Black bankers steal 1 bln rubles from Smartbank using Moldovan scheme
The CrimeRussia has obtained documents, which prove that money was siphoned off from Smartbank through fly-by-night companies.
Staff of Smartbank, which lost its license, became defendants in a criminal case, an informed source told the CrimeRussia. Names of specific suspects remain unknown, however, according to the source, they are all involved in the withdrawal of approximately $ 1 billion from the credit institution. Meanwhile, the amount stated in the case is somewhat different.
The CrimeRussia has obtained documents, which prove that the money was siphoned off from Smartbank through fly-by-night companies, Medeya LLC and Blik LLC. According to the materials of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Department in Moscow and the Moscow region, unidentified bank employees used a fictitious scheme of contract execution and transferred more than 30 million rubles from Medeya’s account in Smartbank to Blik’s account in Sberbank. Moreover, the funds were transferred via correspondent relations between Sberbank and the Moldovan Moldindconbanc. However, the money did not reach the recipient due to interventions of Smartbank’s employees — they were written off by bailiffs of Moldova on the basis of fraudulent orders. The actions of unidentified persons are considered illegal under Art. 193.1 of the Criminal Code (Non-return of Funds in Foreign Currency from Abroad on a large scale).
Smartbank lost its license in the end of March 2016. Although its name was already mentioned back in September 2014 among the possible participants of the so-called Moldovan scheme of money withdrawal. Then the media learned that the police were checking the scheme used to siphon off almost 700 billion rubles from Russia via Moldova. The scheme involved 19 banks, and most of them belonged to the shadow businessman Alexander Grigoriev. In the fall of 2015, he was detained under the initiated criminal case.
Smartbank also participated in this global scam.
On March 28, the credit institution lost its license. The Central Bank stated that Smartbank carried out high-risk lending policies and failed to comply with legislation in the field of combating money laundering. Later it turned out that the hole in Smartbank’s capital amounted to 4.26 billion rubles.
At the time when the license was withdrawn (March 2016), the main owners of the bank were Sergey Kuzmin and Alexander Chinov (20% each), a member of the Board of Directors Agustin Morales-Eskomilya (15.95%), members of the Board of Directors, brothers Andrey and Vladislav Popeta (10%) and Maria Galkina (10%). Reports suggest that Alexander Chinov has always been considered "a junior partner" of one of the largest shadow businessman, Pyotr Chuvilin, who was sentenced to 4 years in prison this spring for fraud with $ 5 million.
In March 2016, the Deposit Insurance Agency and the police launched an investigation against Alexander Chinov. He was suspected in siphoning off billions of rubles from Smartbank to offshores. According to Rumafia, much of the money stolen could go through the offshore company Alban Trading Inc. Archives of Mossack Fonseca, the so-called Panama Papers, helped to establish the people behind this company.