Tatfondbank case: Bankers siphoned money off through company belonging to ‘Radik Drakon’?
Tatfondbank was under control of the republican government; Ildar Khalikov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, had chaired its Board of Directors; as of February 1, 2017, the ‘hole’ in the Tatfondbank capital was some 96.7 billion rubles ($1.67 billion). According to the investigation, some 2 billion rubles ($34.9 million) have been embezzled through Suvar Development Limited Liability Company. Where is the rest of money?
Several top managers of various Tatarstan-based companies have been arrested in the framework of the criminal case against Robert Musin, the Chairman of the Board of Tatfondbank Public Joint Stock Company and Deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan, suspected of swindling on an especially large scale. Andrei Mochalov, thr General Director of Suvar Development Limited Liability Company, the largest developer in the republic, and Denis Semenov, the Financial Director of Suvar Development, have been placed under home arrest. The company is linked with Suvar Holding that allegedly has ties with Radik ‘Drakon’ (Dragon) Yusupov, the leader of ‘Sevastopolskaya’ organized criminal group.
Radik ‘Drakon’ Yusupov, leader of ‘Sevastopolskaya’ organized criminal group
To refresh background: according to the initial version of the investigation, in August 2016, officers of Tatfondbank Public Joint Stock Company have provided to the Central Bank of Russia false information about a readily marketable asset secured by credit agreements with other joint stock companies in order to take up a loan and embezzle the funds. This refers to a loan provided to Nizhnekamsknefekhim Public Open Joint Stock Company. The investigation believes that the credit liabilities had been transferred to Novaya Neftekhimia (New Petrochemistry) Limited Liability Company (1.8 billion rubles – some $31.4 million) and Suvar Development Limited Liability Company (2.2 billion rubles – $38.4 million). Ramil Nasyrov, the ex-First Deputy Chairman of the Board in Tatfondbank, has been earlier placed under home arrest in the framework of the case against Robert Musin.
Ramil Nasyrov, ex-First Deputy Chairman of the Board in Tatfondbank
There were no official reports about the arrests in the top management of Suvar Development up until recently. But apparently Andrei Mochalov, General Director of the company, was aware about the upcoming detention and has transferred the reins of power to another manager, Artur Gimatov, a week before his arrest.
According to the investigation, Suvar Development top managers were just following the directives ‘from above’ – while the developers insist that the documents signed by them had not incurred any financial risks for the company. The scam was uncovered only later.
Andrei Mochalov, ex-General Director of Suvar Development
Andrei Mochalov and Denis Semenov have been placed under home arrest because their attorneys had convinced the judge that “should they be remanded in custody, the construction projects would be stalled”. The company is a major builder of residential apartment complexes in Tatarstan; it has projects in St. Petersburg as well. Recently Suvar Development has started the construction of a road junction on the Kazan – Borovoe Matyushino highway. Access routes will be laid to Stantsia Sportivnaya (Sportivnaya Station), one of the largest residential complexes in Tatarstan, as well as to Yuzhny Park (South Park) and Vremena Goda (Four Seasons) residential complexes. All these construction projects are controlled by the republican authorities.
According to its official web site, the company is linked with Suvar Holding group of companies. Kazan Riviera, a hotel and entertainment complex with an aqua park, beach, swimming pools, and petting zoo; Suvar Plaza, business-class trade and office center; City Center trade and entertainment complex; XL commercial district; Suvorovsky, Serebryany Bereg (Silver Shore), and Kaskad (Cascade) residential complexes; 5 fitness clubs of the Planet Fitness in the Republic of Tatarstan chain – these are just a few examples of successful projects implemented by Suvar Holding. Its history dates back for more than 20 years and includes several interesting episodes. According to some sources, in the end of the 1990s – beginning of the 2000s, ‘criminal authority’ Radik ‘Drakon’ Yusupov – who is currently a bona fide Moscow businessman – used to own shares in many major Kazan-based companies. The leader of ‘Sevastopolskaya’ organized criminal group had challenged one of the bloodiest Kazan gangs – ‘Zhilka’ – and its leader Khaider Zakirov.
Radik Yusupov had not advertised much his involvement into business projects – but reportedly he owned a share in Suvar-Kazan company (currently Suvar Holding). According to the sources, in anticipation of the 1000th anniversary of Kazan, the leader of ‘Sevastopolskaya’ gang had participated in the financing of several major hotel construction projects. When Radik Yusupov was arrested in 2008 based on a testimony given by a member of ‘Niza’, another Kazan gang, the Suvar management had shrugged off their benefactor and denied the involvement of ‘Drakon’ into the company’s operations. The name of Yusupov had also popped-up after the strange disappearance of Boris Chub, President of Suvar-Kazan Limited Liability Company. Immediately after the arrest of ‘Drakon’, he went on a fishing trip and disappeared. Several days later, the body of Chub was found in the Kama River – but up to now, there are certain doubts that this death was an accident.
After the arrest of ‘Drakon’, some of his projects went into a decline, and companies affiliated with high-ranked republican functionaries have quickly laid hands on those. Perhaps, this was the cost of freedom for Radik Yusupov. In 2010, Yusupov was convicted for the first time, sentenced to 4 years in a penal colony, and released from penalty because the statute of limitation had expired. In 2012, in the course of the second trial, the gang leader has been sentenced to 8 years in a general regime penal colony, then transferred to a penal colony settlement, then – to the Chelyabinsk region, and then released on parole for good behavior.
It is necessary to keep in mind that Tatfondbank was under control of the republican government, and Ildar Khalikov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, had chaired its Board of Directors. As of February 1.2017, the ‘hole’ in the Tatfondbank capital was some 96.7 billion rubles ($1.67 billion). According to the investigation, some 2 billion rubles ($34.9 million) have been embezzled through Suvar Development Limited Liability Company. Where is the rest of money?