‘Shadow’ financier Kostya Bayker arrested in Moscow

‘Shadow’ financier Kostya Bayker arrested in Moscow
Photo: Kommersant

The investigation believes Konstantin Kuramshin has appropriated 150 million rubles ($2.3m) through the delivery of goods from abroad.

Moscow has arrested a major ‘shadow’ financier, Konstantin Kuramshin, who is also known as Kostya Bayker because of his love of motorcycle riding, on charges of fraud, Kommersant reports. According to the publication, Kuramshin is charged with the appropriation of 150 million rubles ($2.3m) through the delivery of goods from abroad. A criminal case was instituted on Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

The case was brought in the Department of Internal Affairs in the South-Eastern District of Moscow at the request of businessman Yevgeny Shkulanov. The latter claims that during the period from June 2013 to May 2014, he concluded some contracts with a "group of persons," whom he transferred 114 million rubles ($1.7m) for the supply of industrial equipment from China. According to Shkulanov, the delivery did not take place, but the money was stolen.

When verifying Shkulanov's application, the police received several more claims from people that suffered from the actions of a certain Konstantin. All the statements featured the same scheme: entrepreneurs gave money to representatives of certain firms for the supply of goods from abroad, after which the mediators disappeared together with the money. The statements of Anastasiya Zolotareva and Vladislava Khudovtsova featured Mining mechanics LLC, New City LLC and Kayzer LLC, which they gave 6 million rubles ($94.1 thousand). The same firms are mentioned in another collective statement. In total, the victims gave intermediaries another 43 million rubles ($674.9 thousand), which the Chinese suppliers were supposed to get, but the money did not reach them.

It is noted that Kuramshin himself admitted that he had participated in illegal operations to cash and withdrawn money abroad at the request of entrepreneurs that addressed him but denied the fact of fraud. Articles of the Criminal Code on Illegal Banking Activities (Art. 172 of the Criminal Code) and Evasion of the Repatriation of Monetary Funds in Foreign Currency or the Currency of Russian Federation (Art. 193 of the Criminal Code) provide for a much more lenient punishment than the fraud article.

Kuramshin's defense called the applicants not victims of fraud, but "instigators of illegal banking activities". According to lawyer of the accused Vadim Bagaturiya, if the entrepreneurs acted in accordance with the law, they would conclude legal currency transactions through banks, rather than use the services of the black market.

Kuramshin is well known among cashiers and business people that used their services. It is reported that the $3 million that Yevgeny Shkulanov transferred to him, back in 2013 was stuck in deprived-of-license Master Bank, through which they were planned to be transferred abroad. Former bank executives have already been convicted of various frauds. It is reported that Kuramshin does not deny the fact of receiving money from Shkulanov. According to him, he simply did not have time to return it.

In August 2014, Kuramshin was detained in the case of raider capture of a $5-million building in the center of Moscow. Defendants of the case were businessman Vitaly Kachur, lawyer Vitaly Chaban, several former officers of the FSB and the Interior Ministry and State Duma deputy from the Communist Party Denis Voronenkov, subsequently shot in Kiev. Then the financier was charged only with Illegal Possession of Weapons (part 1 of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code) because when he was detained, a pistol of Israeli production Jericho 941 and cartridges for it were discovered on him. His lawyer Vadim Balaguriya then claimed that Kuramshin was not involved in the seizure of the building, and searches were carried out because he had worked with Kachur. Kuramshin admitted the guilt of possession of weapons, and in early 2015 Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow sentenced him to a year of imprisonment according to a special procedure. 

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