Brothers in blood. Magomedov brothers to be accused of contract killings? 

Brothers in blood. Magomedov brothers to be accused of contract killings?
Magomedov brothers to become contract killing masterminds? Photo: The CrimeRussia

The co-owners of the Summa group, Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedovs, who are accused of organizing a criminal community for the theft of budget funds, may stay behind bars much longer than they assume. The investigation took a new turn, turning from white-collar crimes of the Magomedov family to bloody ones. At present, the FSB checks their involvement in the murder of Andrey Kozlov, deputy chairman of the Central Bank, which could lead to the revision of some contract killings.

The case of billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov and his brother Magomed Magomedov, accused of creating a gang and a fraud of 2.5 billion rubles ($39.9m), assumes an appetence to the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. And the investigation of financial frauds turns into exposing a whole series of contract killings involving the oligarch.

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Employees of the FSB and GUEBiPK Ministry of Internal Affairs detained brothers Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov, as well as ex-head of Intex company Artur Maksidov on March 30 this year. On the same day investigator of the Interior Ministry's investigation department Nikolay Budilo announced that they were suspected of committing crimes under part 1 of Art. 210, part 4 of Art. 159 and part 4 of Art. 160 of the Criminal Code (Organization of the Criminal Community, Especially Large Scale Embezzlement and Swindling). The next day, all three were arrested by decisions of the Tverskoy District Court. The other day, all three defendants were charged with creating a gang. From the plot of the charge it follows that Ziyavudin Magomedov, being the leader of the gang, was responsible for its financial issues, and his brother Magomed provided the political and security 'cover' for illegal operations. Their closest associate, in this case, according to investigators, was Artur Maksidov. The charge stated that the Magomedov brothers organized six episodes of fraud and one embezzlement, the damage from which exceeded 2.5 billion rubles. In the near future, the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is going to bring charges under part 2 of Art. 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation to the alleged accomplices of the fraud in Kaliningrad: director of OJSC GlobalElectroservice Building Directorate Khachim Eristov, former Minister of Construction of the Kaliningrad region Amir Kushhov and Deputy Head of the Regional Сapital Сonstruction Management Sergey Tribunsky. All three were initially arrested for fraud.

Two-indeterminate crime

According to mass media, the FSB Economic Security Service has requested the case of Central Bank deputy chairman Andrey Kozlov’s murder from the archive. And this is not a cold case, as one might think. The case of Kozlov's killing is a precedent for law academies students. The investigation established both executors and even the mastermind of the murder. He was a well-known banker, former chairman of the VIP-Bank Alexey Frenkel. The financier got 19 years’ imprisonment in a strict-regime colony and is still serving his sentence. Why does the FSB become interested in have-been?

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Alexey Frenkel

It's easy to guess that after ten years from the date of sentencing in cases of contract killings, only mastermind’s personality could be at stake. So, this interest is substantiated. Just take a look at Frenkel's professional activity, namely, the banks he headed.

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Oligarch Ziyavudin Magomedov and his brother, former senator from the Smolensk region Magomed Magomedov

Frenkel was a co-founder of Sodbiznesbank, Evroprominvest, and also headed the VIP-Bank and Diamant Bank. These banks have much in common. All of them were excluded from the system of deposit insurance created in those years by Andrey Kozlov, which, according to the investigation, was the ground for the murder. The key owners of these structures were Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedovs, who were members of the boards of these banks. Also, Diamant was the foundation of their versatile business. The brothers expected to turn it into a banking giant like Onexim of Vladimir Potanin. But such a failure...

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First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Andrey Kozlov worked at ground zero of a deposit insurance system. He also headed the Banking Supervision Committee of the Central Bank, which oversees issuance and withdrawal of banking licenses. Kozlov set in train unprecedented for modern Russia clean-up of the banking system, revoking many licenses - mainly for money laundering. On September 13, 2006, Andrey Kozlov was killed. The banker got a gunshot wound to the neck and the next day he died in the intensive care unit of the 33rd city hospital in Moscow, not regaining consciousness.

Already at the stage of investigation and trial, there were hints that the clean-up of the banking system initiated by Kozlov prevented Magomedovs from developing their business. However, law enforcement agencies insistently ignored the old good rule "Seek, who benefits."

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Killed Andrey Kozlov

Magomedovs became dangerous after they supported rallies of the Dagestani drivers against the Platon system. Ziyavudin Magomedov was warned: "Do you have everything in order? Why do you support them?" But Magomedovs forgot about their problems with the law, and investigators will refresh their memory. So, another contract murder may appear.

Mean plant

Among the numerous assets of the Magomedov brothers, there is a small factory Iskozh. Magomed Magomedov got it long before the redevelopment of industrial zones became mainstream. By the middle of the 00’s, a serious business conflict broke out and then passed into the racketeering.

Initially, Ambartsum Safaryan, an entrepreneur, and his partner, senator from Chuvashia Vladimir Slutsker, became interested in the Iskozh factory in 2002. They owned the Finvest group, known for the chaotic purchase of assets and a particular approach to the matter, which was demonstrated by the example of Iskozh. The industrial zone promised to become one of the best redevelopment projects in the capital, giving the city and owners 200 thousand square meters of elite housing. The new senator faced vast opportunities for administrative resources and natural enrichment at the expense of real estate prices taking off from year to year. But they needed money. Safaryan and Slutsker invited to the project businessman Mikhail Melian, who had money.

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Vladimir Slutsker

Melian appreciated the site: buildings in the style of industrial romanticism, a private pond surrounded by trees and it was located just within 1.5 km from the Moscow Ring Road. The housing complex on the site of Iskozh could become one of the most expensive in Moscow. Impressed by the plan, Melian agreed to join the project. No project or company, apart from the conceptual agreement with Finvest, existed at that time. Melian concluded a "conceptual agreement" with the senator. "Concepts" assumed that senator Slutsker would sell all the necessary building permits, and Melian would invest in 50% and receive half of the shares of Finvest, which formally belonged to Iskozh.

Mikhail Melian fulfilled his part of the "conceptual agreement," giving $7.5 million for design work and further construction. Decades of chemical production were not in vain: the territory of Iskozh required expensive reclamation, which was not part of Slutsker's plans. Three years later, Melian realized that something had gone wrong. His money disappeared, the factory stood unshakable, not going to turn into elite housing, and yesterday's partners forgot about the promised 50% in Finvest.

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Ambartsum Safaryan

Melian was able to get only 25% of the company - those that once belonged to Safaryan. The latter by that time openly clashed with Vladimir Slutsker and did not appreciate such a problematic asset as Iskozh. Slutsker did not forgive him and sought out someone who would help him bring down a peg from the former partner.

Senator by the codes of the underworld

Magomed Magomedov entered the game, as Slutsker complained about the allegedly stolen assets of Safaryan. Magomedov already settled in the Federation Council, representing the Smolensk region, and understood the "conceptual agreements." And although Safaryan was able to prove the groundlessness of Slutsker's claims in the civil process, the drama began.

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Magomed Magomedov

First, Magomedov bought out 25% of Finvest from Mikhail Melian. Then he acquired 21% of the company from its CEO Sergey Zheltov, which allowed him, Magomedov and Slutsker to get full control over Finvest. Zheltov was considered an approximate of Safaryan, but the meeting with Magomedov changed him completely. He sold his share to Magomedov for a pittance ($1 million vs. $10 million paid to Melian), but also personally wrote a statement against Safaryan to the police, which formed the ground of the charge and the subsequent prison term.

At the same time, the assets of Iskozh were withdrawn from Finvest, already in the interests of Magomedov, who helped Slutsker had a bone to pick with Safaryan. The husband of human rights defender Olga Romanova, businessman Alexey Kozlov, who was also lost freedom after acquaintance with two senators, was engaged in the withdrawal of the factory property in favor of Magomedovs. Dagestani investigator Nazim Kaziakhmedov faced huge problems. Kaziakhmedov was sent to the capital to investigate a series of "conceptual" deals. An impeccable investigation promised him a transfer to Moscow, and he took up his case, despite the names. An attempt to find out who, and under what conditions siphoned off property from Finvest ended up shooting at Kaziakhmedov near the Bakinsky dvorik restaurant.

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Dagestani investigator Nazim Kaziakhmedov's grave

The murder was initiated and terminated very quickly. Ambartsum Safaryan was considered as the mastermind of the crime, and the organizer was Said Abdulakimov, assistant to the prosecutor of Magarmkent district of Dagestan. He, according to investigators, asked Kaziakhmedov to influence Safaryan's case investigation in the right way and, when got refusal, met "dislike and a sense of revenge." The degree of Safaryan's participation in the crime was undisclosed.

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Said Abdulakimov, assistant to the prosecutor of Magarmkent district of Dagestan

Senator Slutsker resigned and successfully moved to his historical homeland. Senator Magomedov turned out to be the owner of 100% of Iskozh and also left the Federation Council. Two high-profile contract killings with the Magomedovs names did not go amiss with the rapid development of the business. However, this list may be incomplete.

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Habib Umakhanov

A few years ago, American alt-right activists accused Magomedov of drug trafficking in Dagestan through the so-called Great Silk road. Journalist James Lawson also wrote about Magomedov's ties with Interpol's detainee Habib Umakhanov. The latter was accused of murdering head of the Khasavyurt district of Dagestan Alimsoltan Alkhamatov, which occurred in 2009. After publishing unbiased information Lawson faced threats; as a result, the material was removed from the site. Perhaps, therefore, the Western press does not want to recognize Magomedovs, in contrast to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, as victims of the political system. And it is unlikely that after their release they will be welcomed in the US or the UK.

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