Successor of ‘Funeral King’ Igor Minakov takes the offensive
Not so much time has passed since the death of Igor ‘Adolf’ Minakov, and, as many predicted, the silent transition to possible successors of the funeral empire, which he built on the shoulders of his mobs, failed. The newly-emerging representatives of ritual services not only steal the bread from the mouths of former ‘royal subjects,’ but also control the city elections with their fists.
Not so long ago, an unusual statement appeared on the desk of Chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Moskovsky region of St. Petersburg. It was usual in form and unusual in terms of names it mentioned. A certain Igor Ivanov complained about a group of fraudsters, who, having gained access to the electronic system bank-client of United Capital Bank JSC, stole 400 thousand rubles ($6,224) from him. In addition, the swindlers stole contracts, acts, and a seal of an individual entrepreneur, the statement said. The fact that several hacker fraudster groups operated in the city and withdraw finances from entrepreneurs' accounts was a common thing. But they never encroached on legal documents and seals. All they ever cared about was money.
The applicant further reported that in 2012, he organized a funeral business in the morgue of St. Petersburg City Hospital No.26 located at 2 Kostyushko Street, letter B, St. Petersburg.
Some interesting names appeared in the statement. For example, the victim indicated that the permission to work at the place and the allocation of premises to him occurred with the instructions and knowledge of a certain V.B. Larkin: “I agreed with Valery Borisovich Larkin, born 04.11.1959, that a room for work at the hospital would be allocated to me...” The specified person was none other than the president of the Association of Funeral Industry Enterprises of St. Petersburg and the North-West Region, a long-time business partner of the late ‘Funeral King’ Igor Minakov. It was the merger with the owner of Ritualye Uslugi (‘Funeral Services’) Valery Larkin that allowed Minakov to become a monopolist in the market of funeral services.
Before the death of ‘Adolf’ Minakov, up to 90% of the funeral market in St. Petersburg belonged to the structures he owned jointly with Larkin.
But this is all irrelevant. The essence of Igor Ivanov’s statement was that after the start of work, Larkin informed the individual entrepreneur that he should hold his accounts with United Capital Bank JSC, as well as provide accounting records for the so-called United Accounting, located on Partizanskaya Street. A certain Elena Volkova was appointed to deal with accounting. By the way, this lady is not an ordinary kind of person. It is she, as sources say, who is the permanent financial consultant to Larkin and Minakov.
Thus, Igor Ivanov bought the goods and set to work. In his statement, he describes in detail how much money he gave for the rental of premises to the chief of staff of the Kostyushko hospital (70 thousand rubles a month, or $1,089) and how much money was transferred directly to Minakov through intermediaries. Actually, the financial calculations of I.E. Ivanov were pretty simple. Couriers would take all the money; Ivanov was given 70 thousand for the chief of hospital staff and 100 thousand for himself as a salary.
This scheme worked like a charm until December 2018, when Minakov died of illness. Suddenly, all contracts with Ivanov were unilaterally terminated; his partners stopped returning the calls. It turned out that after the death of the ‘Funeral King,’ various services, such as the rental of Maybach and Porsche cars, were paid, and various materials and goods (for ritual purposes) were purchased using Ivanov’s accounts.
The victim was unable to obtain a discussion of the situation with Minakov’s other associates, namely a certain Kozyrev, so he turned to the police. It is noteworthy that the applicant, Igor Ivanov, is none other than the former driver of Igor Minakov, whom he added to the line of a well-functioning funeral business, as he did with all his people, providing them with the means of subsistence. After his death, the funeral business saw the redistribution of spheres of influence; naturally, small offices under the control of the business's smallest subjects were the first to suffer.
They say on the sidelines of the funeral business that things were less exciting than Ivanov presented in his statement. Allegedly, after the death of his high patron, Ivanov decided that he did not want to replenish the common fund, and it was time to detach himself from the head office and leave all the finances to himself. The head office reacted accordingly, terminating all existing labor contracts due to Ivanov’s failure to fulfill his obligations.
It is difficult to predict how the police will deal with the statement, in which such high-profile names are mentioned. Perhaps, the innovations of General Roman Pugin will allow to get this document going.
Igor Minakov used to own 60% of SRS Memorial LLC and 40% of MKSS LLC (cutting, processing, and dressing of stone for monuments) and the development company Nordest Group. The businessman's personal fortune is estimated at 19 billion rubles ($295 million).
Based on the above statement, it becomes clear that the former partners of Minakov took the offensive. But not only them, it turns out. For example, during the recent elections in St. Petersburg, some Rambo guys attacked 22-year-old Maria Novikova, a candidate from the United Democrats, at the polling station No. 2172 on Yaroslav Gashek Street. The wide publicity of the incident helped identify the attackers.
One of them was Leonid Stepanenko, 53. He is responsible for illegal storage of firearms, weapon manufacturing, and robberies. He and the other two thugs, who attacked the girl at the polling station, work for Sergey Novikov – the ‘owner’ of the Northern cemetery and one of the successors of the late ‘Funeral King,’ Igor Minakov.
The ‘participation’ of his men in the election was expressed in the form of secret services supporting the authorities. A person seeking to take the top position in the field of funeral services could definitely use such support. There has been no official ‘power-sharing’, but most members of the funeral industry consider Sergey Novikov the successor.
Sergey Novikov owns SIEM LLC, which carries out economic activities in the territory of the Northern and Shuvalovsky cemeteries, as well as in the fraternal military graves Osinovaya Roscha, Kamenka, Sosnovka, and Dom Lesnika. By conservative estimates, Sergey Novikov’s current fortune is about 6 billion rubles ($93 million).
Naturally, Sergey Germanovich refuses any involvement of his people in the controversial story at the polling station No. 2172. However, sources doubt that his employees chose to voluntarily express their dissatisfaction with the fact that the young girl was running for municipal deputies.
Immediately after the death of Igor Minakov, many people involved in the funeral business expressed the opinion that Larkin would have a hard time and doubted that he would be able to satisfy the competitors' appetite on his own. Today, there is only one question: will Minakov’s old-timers fit in with the big ‘funeral war’ about to break out? So far, it has not gone beyond legal disputes, but even here Minakov and Larkin are facing defeat. As we previously reported, back in the summer of 2018, businessman Boris Gladilin supported by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service won the arbitration process regarding violations identified by Minakov-Larkin structures. To recall, Marat Dreyzin, one of the members of the ‘orderlies gang,’ which held the entire funeral business at bay in the early 2000s, has to do with Gladilin’s company Pokhoronnaya Sluzhba.
The business interests of the candidate for the throne, Sergey Novikov, will now join the re-emerging orderlies gang. Further confrontation is inevitable. Only this time, Larkin will have to confront two fairly aggressive and tough opponents on his own. In case of an outright war, victims will be solemnly buried in the same cemeteries.