, Dmitry Patrushev fired Andrey Alyakin, although Alyakin himself commented on his departure as a voluntary decision.

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Chairman of the Russian Agricultural Bank’s Board Dmitry Patrushev

In other words, the banking business of the Alyakin brothers in Russia went belly-up almost simultaneously. A number of Telegram channels report that allegedly, 24 apartments, 4 offices, 6 estates, and 5 palaces were confiscated from Aleksey Alyakin in Russia. The ex-banker, who was already in Ukraine, “tried to return the remaining money with the help of a fictitious divorce and paying billions of alimony to his wife.” The CrimeRussia did not find confirmation of this information. 

Pushkino fraud 

The reason for the criminal case against Aleksey Alyakin was Pushkino Joint Stock Bank OJSC. The activities of this financial institution, in which the volume of deposits grew by 833% over the past two years of its existence, resulted in the bank actively lending to corporate clients, who, in turn, cashed money and took it into the shadows.

But the Central Bank was not worried about this, as a result of which the license of Pushkino Bank was revoked only in the fall of 2013, when the bank itself had already lost its solvency.

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Pushkino Bank’s license was revoked on September 30, 2013

The Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) unsuccessfully tries to make ex-managers of Pushkino Bank pay 14.8 billion rubles of subsidiary liability, including Aleksey Alyakin, who escaped from Russia, and 11 other people who controlled the bank (the number of people involved was due to the fact that the institution regularly changed owners).

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Description of Pushkino Bank at the time of its bankruptcy

By the way, some financial analysts are convinced that it was with Pushkino Bank that the purge of the country's banking system began. As of December 1, 2016, the register of creditors' claims of this bank included claims worth 25.6 billion rubles ($401 million). The amount of debts paid to creditors of the first stage amounted to only 1.36 billion rubles ($21.3 million).

Since November 20, 2015, Aleksey Alyakin has been on the international wanted list on suspicion of fraud on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code. In Russia, he has been arrested in absentia.

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Alyakin is on the Interpol list

“Passportization”

According to Aleksey Alyakin, the “country, where democracy won,” should have become a safe territory of unlimited possibilities for him. Nevertheless, due to national-patriotic feelings and personal dislike of the northern neighbor, Russian fugitives are not treated very friendly in Ukraine. It is known that upon arrival in Kyiv, the ex-banker immediately renounced Russian citizenship in the hope of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship in order to avoid possible extradition to the Russian Federation. He tried several times to obtain a Ukrainian passport, but he did not succeed. According to sources in the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine, Aleksey Alyakin provided the Ukrainian migration service with false information every time. Neither could Alyakin get a Ukrainian passport in exchange for money. Thus, according to Alyakin’s lawyer Sergey Tarasyuk, his client de jure is a stateless person. However, despite this, he somehow managed to head LLC SK Progress, where, as we recall, Anna Skorokhod started working as a lawyer in 2014.

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Aleksey Alyakin is a stateless person

It is worth emphasizing that on August 9 last year, special forces unit already detained Aleskey Alyakin at the request of the Russian Federation. This happened on the Kyiv – Odessa highway: Back then, he was detained for three months, and the preventive measure in the form of house arrest was placed on him.

By the way, in 2018, the fugitive tried to play “patriot” (probably on the advice of his lawyer). After the arrest, Alyakin announced that he allegedly “fought against the Russian separatists of Donbass as part of the Arat and Aidar battalions.” However, commanders of these battalions did not confirm the fact of Alyakin’s participation in the war against the “separatists”; in addition, there was not a single Anti-Terrorist Operation fighter who would confirm Alyakin’s connection with these units. 

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Anti-Terrorist Operation fighters did not confirm Aleksey Alyakin’s participation in the fighting

Since January 2019, the decision to grant Alyakin Ukrainian citizenship was cancelled twice. On November 7, 2019, he lost the appeal, due to which his search was resumed, and he was detained a week later. According to lawyer Sergey Tarasyuk, an extradition audit of the Prosecutor General’s Office, which was initiated in 2018 after his first detention in Ukraine, continues in relation to the ex-banker.

In this case, two opposite conclusions can be made. On the one hand, Anna Skorokhod’s conflict within the parliamentary faction in no way affected the detention of Aleksey Alyakin, who lost his “passport” appeala few days before that. At the same time, we cannot exclude the fact that leaders of the Servant of the People, which dominates in Ukraine, could help speed up the legal process against Alyakin in order to weaken the position of Skorokhod, who had gone out of control. From now on, her main task will be not to bust the faction on parliamentary fraud, but to prevent the extradition of her spouse to Russia, where a real term of imprisonment is waiting Alyakin.

As for the previously mentioned Russian fugitive Pavel Fuks, he feels much more confident in Ukraine than his friend Aleksey Alyakin, since Pavel Fuks had received a Ukrainian passport back in 2015. Everything was quite simple for this businessman. He is a native of Kharkov, who received Russian citizenship in 1994, so after fleeing from Moscow, he was restored to Ukrainian citizenship without any problem. In any case, Pavel Fuks is a citizen of Ukraine, which does not extradite its citizens. As for Aleskey Alyakin, it is unknown whether he will be extradited to Russia.

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