Son of former Head of Russian Railways told about role of his father's contact book in his business
In 2013 the Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) announced the affiliation of business of Andrey Yakunin, the Head of VIY Management Company and a son of the former Head of the Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin. The investigation alleged that the state railway company has repeatedly contracted with structures of Yakunin Jr. Businessman commented on the results of the investigation for the first time in an interview with Kommersant.
“My father has enormous base of contacts. And when it is possible to meet someone, from this it can grow interesting stories. But it has a downside: when you use someone's contact book, there is also a certain conceptual commitment that exactly the same effect on any stories, which may occur or may not occur ", - the eldest son Andrey of the former Head of the Russian Railways (the RZhD) Vladimir Yakunin responded to a Kommersant reporter's question about whether he uses or not his father's connections to find objects for investment.
In this interview, he firstly commented on an investigation of the FBK from 2013, stating that he repeatedly became a party to a conflict of interest because of his father's activities. In particular, foundation campaigners claimed that he owned the hotel Park Inn by Radisson in Astrakhan, which is built on the territory relevant to the local train station. Yakunin Jr. claimed that it was built on the territory of the bus station and to the assets of the Russian Railways is irrelevant.
The investigation also stated that the company Regional hotel chains, founded by Andrey Yakunin with a Cyprus registered company Regional Hotel Chain in 2009, set up a Russian hotel chain at the station areas, which they purchased from the RZhD. It was reported that a consultant of the transaction was a subsidiary of Russian Railways Zheldoripoteka and that structures of Yakunin Jr. won several tenders with violations. The businessman said that tenders were held without violations, and that journalists’ questions should be addressed not to him, but to the inspection authority.
"I was on the other side of the transaction, and it was important to me that we do it according to the rules, which were set by the seller of the property. And it does not create a risk for me, of course, "- he explained.
Previously, the Anti-Corruption Foundation handed investigation’s materials related to Andrey Yakunin’s activities to the Investigative Committee (the ICR) with the requirement to check his affiliation.
It was also reported that results, conducted by the Central Administrative District Main Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior in Moscow, were handed over to the ICR.
In February 2016 the media reported that the ICR investigates criminal cases involving multimillion dollar embezzlement in federal departments, the RZhD and the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region.
Shortly thereafter, it was reported that the law firms, associated with Vladimir Yakunin, specifically destroyed information about his son's mansion in London.
Vladimir Yakunin left the Russian Railways in August 2015. In October of that year the channel Dozhd claimed that that a possible reason for his resignation was the betrayal of Yakunin Jr., who is the resident of London and asked for British citizenship. The former Head of Russian Railways denied this information.
The prosecutors want the former Russian Federation Council member to go to prison for 14 years instead of 9 and pay a 500-million-ruble ($8.8 million) fine instead of 70 million rubles ($1.2 million).