Mysterious murder of MP Vladimir Shevtsov
The investigation of 2 criminal cases concerned with multimillion swindling was temporarily suspended in the Novosibirsk Region; Vladimir Shevtsov, the suspect, was stabbed to death in a forest near the City of Novosibirsk several days ago.
Passers-by found Iskitimsky District Council MP Vladimir Shevtsov’s body in the Zaeltsevsky Forest at about 10 AM on February 3. The MP was stabbed near his heart 3 times. The murderer killed his victim in the woods near the Dacha bus stop. They dropped the murder weapon - a knife - near the dead body. The victim had all his IDs, wallet with money, and empty notebook bag on him when found. The investigators are investigating whether the bag was empty or the murderer stole the victim’s notebook. A murder case was opened. There are not suspect yet.
It was not your common robbery, since the murderer did not take either the MP’s money or phone. It is a safe guess the murderer either acted on an order or took revenge on the MP for something.
The investigation is to learn about the MP’s ties and find his enemies now. It may very well be that it should be able to define who was dissatisfied with the victim very soon; Shevtsov was a suspect in 2 ongoing corruption criminal cases when murdered.
Vladimir Shevtsov was elected a member of the 3rd Iskitimsky District MP Council in the Electoral District № 3 in September 2015. The District includes settlements from 3 municipalities. He was elected with 41% of the vote. Shevtsov ran as a member of the Iskitimsky District United Russia branch. He worked as the Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo Company CEO when elected. He was a member of the Iskitimsky District Council Committee on Housing Services and Utilities, Amenities Provision, Construction, Ecology, Land Use, and Agricultural Policy. The MP lived in Novosibirsk.
It is just crazy talk?
Local media outlets published the 1st and only public announcement containing assumption of responsibility for the murder. The Russkaya povstancheskaya armiya Organization was the one that claimed to have murdered the MP. It sent a letter containing the confession to the Kurier. Sreda. Bersk Newspaper editorial office. The organization announced it ‘prosecutes’ corrupt people throughout the Russian Federation and promised “everyone will be punished”. The Organization had previously tried to assume responsibility for several incidents that happened in Russia, according to media outlets. This includes a major accident at a City of Murmansk thermal power plant; arson of a so-called “troll factory” in St Petersburg; arson of City of Volgograd Governor Bocharov’s county house. It is worth mentioning that their claims they sent via mail were not fully accurate. The police denied all the claims and said it was just “crazy talk”. Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation officers investigating the murder case announced they do not even consider that the Organization may have been involved with the murder. However, the investigators have not shared any of their versions yet.
Fraudulent land trade
Shevtsov was the only one out of the 34 MPs who had the “temporarily unemployed” status in the “profession” column on the Iskitimsky District MP Council web-site. He lost his job due to corruption scandals that he got himself into. Shevtsov pulled a classic swindling scheme in the Town of Iskitim, Novosibirsk Region between March 18, 2014 and July 14, 2015, according to the Iskitimsky District Trans-Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office. The MP was the Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo Company CEO at the time. “Shevtsov used his official power to illegally seize without compensation and appropriate 29.2 million rubles that belonged to the Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo Company”, legally speaking. He abused the trust of the Company stockholder who authorized him to put to vote and approve a loan for himself. The MP received the loan as a private individual. Shevtsov then approved the Company buying a remarkably overpriced land lot from him. This resulted in a set-off of counter claims of the same kind. In other words, he sold 2.6 hectares gifted to him by a local resident for almost 30 million rubles.
In October 2016, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation announced that Iskitimsky District MP and entrepreneur Shevtsov was accused of breaking the article 159, part 4 (“Swindling”) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. It is only natural the Company incorporators were not going to let a CEO who stole money from their own company stay in it. The MP tried suing his former employers demanding hedonic damages compensation resulted from his lawless dismissal. Court is still examining that case. It is not clear when it will rule on it (or close it due to the suspect’s death).
“One cannot steal something company does not own”
The 2nd case against the MP was opened after Sibantratsit, the largest coal company in the Region, filed a complaint to the police.
Sibantratsit is the largest coal company in the Novosibirsk Region. It is located in the Iskitimsky District. The company has a license allowing it to develop the Gorlovsky Coal Basin fields. The Basin proven reserves amount to 250 million tons of anthracite. The company recovered 5.3 million tons of coal in 2014. The Alltech Group of Companies owns 75% of Sibantratsit. Alltech owner Dmitri Bosov is the beneficiary. He holds 49.88% of the stock, according to the Interfax News Agency. Alltech owns 4 opencast coal mines and 2 processing plants. Its products are sold in the EU, China, Japan, Korea, India, Brazil, and some other countries.
Sibantratsit published results of an internal investigation into Dmitry Chuvochin and Shevtsov’s activities on its web-site in April 2016. Chuvochin was a Director of the Sibantratsit Novosibirsk branch. Sibantratsit had an agreement with Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo, according to the investigation results. The latter sold land to the former under the agreement. Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo specialized in executing land ownership documents. Sibantratsit bought land located at a territory it needed for implementation of a program for development of the mining company and infrastructural facilities construction. Chuvochin was responsible for interaction with Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo. He determined what was to be done and scope of works under the agreement with Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo, executed application for land purchases, and financed and supervised such applications. Chuvochin and Shevtsov stole 80 hectares of land purchased for the company, according to the internal investigation. They registered themselves, their family members, and subordinate companies as the owners of lots of the land. Moreover, they stole about 60 million rubles from Sibantratsit. This money was sent by Sibantratsit to Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo as advance payments. “Chuvochin and Shevtsov used various tricks to transfer the money to their bank accounts and bank accounts of their subordinate companies. They did so through knowingly entering unprofitable and unsound agreements”, Sibantratsit claimed. Krestianskoe kollektivnoe khozyaystvo turned out to have a large credit debt to Sibantratsit, according to the internal investigation. It is worth mentioning that ownership of the land should have been transferred to Sibantratsit for opencast coal mines development. The findings were referred to not only the police but to the Novosibirsk Region government and Iskitimsky District Administration as well since the company was going to fight for its economic interests in court and hold the perpetrators viable.
Shevtsov, who served on the 2016 Iskitimsky District Land Use Committee, repeatedly claimed he did not steal the money and that the allegation were groundless, saying that “one cannot steal something a company does not own”. He even asked his attorney to prepare a defamation lawsuit. Here is what he told a media outlet at the time: “I know nothing about these 80 hectares. What did they want to say when mentioning them? How could someone steal something from them? If one follows such logic, they could claim Shevtsov stole a piece of the Moon from them. I provide consulting services regarding land trade to many companies. I did consult Sibantratsit among many others since they are located in the Iskitimsky District and influence activities of 4 rural councils. 2 out of the 4 are from my electoral district. I am ready to help if someone asks me to”.
Was he victim of information war?
Shevtsov suggested Sibantratsit’s claim could be linked to a situation in an Iskitimsky District settlement, namely the Urgun village. An informational war sparked around the village last year. Now, it is hard to tell whether the war sparked in the wake of the internal investigation or the investigation was launched in response to Shevtsov having accused Sibantratsit. The conflict began due to the party represented by Shevtsov and Chuvochin beginning to openly support residents of the village. The village was just 1 km away from the sanitary protection zone of a coal field of the company. Moreover, a service lane runs right through the village. Coal-filled cars drive on the road every day.
Urgun village (Taiga Info Media Outlet / Kirill Kanin)
Sibantratsit used to be able to find a common ground with Urgun residents in terms of ecology. However, the company allegedly lost interest in public issues once a new top-management took the office. It is worth mentioning the 2 public interests advocates claimed they were dismissed and prosecuted due to having openly opposed the largest local coal company. The party that supported Sibantratsit accused Shevtsov and Chuvochin of manipulating facts. It exposed them of having used shots filmed in the neighboring Kemerovo Region in a documentary about Urgun residents’ hardship.
The informational was lasted for 3 months before dying out. The case against the MP and former top-manager was referred to court, too. We may learn how the defense team will change its tactics in view of one of the 2 defendants having died after the next court hearing.
The law on limitations and restrictions of anonymizers and VPN services, which obliges them to block websites banned in Russia, has been in force for three months already. However, not a single service has performed it yet.