Arabian dossier: Senator Arashukov criminally charged in UAE 

Arabian dossier: Senator Arashukov criminally charged in UAE
The visa annulment presented by Senator Arashukov could be forged Photo: The CrimeRussia

Rauf Arashukov, Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, is again facing expulsion from the Council of the Federation. This is at best. The CrimeRussia became aware that a criminal case has been instituted against him in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for forgery of documents. This refers to the papers supposed to prove that the Senator does not have a residency visa in the UAE and, accordingly, does not violate the Russian legislation.

In fall 2017, the Congress of Circassian People held in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic has called for early termination of his Senator's powers because, contrary to the law, Rauf Arashukov had an official job in the UAE. The Council of the Federation has carried out an inquest into these allegations. No violations were identified, and Arashukov continued his parliamentary activities.    

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Senator Rauf Arashukov and Rashid Temrezov, Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic

To refresh background: according to documents possessed by The CrimeRussia, on October 28, 2015, Rauf Arashukov, then-Head of the Khabez Municipal District of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, has received a UAE work permit. On January 31, 2016, he has signed an open-term employment contract with Stroika Technical Works LLC incorporated in Dubai and became its development manager with a salary of 15 thousand United Arab Emirates dirhams ($4.1 thousand).    

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Rauf Arashukov and Akhmat Salpagarov, another Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic

In accordance with the UAE legislation, Arashukov had a residence visa granting broad powers to its holder. Not only could the official-turned-Senator reside and work in the Arab state for 3 years, but also open accounts in local banks, buy and rent movable and immovable assets, move his family to the UAE for that period, etc. The sole condition of his residential status was the requirement to stay in the UAE for at least 6 months in a year.

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Dubai

The media took up the initiative of the Congress of Circassian People and pointed out that Arashukov has breached the Federal Law On the Status of a Member of the Council of the Federation and Status of a Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation stipulating that a Russian citizen having a foreign citizenship, or residential permit, or another document confirming the right to permanently live in a foreign state can not be a Senator.

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Rauf Arashukov and Ramzan Kadyrov

It is necessary to add that a member of the Council of the Federation may not run business or perform paid works except for teaching, research, and other creative activities. This applies to all Russian civil servants regardless of their rank.

But up until March 2016, Arashukov was the Head of the Khabez Municipal District of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, so it is unclear how was he going to combine this official post with employment in Dubai.

The Council of the Federation has calmed down the outraged public.

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Yuri Vorobiev, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation

The CrimeRussia possesses a copy of the official response signed by Yuri Vorobiev, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation, to the request for early termination of Arashukov. According to this document, no violations of legal restrictions imposed on members of the Council of the Federation by the law were identified. 

In the course of the inquest, the auditors have reportedly addressed the Senator who explained that he had received a UAE residence visa in 2015, but it was annulled on August 14, 2016 following his initiative.    

The Council of the Federation has also officially addressed Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov asking to verify the existence of a document granting Arashukov the right to reside in the UAE since September 18, 2016 (the date of his ascension to the Council of the Federation). The answer was received pretty soon. According to the Russian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Internal Affairs has annulled his residential permit on August 14, 2016 as per request from his guarantor – Stroika Technical Works LLC.

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Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov

One would think that Arashukov could celebrate yet another victory in the administrative battle – obviously, the law observance was not the sole purpose of his rivals who had initiated the probe against the Senator. But then it turned out that the battle is not over yet.

The CrimeRussia recently became aware that the visa annulment presented by Arashukov could be forged.

On July 18, 2018, the Public Prosecution of the UAE has instituted a criminal case based on a criminal complaint submitted on June 5, 2018 by Ruslan Kardanov representing the Mayor’s Office of Cherkessk (a person of the same name is a Deputy of the Cherkessk Municipal Duma) and accusing Arashukov of forgery and use of official documents.

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Ruslan Kardanov submitted a criminal complaint against Senator Arashukov

The CrimeRussia became aware that Kardanov has addressed a law firm in Dubai to get legal assistance in the preparation and submission of the criminal complaint to the local police, and a relevant agreement was prepared and signed (we possess a copy of it). According to that document, the defendant – Russian citizen Rauf Arashukov employed with Stroika Technikal Works LLC as a development manager – was nominated for the Council of the Federation from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic; a person holding such a post is prohibited from having a residential permit in a foreign state. However, the defendant has breached this condition and falsified the residence visa issued by the migration service by changing its expiry date to August 14, 2016. The complainant claims that Arashukov has submitted to the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Dubai and Northern Emirates false documents – while, the true expiry date of his residence visa was February 2, 2017 – i.e. six months later. This is also the date of the annulment of his UAE work permit (ed. note).

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The complainant has presented in evidence copies of official documents, including the falsified residence visa expiring on August 14, 2016, authentic visa issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs–Dubai expiring on February 2, 2017, and proof of the defendant’s entry and exit showing that Arashukov has arrived to the UAE on April 9, 2017 and left the country on the next day – on April 10, 2017.

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Dubai

Now Arashukov is expected to stop at nothing to retain his Senator’s status using every trick in the book. Political experts are still guessing whether his appointment to the Council of the Federation was an ‘exile’ to Moscow limiting his powers in the struggle against the current authorities of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, or a promotion to the federal level providing Arashukov with more powerful levers of influence. It is also necessary to keep in mind that the Senator’s status makes a person immune against criminal prosecution. Apparently, Arashukov is fully aware of compromising materials against him collected by the relevant structures. 

The CrimeRussia already wrote earlier about the family business of clan Arashukov infiltrating both the governmental structures of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic and regional business community, which doubles its enrichment rate. However, the key figures in the clan remain under the radar and avoid attention of law enforcement structures. These people are not relatives of Arashukov – but still contribute greatly to his wealth.

The CrimeRussia became aware that some Moscow enterprises controlled by Arashukov officially belong to his henchmen.

One of them is some Timur Gafuri, the official founder of Moscow-based Muzkat Limited Liability Company, Kharekords Limited Liability Company, and TransLogistik Limited Liability Company specializing in wholesale trade. NDK MSK Trade House Limited Liability Company and M1 Limited Liability Company (management of financial and industrial groups) have already ceased their operations. However, a closed joint stock company of the same name continues its operations in the Krasnodar krai where Gafuri officially owns M1 Stroy Limited Liability Company and StroyInert Regional Association Closed Joint Stock Company; its co-owner is Cyprus-based Chkoa Kl Kommersant Limited offshore company. 

Apparently, this person has joined the clan thanks to Rauf Arashukov’s uncle Mikhail – they used to jointly manage limestone mining and processing enterprises in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic: Nart-2, Izvestnyak (Limestone) Limited Liability Company, and Adijuh Gypsum Plant in Khabez. 

Another ‘frontman’ is Andrei Kuzenny who used to work in Adijuh-12 Limited Liability Company closed in 2015. Then he became the founder (or cofounder) of Pro-Gips Limited Liability Company in Pyatigorsk; NDK-Gips Closed Joint Stock Company in the Krasnodar Krai; and Nedra (Subsoil Riches) Trade House Limited Liability Company, Nart-2 Limited Liability Company, and Nedra (Subsoil Riches) Limited Liability Company in the Khabez district of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. 

According to our source, Andrei Pustovgar, Vice Rector of the National Research Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (NRU MGSU), who combines the teaching with construction business, is also pretty close to clan Arashukov.

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Andrei Pustovgar

In late 2016, the license of Cherkessk-based Razvitie (Development) Commercial Bank was revoked. According to unofficial information, the bank used to serve the interests of the Arashukov family.

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According to Focus.kontur.ru database, the bank had close ties with the powerful clan. It was linked, via the Khabez District Administration and Karachay-Cherkess Agency for Residential Mortgage Lending Open Joint Stock Company established by Razvitie Bank, with Charitable Fund of Rauf Arashukov and NP ARR Group of Companies controlled by Arashukov (both have been liquidated by now).

Our
notes

Following a request from Elvira Nabiullina, Governor of the Bank of Russia, the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has launched a probe and found out that more than 3 billion rubles ($47.1 million) were embezzled via branches of Razvitie Bank. Kommersant newspaper reported that a few days before the license revocation, the bank has granted several unsecured loans varying from 140 to 380 million rubles ($2.2–6 million) to persons having low income or using lost passports. In total, ten such loans provided by two Moscow branches of Razvitie Bank on September 27–29, 2016 have been identified. On October 10, the Bank of Russia has revoked its license “for high-risk credit policies involving investments of monetary funds into low-quality assets”. The Bank of Russia had already reported earlier the exposure of a scheme created to embezzle assets from Razvitie Bank. According to the regulatory body, the total amount of knowingly unrecoverable loans granted by the bank was some 4 billion rubles ($62.9 million).

The primary owners of Razvitie Bank are Oleg Berezovsky and Svetlana Storozhilova. Both of them used to work at the Federal Depository Bank and are known as experts in shady financial schemes. According to our sources, Berezovsky and Storozhilova were involved, jointly with brothers Andrei and Aleksei Osipov, in business schemes serving interests of some “Timur Timofeevich” (apparently, Timur Klinovsky) and Garik Makhachkala (Gavril Yushvaev).

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Oligarch Timur Klinovsky (in the center)

Billionaire Klinovsky owns many construction companies, including Gorki-2 that has overbuilt the entire Rublevskoe highway.

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Gavril Yushvaev

Billionaire and ‘authority’ Yushvaev has close ties with many thieves-in-law; recently he has hit the headlines after a skirmish in the Moscow International Business Center. In November 2017, during the pompous celebration of a jubilee of Dmitry Pavlov (Pavlik), one of the leaders of Izmailovskie organized criminal group, a shoot-out occurred in OKO Tower leaving six persons injured; one of them, an officer of a private security company, later succumbed to his wounds. Yushvaev's bodyguards were actively involved in the exchange of fire.

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Gavril Yushvaev and Timur Klinovsky together with thieves-in-law Petrik, Shishkan, and other criminal ‘authorities’

Another cofounder of the bank was PanAgro Closed Joint Company; one of its primary owners up until 2012 was Umar Khapsirokov, a son of Nazir Khapsirokov. Murat, the other son of Khapsirokov senior, is currently a Senator from the Republic of Adygea; in 2003–2007, he was in charge of Geneva-based Juridical House.

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Senator Murat Khapsirokov

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Nazir Khapsirokov accompanied by Rauf Arashukov (behind)

According to a source in the law enforcement structures, in 2014, Rauf Arashukov, being the Head of the Administration of Federal Motorways in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Federal Road Agency and Head of the Khabez Municipal District, has received and spent huge amounts of money inconsistent with the official salary of a regional official. For instance, 5.4 million rubles ($84.9 thousand) have been transferred during that period to his bank card by Ramazan Malakhov, owner of Moidodyr Limited Liability Company (a car wash in Stavropol). Why would a car wash owner pay such money to an official? Because the company founder is Rauf Arashukov’s son-in-law Ruslan Agoev – so, it is a ‘family business’. The large amount of transferred funds has a simple explanation: this car wash serves car fleets of all gas companies earlier controlled by Raul Arashukov, the father of Rauf.

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Rauf and Raul Arashukov

Another similar enterprise – Stavropolkarton Limited Liability Company specializing in construction – is managed by Beslan Arashukov, while Stavropolregiongaz is the guarantor of loans contracted by it. 

In addition to Ramazan Malakhov, other unknown people unrelated to Rauf Arashukov have transferred to him in 2014 some 6.5 million rubles ($102.1 thousand) in total. 

According to our sources, Arashukov has spent the received funds on expensive purchases in brand stores, travels, accommodation in hotels of Dubai and Turkey, etc. 

The following examples vividly illustrate the lifestyle of a district head in a subsidized republic: 70 thousand rubles ($1.1 thousand) spent in a Moscow beauty medicine and cosmetology clinic; 300 thousand rubles ($4.7 thousand) paid to a well-known image consultant. A Russian official must look stylish.    

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BMW 750LI xDrive belonging to Arashukov

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Another car of the Senator

Not to speak of a Senator. Therefore, in addition to a BMW Х5М registered in Moscow upon becoming a member of the Council of the Federation (the vehicles in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic don’t count), Arashukov has acquired a BMW 750LI xDrive. In fact, a member of the upper chamber of the parliament is entitled to an official car – but if this service is not needed, it can be waived. Many parliamentarians opt to do so – otherwise, the state may offer them a pathetic Ford Mondeo... God forbid such a humiliation for a Senator!

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