Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise
In October this year, former Deputy Head of the State Interior Ministry's Main Department for Organized Crime Control (GUBOP) Anatoly Petukhov became the hero of the Transparency International investigation, which learned that the fight against organized crime turns out to be a profitable occupation. Is there any other explanation of the Petukhov’s possession of real estate in Miami for almost $40 million? The General himself claims that he bought Florida property for the money he earned running his business. The FBI is not sure about that, but cannot prove anything; Petukhov has had no problems with the US law enforcement agencies yet. However, as the CrimeRussia found out, there are a lot of questions to the retired General about his Russian real estate. For the past 10 years, almost 4 square kilometers of Moscow have been illegally registered on him.
The park, which has been under state protection since 1985, covering 5.5 kilometers along the left bank of the Skhodnya river in the Kurkino area, is unique, according to ecologists, its natural relief, which has been almost unchanged for hundreds of years of civilization. Thanks to this, in Kurkino, the flora and fauna are practically preserved in their original form. According to the information, 64 types of plants grow there and 61 species of vertebrate animals listed in the Red Book of Moscow and the Moscow region live. However, along with rabbits, foxes, muskrats and American burrow in the landscape reserve The Valley of the Skhodnya River in Kurkino, officials are living there.
Nature for rent
There is no township on the map
Despite the fact that the park has been on the list of specially protected natural areas in the city of Moscow since 2003, in 2007 an elite cottage community was built in the Skhodnya Valley, a significant part of which was found in the territory of the reserve in violation of current legislation.
The village in the bosom of the state-protected nature appeared with the active participation of former Mayor of the SZAO Viktor Kozlov, who erected a luxurious mansion for his family there. Kozlov did not forget about old friends, among whom there is former First Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime Major-General Anatoly Petukhov, now retired.
According to documents, the former fighter with crime got a plot of 3688 square meters in the reserve on the Yurovskaya street from Kurkino Prefect Kozlov as a rent for 49 years. The tenant attached this land to the 1400 square meters already available outside the boundaries of the reserve, where he already had a mansion (Real Estate Agency Blackwood estimated the house of Petukhov area of 660 sq.m. with a plot of 50 acres and own forest at $1.8- $2 million).
Soon, on a territory ‘annexed’ with the help of the Prefect, Petukhov built a two-story log house, a utility room, concreted the tracks and fenced. Similarly, the wife of Kozlov, whom the husband carefully gave another long-term lease of another site (70 acres) in a specially protected area, did the same. The Mayor generously granted some Olga Terentyeva, who also soon ‘adorned’ this land with capital buildings, with another huge land plot. As Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote then, the wife of the prefect pays a symbolic price - 7701 rubles ($132) per year. Others pay less.
However, such a large-scale redistribution did not avoid observation - in 2009 Viktor Kozlov was forced to resign at his own request, although it was said on the sidelines that Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov forced him to resign just for the cottage community in the reserve. Shortly after Kozlov's resignation, a criminal case was initiated on illegal building on land, which was initially prohibited by law.
But here it is
In August of the same year, the Tushinsky District Court of Moscow satisfied the suit of the district attorney who considered that the dismissed SZAO prefect exceeded his authority, as the issues of land lease are in the competence of the city government.
Household accessory building on the site of Anatoly Petukhov
By a court decision, the allocation of lease for 49 years in a site in the valley of the Skhodnya River to Anatoly Petukhov was declared illegal. The next steps were to be the demand of the Moscow government or the Prosecutor's Office to destroy the plot from unauthorized buildings. It would seem that justice has triumphed; residents and guests of the capital will soon be able to enjoy a pristine nature in Kurkino, which the authorities have separated from them by a two-meter fence. However, it did not happen.
8 years passed and Anatoly Petukhov's farm buildings are still unharmed and located on the lands of the reserve, according to theYabloko party center of the anti-corruption policy. To understand the reason, it is better to get acquainted with the persona of former Deputy Head of the Interior Ministry GUBOP Anatoly Viktorovich Petukhov.
Originally from the 90's
The peak of the career of Major-General Petukhov took place in the second half of the dashing 90s, when Vladimir Rushailo, the former immediate commander of Petukhov, became Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. The Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, Novaya Gazeta wrote in 2001, had an extremely mixed reputation at that time. GUBOP, headed by Rushailo's right hand Lieutenant-General Alexander Orlov, was a very powerful agency, as it fought not only with organized crime, but also with economic crimes, and also performed a number of functions of the Interior Ministry's own security service. At the same time, according to Novaya Gazeta, employees of regional offices often took part in "disputes of economic entities", for a good payment carrying out the power support of one of the parties. The publication cites the operation Cyclone on Berezovsky’s AvtoVAZ, purging of the St. Petersburg Maritime Shipping Company from former shadow owners in favor of structures controlled by the St. Petersburg ‘authorities’ Konstantin Yakovlev, nicknamed Kostya Mogila and Mikhail Mirilashvili, known in the criminal world as Misha Kutaissky.
In addition, the senior leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the newspaper wrote, was actively involved in redistribution of spheres of influence in the aluminum business on the side of Berezovsky and Abramovich, and ‘covered’ customs terminals in Moscow - one of the most important in those years was Irbis OJSC of Arnold Spivakovsky (Tamm), who is currently under arrest in Spain on charges of money laundering and was Solntsevskaya gang leader. In a loud scandal with cocaine, when Spivakovsky miraculously managed to escape the prison, the highest-ranking police officers played their roles, according to MK. In 2001, Moskovsky Komsomolets journalist Alexander Khinshtein described in detail the raider seizure of the largest iron ore enterprise of the country - Kachkanarsky GOK, by the employees of the Ural RUBOP under the personal order of General Orlov.
In addition, the employees of the UBOP often became debts collectors for entrepreneurs for approximately 50% of the debt, the newspaper wrote, and the head of the GUBOP was known in the police structures as the leader of career destinies - Vladimir Rushailo trusted General Orlov to carry out all intra-departmental ‘sweeps’.
As director of the Center for Combating Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption of George Mason University Louise Shelley told Miami Herald, the GUBOP was a corrupt police department in the early 2000s that, after a scandal with the escape of its head Alexander Orlov, it was reorganized.
However, up to this point, Orlov's deputy, General Anatoly Petukhov, was in the very center of the shadow activities of the department, it is said in the documents of the claim against Petukhov that was submitted to the Miami-Dade District Court in 2013.
According to Louise Shelley, the scheme for obtaining huge amounts of money by the GUBOP leadership was standard. Employees of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime extorted money from suspects in illegal acts of business representatives in exchange for refusing to file charges (this uncomplicated combination of moves is often used by corrupt officials of security agencies today, in particular, Department T Head Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko - he earned a large part of his capital in this way).
An expert on the organized crime of the University of Mason says that the structure of the GUBOP was a kind of pyramid, at the foot of which ordinary operatives collected ‘tribute’. Then the funds received, she said, were sent to the top of the pyramid, in the center of which, among other high-ranking officials, there was General Petukhov.
However, when Vladimir Rushailo resigned in favor of Boris Gryzlov, who declared war on rogue cops, serious problems arose in the near circle of Rushailo. Preferring not to wait for a whole series of charges that threatened him, Lieutenant-General Orlov, fled abroad, his deputy, Major-General Petukhov, also lost his post and was transferred to All-Russia Research Institute of the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation, which meant a demotion, but with his influential connections in various structures, nothing bad happened.
The following year, the retired General actively was engaged in business, which, however, according to official documents, did not bring him much income. In particular, he became one of the shareholders of United Trade House Yasenevo, which was formed by merging the shopping centers Molodezhny, Yasenevo, Belgrade, and Serpukhovsky Department Store. In the composition of shareholders there was Anatoly Petukhov, according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. In the assets of Department store Serpukhovsky CJSC he owned 25%. The market value was later estimated in the range of $140-160 million.
At the same time in the period from 2010 to 2014, according to financial accounting, the company earned about 200 million rubles ($3.4m) annually.
Continuum North Tower
However, the company paid dividends only once - in 2012 and only in the amount of 1 million rubles ($17.100). According to Transparency International, Anatoly Petukhov (for the sake of justice, receiving a pension and professorial salary after his departure from the GUBOP) did not officially have any other income from his Russian business.
There was also the company Fimilat in the Czech Republic, founders of which are, along with his wife and son, partner in Yasenevo Leonid Gaukhman and Anatoly Petukhov. It owned the Hotel Kosmos in the resort of Karlovy Vary, but in September 2017 it was sold for €2.6 million.
At that, much earlier, back in 2010, when Anatoly Petukhov's family decided to settle in Florida, several purchases of elite Florida properties followed one after another.
In just a couple of years, Petukhov bought the luxury apartments of Continuum North Tower worth $3.04 million, through his own development company Asko Inc - an office space worth $3.2 million.
Then through the same Asko Inc, which according to open sources specializes in renting office space and shopping centers, as well as commercial property management, two more office premises were purchased, a shopping center in Hallandale Beach and seven more office premises on the first floor of Imperial Towers North, with a total value of $13.6 million.
Infographics of Miami Herald on Florida real estate of Anatoly Petukhov
In May 2015, according to the register of real estate owners of Miami Dade County, Anatoly Petukhov became the owner of two mansions on the island of Hibiscus, which, by the way, was purchased at intervals of only four days.
The area of one of them is 975 sq. m. It has 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms and a swimming pool. The retired General spent $7.9 million buying it. The second mansion with a total area of 1463 square meters, according to Transparency, cost $7.05 million. The Real Deal describes it as "a large two-story house with floor-to-ceiling windows, a large courtyard and a swimming pool, a spa, tropical landscapes and a mooring for yachts." The edition writes that Petukhov plans to sell the third-largest mansion on the island for $17 million.
A secret lawsuit
The Florida real estate of Anatoly Petukhov, perhaps, did not became the interest of the American media and the FBI, if there is no the lawsuit filed by former Petukhov's associates in 2013. The plaintiff was United Trade House Yasenevo JSC, which representatives claimed that during the period from 2005 to 2012, the retired General illegally withdrew more than $16.8 million from the Yasenevo Trade House, which were later laundered in the United States. According to the claim, Petukhov purchased part of his property with this money. In addition, the suit reported that Petukhov threatened JSC board chairman Pavel Gornostaev with physical harm if he tried to apply to Russian law enforcement agencies.
According to the documents cited by Miami Herald, for a certain period of time Gornostaev's representatives handed out $2.5 million of cash monthly to Petukhov at the time. For this, the General guaranteed a ‘roof’ from the enemies and competitors of the rapidly growing Trade House Yasenevo. At the same time, the payment required by Petukhov, according to Gornostaev, grew and in 2002 the General got to 25% of the company. Thus, according to the lawsuit, Petukhov received about $16.8 million from Gornostaev, but the total amount of claims was $50.5 million. In addition, the plaintiffs demanded the confiscation of Petukhov's property in Florida.
Anatoly Petukhov by that time had become a prominent owner of high-value real estate in Florida, but suddenly the plaintiffs withdrew their claim. The court explained this turn by a "peace agreement", and most of the court documents on this case were classified in order to "prevent damage to the reputation of the parties."
From what quarter does the wind blow?
As stated in the Tranceparency International investigation, it was not possible to solve the main mathematical problem with the American real estate of General Petukhov. The total value of Petukhov's property in Florida is estimated at $38 million, according to the former partners of the General in the Yasenevo Trade House, the suit is about $16.8 million. How did he earn other $20 million?
This office building in Lauderdale Anatoly Petukhov purchased for $6.2 million in 2015
Transparency believes that the inconsistency in the amounts may indicate signs of funds laundering by General Petukhov in Florida. Investigation materials were sent to the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation and Rosfinmonitoring, as well as to the Office for Combating Financial Crimes of the United States and the FBI.
However, we note that, in addition to the corruption of the GUBOP structures in general, in the late 1990s, General Petukhov personally supervised the struggle of the administration with large-scale embezzlement of precious stones and their illicit trafficking, which he repeatedly recalled in an interview. According to him, in this criminal industry the Uralmash gang was leading then; it abducted unaccounted surpluses of precious stones from the Ural fields and enterprises on false documents.
In an interview with Argumenty i Fakty, Anatoly Petukhov speaks about the seizure of gems in favor of to the state totaling to $200 million. Among them there were also such unusual ones as sapphire weighing 1609 grams and emeralds in 1125 grams. How many of such stones were seized from the Uralmash gang at the time and how much they cost - 200 or 220 million dollars - now it is hardly possible to ascertain for sure, "because of a bad accounting system".
But this is just information for reflection, which does not even pretend to be a timid assumption. The very same Anatoly Petukhov, who does not hide from anyone and does not avoid public comments, told Gazeta.ru recently that his entire business is "absolutely transparent" and is built on acquaintances that were developed during his years in the GUBOP.
"It's no secret that old ties are helping in business, including former colleagues abroad, but in fact brother-soldiers, with whom we used to catch bandits. But all of them have retired and are also engaged in business," says the retired General.
There naturally arises another question. Are these ‘fellow soldiers’ invisibly helping the dacha of General Petukhov in Kurkino to ‘survive’ the absolutely clear decision of the Tushinsky District Court of eight years ago?
The document of Rosreestr, published in 2008 on the website of Greenpeace
On the wave of resonance, the Center for Anti-Corruption Policy of the Yabloko party, led by Sergey Mitrokhin, who is fighting the cottage village of officials in the Skhodnya River valley since its construction, demanded that the Tushino interdistrict Prosecutor's Office to reach the demolition of illegal buildings in the landscape reserve and free the territory for citizens' access. In addition, Yabloko recalls that Kozlov, the ex-prefect of the SZAO, who gave illegal orders, whose house is still neighbors with Petukhov's cottage in Kurkino, was never gone on trial for his unlawful actions.
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).