Russian billionaire Iskander Makhmudov, suspected of having links with mafia, paid €300.000 to Macron's ally Vincent Craze

Russian billionaire Iskander Makhmudov, suspected of having links with mafia, paid €300.000 to Macron's ally Vincent Craze
Iskander Makhmudov

The oligarch is suspected of having links with the "Russian mafia".

Russian billionaire Iskander Makhmudov hired the former security chief of La République en Marche! The Insider reported the news with reference to the investigation of the French Mediapart.

According to the publication, Vincent Craze, who worked with the President, pledged to keep Makhmudov’s family safe and guard his French real estate registered with the billionaire’s offshore companies in Monaco, Luxembourg and Cyprus. The services cost the Russian 294 thousand euros.

The money was transferred to the accounts of Vincent Craze’s Mars, which was established immediately after Macron’s victory in the 2017 presidential elections.

On July 18, Le Monde unveiled recordings from video cameras of May 1, in which Vincent Craze and French presidential aide Alexandre Benalla beat protesters. After that, both men were dismissed and taken into custody.

Iskander Makhmudov, 55, has a fortune of 7.3 billion dollars and is 16th on the Forbes’ 2018 richest people of Russia list. The oligarch is the founder and CEO of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC). In addition, his assets include Transoil, one of the leading rail carriers of oil and petroleum products in Russia, Transmashholding, a manufacturer of rolling stock for railways and metros, Zheldorremmash, and others. All of them get government contracts on regular basis. In 2012, Makhmudov acquired a controlling stake in the football club CSKA.

In 2015, The Insider obtained an indictment in the criminal case of the “Russian mafia” in Spain, where Makhmudov was held as a partner of the Tambovskaya group’s leader with extensive connections in the Russian government.

Recall that in 2008, two of the leaders of the Tambov-Malyshevskaya organized crime group, were arrested as part of the Majorca investigation. Gennady Petrov and Alexander Malyshev were charged with a number of serious crimes, including murders, beatings and threats, arms trafficking, extortion, fraud, forgeries, sale of connections with powerful people, bribery, smuggling, drug trafficking and more.

During the search at Petrov’s, police found and seized documents containing information on money laundering operations through a company called Vera Metallurgica, a subsidiary of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company co-owned by Oleg Deripaska at that time. The charges were separated from the other ones and became a new case, but the investigation deadlines were extended again and again until in 2017 the case was terminated due to the lack of elements of crime.

The Insider also wrote about Makhmudov’s connections with the Izmailovskaya criminal group. The gang’s Illegal incomes from casinos and racketeering were laundered through legal enterprises such as the UMMC, and then pooled cash funds were created in Germany and Spain. In addition, there were some dubious schemes used to evade taxes on the products of said enterprises.

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