Court arrests businessman in case of $19m-embezzlement from Russian Railways
The investigation believes that Sergey Vilshchenko is the actual owner of the company that pulled a scheme. He is also a defendant in another criminal case of embezzlement from Artem Chaika’s company.
The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow arrested director general of the transport company Asia Trans Yevgeny Matveev, who is accused of embezzling 1.26 billion rubles ($19m) from the Russian Railways. About a month ago, the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs leveled accusations against businessman under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale) and filed an application for arrest, but then the court left Matveev under house arrest.
According to the investigation, the thefts are related to the activities of Asia Trans. From June 2012 to October 2015, it was supposed to provide logistical services to the Central Directorate for the repair of the railway (a branch of RZD). The money transferred by the Russian Railways was siphoned off through one-day firms. In particular, Asia Trans shifted funds to Projector within three years allegedly for insurance of wagons and cargo. At the same time, the company did not have a license for insurance activities. The stolen money was laundered outside of Russia.
The case was filed on May 25. It was based on the materials of another investigation - the theft of 140 million rubles from NK Berdyaush of Artem Chaika. The company produces crushed stone and supplies it to Russian Railways. In 2014, Chaika purchased Berdyaush from Sergey Vilshchenko, who fled the country. Vilshchenko is considered the actual owner of Asia Trans, so he was arrested in absentia.
The Matveev's lawyer is sure of his client's innocence. He assures that payment for the contracts was made for each operation. The Russian Railways checked all documents and reports and only then paid money. These facts could be checked on the automated system, where all documents on rendered services are listed.
The defendants in the Berdyaush case think that their persecution is the attempt of Chaika to avoid the obligations of the deal to buy the company, under which he had to pay Vilshchenko about $80 million until July 2017. The criminal case of embezzlement was initiated a few weeks before that date.