Culture Ministry official who fled Russia turns out to have €14 million assets in Europe

Culture Ministry official who fled Russia turns out to have €14 million assets in Europe
Boris Mazo

Two offshores with €14 million on accounts are registered for relatives of a defendant in a ‘renovators case’ Boris Mazo. Besides that, he owns a real estate in Spain worth of €4.3 million.

Financial intelligence services of Austria and Spain transferred Russia information on €14 million assets of a defendant in a ‘renovators case’ Boris Mazo who moved to Europe, reports RBC with reference to a source within law enforcement.

Data on accounts and real estate owned by a former head of a department of property management and investment policy of the Culture Ministry Boris Mazo was transferred to Rosfinmonitoring (Federal Service for Financial Monitoring) in March, 2016. This information was used during investigation of the ‘renovators case’, reports the source.

Meanwhile, Austrian law-enforcement authorities started investigation against the defendant and offshores tied to him: Caster Group Ltd and Starbridge Access Ltd with more than €14 million on accounts at the time. The investigation was caused by suspicious operation from an Austrian bank. 

Both companies (Lilia and Aleksey Mazo are their stockholders) are registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Rosfinmonitoring - during its investigation carried out along with the Federal Security Service - submitted a request to Spain’s authorities. It was replied that the defendant in the ‘renovators case’ Boris Mazo owns a real property worth of €4.3 million.

The ‘renovators case’ was initiated soon after a St.Petersburg millionaire Dmitry Mikhalchenko was arrested in an alcohol smuggling case in March, 2016.

Mikhalchenko’s business structures had repeatedly received major government contracts from the Culture Ministry and the Fund for Special Operations.

Forum holding owned by Mikhalchenko comprised a BaltStroy company which was a contractor for renovation of objects featured in the case. Later, investigators initiated other criminal cases related to Mikhalchenko’s construction business including embezzlement in the President’s residence in Novo-Ogarevo during construction, swindling during renovation of the fortress Izborsk, Solovetsky monastery and other cultural sites.

In 2017, Boris Mazo was convicted in the ‘renovators case’. He was accused of theft 164 million rubles ($2.4 million) that had been allocated for renovation of architectural monuments including Moscow’s Novodevichy Convent and the Monastery of John the Baptist. Mazo - along with his accomplices including a former deputy head of the Culture Ministry Grigory Pirumov - pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 1.5 year in a colony. However, due to the fact that by the time he had already served this sentence in custody, he was released in the court’s hall.

Soon after, Mazo left Russia, but in 6 months after his release, he was again accused of theft of 450 million rubles ($6.8 million) during construction of a new museum depository for the Hermitage. The former official was put on an international wanted list and arrested in absentia within this case.

In August, 2018, Moscow’s Basmanny court arrested Boris Mazo’s property in Russia: his apartment, a land property and a house in Moscow region.

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