Former officers of Bashkir Prosecutor’s Office ‘occupy’ Rosneft security service?
After several replacements of security service chiefs, the corruption situation in Rosneft hasn’t changed. According to a CrimeRussia source, new Vice President for Security Ural Latypov has retained former colleagues from the Bashkir Prosecutor’s Office and they perform all his tasks, including corruption ones.
It might be a coincidence, but after the publication of a CrimeRussia article entitled “Rosneft security service — Path into corruption” in December 2016 and official submission of the facts set forth in it to the Presidential Executive Office, Prosecutor General’s Office, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), and Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, a number of staff reshuffles took place in the oil company. Following Vasily Yurchenko, Acting Vice President of Rosneft for Security, three members of his ‘combat team’ – deputy general directors for economic security in Rosneft subsidiary companies – have lost their posts: Albert Trebunskikh (ITERA Oil and Gas Company Limited Liability Company), Mikhail Akzhigitov (RN-Inform Limited Liability Company), and Vladimir Voyakin (RN-Moskva Limited Liability Company).
Corporate web sites still show their names among the management staff, but representatives of the companies have confirmed to the CrimeRussia journalist by phone that Trebunskikh, Akzhigitov, and Voyakin are not employed there anymore.
Vasily Yurchenko joined Rosneft in 2015 and brought his associates and co-workers along with him. The general appointed Alexander Tyulenev his deputy to supervise the economic security division. The CrimeRussia wrote earlier that Yurchenko had been solving all corruption-related issues only via Tyulenev and completely trusted him. According to the CrimeRussia source, Tyulenev has created a corruption scheme to lobby the provision of huge contracts to companies controlled by them in exchange for 10% ‘kickbacks’.
In September 2016, FSB general Oleg Feoktistov was appointed the Vice President of Rosneft for Security. To refresh background: he is believed to be the mastermind behind the arrest of Aleksei Ulyukaev, ex-Minister of Economic Development.
Six month later, ‘general Fix’ (a nickname of Feoktistov) has left Rosneft, while Ural Latypov, Deputy Head of the Security Service, was appointed the Acting Vice President of Rosneft Oil Company Open Joint Stock Company for Security.
Latypov used to work together with dismissed Yurchenko in the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bashkortostan, then in the Prosecutor General’s Office, and then, following an invitation from Yurchenko, he had transferred to the Administration for the Moscow Region of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) to become a deputy of Yurchenko for investigation. According to the CrimeRussia source, while being in charge of the investigation service, Ural Latypov had received generous bribes from drug dealers for reclassifying charges laid against them from drug dealing to storage – thus, helping them to avoid large prison terms and escape with minimal or even conditional sentences. In January 2016, Latypov has resigned from the FSKN – the source states that he, in fact, has fled from criminal prosecution.
The point is that in December 2016, his subordinates – Igor Kotov, Deputy Head of the Investigations Department, and Andrei Yudin, Investigator for Special Cases, – have been arrested by FSB operatives on suspicion of corruption. According to the investigation, Kotov and Yudin had intended to receive a bribe from a suspect charged with illegal storage of narcotic drugs; one of them was investigating the criminal case against that person. The investigators have engaged the lawyer as an intermediary and notified the suspect that he has to pay 1 million rubles ($17.6 thousand) in order to make a plea deal. The suspect agreed and, after making the plea deal, has transferred the ownership of a land lot in the Serpukhov district worth some 1 million rubles as a bribe. Apparently, Kotov and Yudin had decided that this was not enough for them and demanded additional 1.5 million rubles ($26.4 thousand) from the suspect for complete exemption from criminal liability.
On December 14, 2015, the accomplices have been arrested red-handed during the receipt of 1.2 million rubles ($21.1 thousand) from the lawyer and charged under part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (bribe-taking by an organized group on an especially large scale).
According to our source, during the investigation, Kotov and Yudin had named Ural Latypov the organizer of their criminal group – but allegedly he managed to convince the subordinates not to turn him in and promised to support their families decently while they serve the prison terms. By now, the criminal case against Kotov and Yudin has been transferred to the Savelovsky District Court of Moscow, but the source states that Latypov is already living up to his promises and transfers 200 thousand rubles ($3.6 thousand) per month to each of their families. Almost half million rubles per month is considerable expense and, according to the CrimeRussia source, Latypov has created a corruption scheme in order to compensate the costs. It must be said though that he had started selling the posts of security chiefs in subsidiary companies of Rosneft a long time ago – while being under command of his former boss Vasily Yurchenko. The source describes the scheme as follows: the ‘customers’ are given 3 to 6 months to settle into the new job and after completion of the ‘probation period’, a monthly levy is imposed on them. Should the ‘customers’ refuse or be unable to pay the monthly ‘gratitude’, Latypov orders his henchmen to start the illegal collection of compromising materials against the ‘non-payers’ and conduct surprise inspections of their performance in order to be able to dismiss them. Sergei Usevich and Ruslan Sheyanov, former colleagues of Ural Latypov in the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bashkortostan, are also involved into the dirt collection. Both of them were dismissed from the agency for corruption.
It is known that the following deputy general directors for economic security in Rosneft subsidiary companies were paying to Latypov: Dmitry Lozhkin (RN-Okhrana Private Security Company Limited Liability Company), Anton Grachev (RN-Tuapsinsky Oil Refinery Limited Liability Company), etc.
Latypov has derailed the investigation of high-profile criminal cases against Andrei Votinov, ex-Vice President of Rosneft for Capital Construction, and Aleksander Firichenko, ex-Director of Vse Lyudi Ravny (All the People are Equal) Group of Companies Limited Liability Company and Deputy of the Tuapse City Council, charged with multibillion embezzlements of funds and assets belonging to Rosneft.
According to the investigation, in 2010, Andrei Votinov, then-Acting General Director of RN-Tuapsinsky Oil Refinery, had established, jointly with his acquaintance Aleksander Firichenko, Vse Lyudi Ravny (All the People are Equal) construction company. In 2012, this company had sublet to the oil refinery a land lot in Tuapse with the area of 17.2 thousand square meters at the price of 113.8 million rubles ($2 million). This land belonged to the Administration of the Krasnodar Krai and was leased out to the construction company. The investigation believes that Andrei Votinov and Aleksander Firichenko were aware that RN-Tuapsinsky Oil Refinery won’t be able to make full use of the lot because Vse Lyudi Ravny Group of Companies had already planned construction of various buildings and structures on it. In addition, later the construction company had leased to the oil refinery an unfinished 10-storey building on that lot. According to the investigation, the oil refinery – and, accordingly, Rosneft – has sustained in the period between August 2012 and April 2015 damages of 344.5 million rubles ($6.1 million) in connection with the sublease of the land lot and 156.9 million rubles ($2.8 million) in connection with the lease of the unfinished building.
In 2008, Votinov became the head of RN-Tuapsenefteprodukt and transferred Vse Lyudi Ravny to his sister Irina Palei. By the end of 2011, Vse Lyudi Ravny Group of Companies had belonged 100% to Orcell Equities Limited incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and then was transferred to Aleksander Firichenko. Andrei Votinov has fled Russia and is currently on the international wanted list.
In June 2016, Ural Latypov has made a job offer to another former officer of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bashkortostan – Evgeny Yapryntsev (also dismissed for discrediting circumstances) – and instructed him to establish ‘connections’ with a number of interested persons in the Prosecutor’s Office, judiciary, and Administration of the Krasnodar Krai.
According to our source, Yapryntsev has entered into a criminal conspiracy with First Deputy Prosecutor Igor Babaev, former Deputy Prosecutor Valery Kruglov, and Andrei Alekseenko, Deputy Head of the Administration of the Krasnodar Krai. By the way, Alekseenko is a friend of fugitive Votinov. After two years spent in the pretrial detention facility, Firichenko has been placed under home arrest by the Krasnodar Krai Court. The source states that officials and officers of the Rosneft security service continue putting pressure on and interfering with the preliminary investigation.
Shortly before the publication of this material, the CrimeRussia became aware that the Presidential Executive Office has initiated an inquest into the facts set forth above; the ICR is to carry out this inquest.