Mansion as bonus. Clan Arashukov tries to seize architectural monument
Powerful Circassian clan Arashukov makes more and more enemies. It became known recently that the family refuses to pay for a large mansion in Yessentuki where it has been residing for several years already. Another open question is: has the previous property owner paid its price in full? The CrimeRussia was figuring out who has defrauded whom and who is the true owner of a deluxe building known as Dacha Lesor.
A property dispute is nothing in comparison with other affairs of the Arashukov family. The main blame in these conflicts is normally put on Rauf Arashukov.
The Parliament of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic has recently submitted an inquiry to the Republican Prosecutor’s Office, Investigations Directorate in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for the Karachay-Cherkess Republic requesting the law enforcement agencies to prosecute persons responsible for the battering of Ruslan Kardanov, a Deputy of the Cherkessk Municipal Council. According to his own words, on October 24, Kardanov was attacked by Senator Rauf Arashukov and his bodyguards.
Although Arashukov had also accused Kardanov of harassment and assault, it must be admitted that the Senator had more motives to commit such an attack. The CrimeRussia wrote earlier that in July 2018, following a complaint filed by Kardanov, the Dubai Prosecutor's Office had instituted a criminal case against Arashukov for forging a United Arab Emirates residential permit. The complainant provided as an evidence copies of official documents, including the ‘adjusted' residence visa expiring on August 14, 2016 and authentic visa issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs–Dubai expiring on February 14, 2017 – i.e. after the ascension of Arashukov to the Council of the Federation as a Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. In other words, 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 live in a foreign state permanently cannot be a Senator.
Arashukov, in turn, claimed that his UAE residence visa was annulled as per his initiative on August 14, 2016 – i.e. prior to his inauguration as a Senator.
In late October, it became known that the case pertaining to the attack on Kardanov supposedly committed by Arashukov has been transferred to the ICR Central Headquarters.
Two other criminal cases pertaining to contract murders committed in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in 2010 have also been transferred there as per order of ICR Chairman Alexander Bastyrkin. To refresh background: in mid-August 2018, it was announced that the Investigations Directorate in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the ICR has resumed the inquest into the murder of public activist Aslan Zhukov shot dead on March 14, 2010. A year later, in 2011, local resident Rasul Adzhiev was detained and confessed to the murder of Zhukov out of jealousy to a woman. He had repeatedly admitted his guilt during questionings and in court. However, the Cherkessk City Court acquitted Adzhiev in May 2012, and he was released in the courtroom.
Aslan Zhukov is still remembered in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic
This summer, Adzhiev provided new testimonies and named Rauf Arashukov, Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the assassin’s paymaster. Ruslan Agoev, a relative of Arashukov, had acted as an intermediary between the mastermind behind this murder and the killer.
The second high-profile murder was committed two months later. On May 12, 2010, Fral Shebzukhov, Advisor to the President and candidate for the Prime Minister of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, was shot dead. Rustam Kopsergenov, the primary suspect in this case, also claims that Arashukov had hired thugs to batter the politician – but they have overdone the job and killed Shebzukhov.
In September, relatives of the victims started picketing the Investigations Directorate in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the ICR demanding to institute a criminal case against the Senator. They have submitted written petitions to Alexander Bastyrkin; Aleksander Bortnikov, Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation; Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika; and Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation.
In addition, the Senator has a conflict with Rashid Temrezov, Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, – clan Arashukov claims the leadership of the Circassian community and is eager to increase its influence throughout the republic.
According to operative data, the family has been plotting intrigues for many years. Clan Arashukov affects the social and political situation in the region using its corruption ties in the Prosecutor’s Office of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic and Investigations Directorate in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the ICR.
Below is another episode vividly illustrating habits of this large family. Recently, clan Arashukov was accused of seizure of a large mansion – an architectural monument in Yessentuki.
Some Ilona Yabs addressed the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General’s Office, ICR, Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, and federal media claiming that Senator’s father Raul Arashukov, a Deputy of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, his spouse Nelli Arashukova, and their numerous children have been occupying her home for many years without paying its price in full; and that, contrary to the court verdict, bailiffs do not evict them.
It is necessary to keep in mind that, despite his current membership in Edinaya Rossia (United Russia) Party and Deputy’s mandate, Raul Arashukov was prosecuted twice in the Soviet period for thefts of grain and sunflower seeds. However, this hasn’t prevented him from becoming in new Russia a top manager in the gas industry.
In 1999, Raul Arashukov became the Head of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Stavropol, a subsidiary company of Gazprom. In 2007, he was appointed the Head of Stavropolkraigaz Open Joint Stock Company.
In December 2011, Arashukov was removed from his posts in gas pipeline companies of the Stavropol krai – allegedly, as per order of Vice Prime Minister Igor Sechin. However, being an Advisor to Kirill Seleznev, General Director of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, he, in fact, continued supervising the regional gas industry.
According to Yabs, in 2011, Raul Arashukov convinced local businessman Viktor Yabs– her father and his friend – to sell him a mansion with a living space of 2043 square meters located at 9 Semashko street, Yessentuki.
According to tourist guides, this unique building known as Dacha Lesor was built in 1904 in the Russian classicism style. Before the Revolution, famous professor Aleksei Belyaevsky had vacated there. In the Soviet period, it was used as a health resort up until 2011. In 2004, the building was completely renovated.
Ilona Yabs claims that the deal was made with her mother – Vera Yabs-Svetyash – without her consent and under weird circumstances. The parties have agreed that the Arashukov family moves in immediately – but pays out the sale price in installments over time.
In February 2011, a preliminary agreement of purchase and sale was made. Nelli Arashukova signed it on behalf of clan Arashukov.
The payment schedule was agreed as well. Raul Arashukov had to pay out the full purchase price within a year.
Mansion at 9 Semashko street, Yessentuki
According to the official papers, the real property has been transferred to the Arashukov family for ownership and use without the right to sell or redesign it prior to the signing of the main agreement of purchase and sale and state registration of the title transfer from the seller to the buyer.
In accordance with the preliminary agreement, Raul Arashukov has transferred to Viktor Yabs the installment for the first month, thus, confirming his intention to purchase the real property.
The numerous Arashukov family moved in, deployed security guards, and erected a high fence – and then, according to Ilona Yabs, problems with payments began.
Shortly after that, terrible news shocked the Yabs family. While the mother and daughter were vacating on the sea, Viktor Yabs suddenly fell ill. He was hospitalized – but local medics could not establish the diagnosis. The businessman has been transferred to Moscow – but Moscow doctors were unable to help him as well. On August 9, 2011, Viktor Yabs died. Medics told the family that the death was caused by some unknown poison.
The wife and daughter of the businessman have come into the inheritance – Vera Yabs-Svetyash and Ilona Yabs became the owners of the above property in equal shares. By that time, the full price of the home wasn’t paid out by the Arashukov family yet.
According to Ilona Yabs, for an entire year, Raul had palmed them off with promises to pay out the balance as soon as possible. In response to their threats to launch a legal action, he had hinted that this would be unwise because the outcome of such litigation is predetermined.
Still, a lawsuit has been filed against Arashukov.
Dacha Lesor with the new fence
After a year-long litigation involving numerous delays of the substantive examination of the case through repeated acts of contumacy by clan Arashukov and various lawsuits and motions filed by them, the Yabs family has achieved, with great difficulties, the first victory.
In May 2015, the Yessentuki City Court ruled that the plaintiff has failed to fulfill its financial obligations in full and ordered clan Arashukov to vacate the following nonresidential premises (in fact, the entire territory of the ‘dacha' is zoned not for residential construction – but for social and business facilities): building A (medical and health center with a total area of 1420.9 square meters) and building B (medical and health center with a total area of 622.7 square meters) located at 9 Semashko street, Yessentuki.
The family of the Deputy and Senator was not going to comply with the court verdict – so, the Yessentuki Municipal Department of the Administration for the Stavropol Krai of the Federal Bailiff Service (FBS) has launched enforcement proceedings. However, for more than two years, bailiffs could not evict the debtors.
After yet another failure to enforce the court verdict, Yabs submitted a complaint about the inaction of the bailiffs and filed an official request to put members of the Arashukov family on the wanted list. After that, Nelli Arashukova was prohibited from flying to the UAE from Mineralnye Vody Airport – although a chartered private jet had waited for her on the airfield. This incident outraged clan Arashukov, and Valentin Kovalev, Head of the Yessentuki Department of the Administration for the Stavropol Krai of the FBS, has taken this case under personal control. Within the scope of the law, he forced Yabs to arrive in summer to Yessentuki and arranged an ‘accidental meeting’ with a representative of Raul Arashukov in his office. The representative had no power of attorney and the meeting, apparently, ended in nothing. In November 2018, the bailiff service started transferring the case from one officer to another, while the information about the debtors Arashukov disappeared from the official FBS web site.
Prior to that, another important event occurred: on August 6, 2018, the Yessentuki City Court has reinstated – three years after the enactment of the original court verdict – the deadline for an appeal against the court decision Raul Arashukov had disagreed with. The plaintiffs have filed an individual complaint against this decision with a detailed justification of the impossibility to reinstate the deadline.
On October 30, 2018, the Stavropol Krai Court has satisfied the plaintiff’s claim and upheld the ruling obliging Nelli Arashukova to vacate the premises.
However, in less than a month, on November 20, 2018, the same Stavropol Krai Court – although presided by a different judge – has ruled to put on hold the enforcement proceedings instituted by the bailiffs until the examination of the appeal petition.
The litigation is still ongoing; it should become clear soon whether the appeals of Yabs to the public and supreme authorities had any effect. In the meantime, The CrimeRussia decided to gain a better insight into the stance of the plaintiff.
Upon reviewing other court cases, we have identified some discrepancies – which don’t exonerate clan Arashukov in any way but shed some light on the people currently posing as victims.
In April 2011, the Arbitration Court of the Stavropol Krai has examined a lawsuit filed by individual entrepreneur Viktor Yabs against the Committee for Municipal Property of Yessentuki to recognize his proprietary rights to a real property located at 9 Semashko street, Yessentuki: brick fence, metal-grill fence with brick poles, and several gates. The court has scheduled a preliminary hearing – but no one attended it. The lawsuit was dismissed without a hearing on the merits.
The daughter of the businessman claims that the fence was erected by the Arashukov family who had already taken possession by that time – but why was Yabs going to litigate instead of them?
The story of this ‘dacha’ prior to its sale to clan Arashukov is even more exciting.
We were unable to fund out how has Yabs appropriated the former health resort – the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr) does not provide any information on the transfer of ownership for this particular address. However, Viktor Yabs is mentioned in several other cases examined by the Yessentuki City Court. For instance, in August 2010, a civil lawsuit filed against Yabs by some Vladislav Abdurashitov to recognize his proprietary rights was heard there.
According to the statement of claim, the plaintiff had requested the court to recognize his ownership rights to the following nonresidential premises: building A (medical and health center with a total area of 1420.9 square meters) and building B (medical and health center with a total area of 622.7 square meters) located at * S. street, Yessentuki.
The case file does not provide the exact address – but no doubt, it refers to the same property: Dacha Lesor.
On December 6, 2007, the Yessentuki City Court has recognized an agreement of purchase and sale made between Yabs and Abdurashitov valid. According to that agreement, Abdurashitov has purchased a nonresidential building – building A (health resort) located at * S. street, Yessentuki.
However, on September 18, 2008, based on the decisions of the Yessentuki City Court of October 4, 2004 and October 27, 2004, state registration certificates have been issued to Yabs. According to these certificates, he was the owner of building A (medical and health center) and building B (medical and health center) located at * S. street, Yessentuki. Apparently, the restoration of the building and its subsequent re-zoning were performed at that time.
On July 1, 2010, the Director of EF Kraitekhinventarizatsia State Unitary Enterprise of the Stavropol Krai has issued another certificate. According to it, “nonresidential premises building A (medical and health center)” and “nonresidential premises building B (medical and health center)” located at * S. street, Yessentuki belong to Yabs based on the decisions of the Yessentuki City Court of October 4, 2004 and October 27, 2004. Therefore, the nonresidential building (health resort, building A) does not exist at * S. street, Yessentuki; instead, there are two nonresidential buildings – buildings A and B (medical and health centers).
In other words, Yabs had already sold this building in the past. He has sold it as a health resort and then reinstated his ownership rights to a medical and health center located at the same address through court action.
This case had been examined by various courts for several years. Finally, in April 2012, the Stavropol Krai Court has completely dismissed all claims brought by Abdurashitov, while the Yessentuki City Court started examining a lawsuit filed against him by Yabs-Svetyash. She had requested to declare the agreement of purchase and sale null and void and claimed her ownership right to a share in the joint family property. However, she lost that case.
Overall, despite the existence of some agreement of purchase and sale, the further events show that Abdurashitov has lost all his claims, thus, enabling Yabs to offer the mansion for sale again. However, according to the inspection plan for civil defense facilities published by the Stavropol Krai Directorate of the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) in 2018, the proprietor of premises located at 9 Semashko street, Yessentuki is Vladislav Viktorovich Abdurashitov.
In other words, Yabs has sold to clan Arashukov a disputed property, to say the least. This explains why the seller was ready to accept any payment terms, including installments. And contrary to the claims of his widow and daughter, this was done not for friendship's sake. It is difficult to take part in this dispute – however, it is necessary to admit that the mysterious death of the businessman was beneficial for the Arashukov family.