‘Arnosha’, adjutant of ‘Mikhas’. Solntsevo ‘authority’ became Sistema top manager
Arnold Spivakovsky, ex-General Director of Cosmos Hotel arrested in Spain among the 11 Russians on suspicion of membership in ‘Solntstevskie’ organized criminal group and money laundering, turned out to be a top manager of Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation. The CrimeRussia has found out that ‘criminal authority’ of the 1990s Tamm-Spivakovsky had represented interests of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang in structures de jure controlled by billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov and held supreme positions in that structure for more than 15 years.
Arnold Arnoldovich Spivakovsky is the most important detainee among the Russians arrested by La Guardia Civil in Malaga for money laundering. The media call him “the most influential ‘Russian mafioso’ ever detained in Spain”. This means much in a country that had seen high-profile arrests of Gennady Petrov and Aleksander Malyshev, leaders or ‘Tambovsko-Malyshevskie’ organized criminal group, Aleksander Romanov, leader of ‘Taganskaya’ gang, ‘thieves-in-law’ Kakhaber ‘Kakha Rustavsky’ Shushanashvili and Zakhary ‘Shakro Molodoy’ Kalashov, and plenty of smaller ‘criminal authorities’ from Russia.
The Spanish police consider Spivakovsky the third supreme leader of ‘Solntstevskie’ organized criminal group – while its supposed leaders deny stoutly the very existence of such a gang. Based on the information provided by the FBI and Interpol, Spain, U.S., and some other countries consider ‘Solntstevskie’ the most dangerous, numerous, and influential Russian criminal group. And unlike the Russian law enforcement authorities, their Western colleagues believe that it is real and still operating.
In addition to Arnold Spivakovsky, 10 more Russians have been detained in Mijas, Marbella, Estepona, and Puerto Banús in the framework of a special operation dubbed “Oligarkh”. Most of them were released soon under a written pledge not to leave the city. Only four suspects have been remanded in custody by the court for the duration of the investigation.
The following persons are currently detained in the prison of Alhaurín de la Torre: Alexander Grinberg, owner of Marbella Football Club; Oleg Kuznetsov, main shareholder of Aguas Sierra de Mijas bottling plant suspected on laundering criminal proceeds through a legal business; Sergei Dozhdev, top manager of Aguas Sierra de Mijas and, according to The CrimeRussia information, partner of late Vladimir Kadin, former ‘overseer’ of Volgograd shot dead in 2011, in legal and shady businesses; and, of course, Arnold Spivakovsky arrested by Marbella Court with no right to be released on bail.
Furthermore, it is reasonable to suppose that Malaga gendarmes have timed “Operation Oligarkh” to coincide it with the arrival of the ‘controller’ representing Russian organized criminal groups to Spain. According to the investigation, in the last few years, the detained businessmen have laundered some €30 million belonging to the Russian gangs.
The Spanish press report that La Guardia Civil had monitored the activities of the Russian businessmen in Costa del Sol for four years and collected evidence for the criminal case – but it has arrested the suspects only when Arnold Spivakovsky, who was absent in Spain for 1.5 year, had arrived to audit the deals made by Grinberg and Kuznetsov. The law enforcement authorities gave him a week to entertain himself in luxury and surrounded by beautiful ladies and then arrested all the participants of the criminal scheme and several managers of business structures controlled by them.
Shadow of Mogilevich
Some Russian media outlets mistakenly call “Operation Oligarkh” a continuation of another high-profile operation targeting ‘Russian mafia’ – “Operation Troyka” – in the course of which Gennady Petrov and Aleksander Malyshev were arrested in Malaga in 2008, but this is incorrect.
“Oligarkh” is a continuation of an operation codenamed "Clotilde" carried out by La Guardia Civil in 2013 in the seaside resort area of Costa Brava in Catalonia. At that time, the law enforcement authorities have arrested businessman Andrei Petrov having ties with ‘Solntstevskie’ gang.
The following persons were arrested together with Petrov: his father; Xavier Crespo, ex-Mayor of Lloret de Mar and Deputy of Catalonia's Convergence suspected of accepting bribes from ‘Solntstevskie’ gang; and Juan Arbós Perarnau, President of the city hockey club. Fiscalía Especial Contra la Corrupción y la Criminalidad Organizada (Prosecutor’s Office for Special Cases Pertaining to Corruption and Organized Crime) had handled that case.
A Kalashnikov submachine gun has been seized from Petrov during the searches; he was charged with ties with ‘Solntstevskie’ gang and laundering of large amounts of money received from offshore companies via his Diagnostic Development Company (DDC) and the local hockey club. At that time, El Mundo newspaper wrote that Semen Mogilevich, one of the 10 criminals most wanted by the FBI, has ties with the Spanish ‘laundromat’ of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang. The Spanish press is still discussing his behind-the-scenes involvement into the new money laundering scheme in Malaga supervised by Tamm-Spivakovsky. In fact, there are reasons to suppose strong ties between Mogilevich known for his sophisticated financial schemes and Spivakovsky responsible for finances and bank operations in ‘Solntstevskie’ gang.
In both cases, the Russians were using in Spain standard money laundering schemes involving sports clubs and construction businesses and lobbying their interests through local authorities (according to the police, liaison with officials was one of the main priorities for Aleksander Grinberg arrested in Marbella). In addition, the name of Arnold Tamm (Spivakovsky used to bear this last name in the past) was repeatedly mentioned in Interpol and FBI documents in connection with Mogilevich put on the wanted list in the late 1990s for fraud with YBM Magenex International shares amounting to $150 million.
One of the meetings of Mogilevich and Tamm is mentioned in the book “America at Night: The True Story of Two Rogue CIA Operatives, Homeland Security Failures, Dirty Money, and a Plot to Steal the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election” by CIA veteran Larry Kolb published in 2007. The author is citing a secret FBI report.
In addition to Tamm and Mogilevich, the following criminal authorities had attended the ‘congregation’ in Tel-Aviv in October 1995: Sergei Mikhailov, Viktor Averin, Vadim Rabinovich, and Leonid Bilunov. According to the former intelligence officer, that meeting had taken place in the diamond exchange building in Ramat Gan; the ‘authorities’ were dividing influence spheres in Ukraine.
Russian media outlets called Tamm the ‘adjutant’ of Sergei ‘Mikhas’ Mikhailov, leader of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang. According to some information, after the arrest of ‘Mikhas’ in Switzerland, Arnold Tamm has immediately flown to Geneva to supervise his business projects. Tamm had also welcomed ‘Mikhas’ in the Moscow airport when he returned to Russia after defeating the Swiss justice system and personally Attorney General Carla Del Ponte.
At that time, the media were already aware of the supreme position of Arnold Tamm in ‘Solntstevskie’ organized criminal group from leaked reports of operatives of the Moscow Administration for Combating Organized Crime and Interpol's Project Millennium.
Project Millennium targeting transnational Eurasian organized crime (mostly originating from the CIS countries) has been launched by the General Secretariat of Interpol in 1996 to ensure operative information exchange about persons having ties with the organized crime between the member countries. The main objectives of the project include identification of cross-border criminal ties, collection of important information in order to prevent and suppress illegal activities of members of organized criminal groups, ‘criminal authorities’, and ‘thieves-in-law’. According to police major general Prokopchuk, Head of the National Central Bureau of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation, 43 states participate in the project. The main project tool is a special notification system used in relation to the suspects.
According to Project Millennium documents, Arnold Tamm is one of the eight leaders of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang – together with Evgeny Lyustarnov, Aleksander Averin, Gennady Shapovalov, Sergei Rusakov, and Semen Mogilevich. In the mid-1990s, Arnold Tamm was the third supreme leader of the organized criminal group after Sergei ‘Mikhas’ Mikhailov and Viktor ‘Avera Starshy’ (Avera Senior) Averin. It was reported that Arnold Tamm had directly commanded some 10 ‘brigades’; a Deputy of the State Duma and billionaire Andrei Skoch was in charge of one of such ‘brigades’. Recently the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) has got a few questions to Skoch in the framework of the criminal case against high-ranked ICR officers charged with accepting bribes from ‘thief-in-law’ ‘Shakro Molodoy’.
Standing from left to right: Vladimir ‘Shef’ (Chief) Gurchenkov, Arnold ‘Arnosha’ Tamm, Aleksander ‘Avera Mladshy’ (Avera Junior) Averin, Lev Kvetnoy. Sitting from left to right: Viktor ‘Avera Starshy’ (Avera Senior) Averin, Sergei Mikhailov, Andrei Skoch
In the end of the 1990s, the ‘banditry epoch’ in Russia had been gradually turning into the ‘legal business epoch’. Similarly with other leaders of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang, Arnold Tamm had taken serious efforts to get rid of the negative ‘tail’ behind him. First, he has rejected his father’s last name (Arnold Osvaldovich Tamm was a translator from Estonian to Russian and former Editor in Chief of Sovetsky Pisatel (Soviet Writer) Publishing House). That last name was well-known to Interpol, while he had to make frequent trips abroad to settle foreign ‘businesses’ of ‘Solntstevskie’. Then Spivakovsky has got some legitimate work experience – he was a Deputy General Director of Eksa Limited Liability Company and PR Consultant of Pavel Borodin, State Secretary of the Union of Russia and Belarus.
In 2001–2002, experienced manager Arnold Arnoldovich Spivakovsky was the Deputy General Director for Legal Matters of Irbis (Snow Leopard) Customs Terminal – at that time, the largest such terminal in Moscow. Tamm-Spivakovsky managed to make such an impressive career without even getting a higher education. However, later he has closed this ‘gap’ by graduating from Kutafin Moscow State Law University in 2003 with a major in Jurisprudence. Two years later, he has defended a Ph.D. thesis. Concurrently Spivakovsky became a socialite well-known in elite companies and womanizer – he even gave an interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper as a common-law husband of songstress Lolita Milyavskaya. Overall, things were getting better, while his career as a businessman and manager was skyrocketing.
Arnold Spivakovsky and Lolita Milyavskaya
However, a high-profile ‘cocaine case’ has nearly made a mess of things – in 2002, Arnold Tamm-Spivakovsky, who had always managed to get off the hook using his extensive connections in the MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow, had almost got a prison term in a case having nothing to do with his links with ‘Solntstevskie’.
Romance with cocaine
Evgenia Nenakhova, Investigator of the MIA General Administration for the Moscow Region handling a criminal case pertaining to the theft of $10 million from Stupinsky Metallurgical Complex, has challenged the corruption system created back in the 1990s and ensuring the patronage and protection of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang by the Moscow police.
Anton Dremlyuga and Evgeny Suvorov, co-owners of United Development Bank, were the primary suspects in that case. During the searches in their offices, the operatives found bags with considerable amounts of cocaine, while wiretapping of their telephone conversations has led the investigation to Spivakovsky who was a neighbor of the bankers on Rublevskoe highway and had often spent time with them in the most prestigious at that time Dolls Strip Club. In the course of a search, 171.6 grams of cocaine have been seized from Club Manager Maria Izarova. According to Moskovsky Komsomolets journalist Aleksander Khinshtein, in 2002, despite strong resistance of Petr Vilkov, Deputy Prosecutor of the Moscow Region, sanctions to search the residences of Arnold Spivakovsky and Club Art Director Voropaev have been received. As a result, 9.33 grams of cocaine were seized from Spivakovsky and 42.28 grams – from Voropaev.
Arrest of Arnold Spivakovsky in 2002 in the framework of the drug storage case
Then some ‘invisible forces’ behind Arnold Spivakovsky, then-Deputy General Director of Peking Hotel and Office Complex, have interfered. The ‘cocaine case’ became known for an unprecedented pressure put on the investigation team by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office and MIA General Administration for the Moscow Region.
The operatives could not enter the Lobnya Pretrial Detention Facility where Spivakovsky was remanded in custody on the pretext of a quarantine; they were not allowed to take samples for drug tests; while doctors of Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Medicine had refused to provide any medical reports. High-ranked functionaries of the MIA General Administration and Prosecutor’s Office had called Investigator Nenakhova on the carpet and demanded explanations. 72 hours after his arrest, Spivakovsky was released. A grenade was thrown into the car of Investigator Nenakhova when she entered the lobby of her home. Ultimately, Spivakovsky has been arrested after the intervention of Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov who had summoned Nenakhova for a report. In September 2002, Odintsovo City Court has sentenced Spivakovsky to 3 years and 3 months behind bars conditionally and later completely acquitted him. This happened largely because of the efforts of lawyer Dmitry Yakubovsky, also known as ‘General Dima’, having close ties with ‘Solntstevskie’ since the 1990s.
While defending the interests of Spivakovsky in 2002, attorney Yakubovsky had successfully used the tactics earlier used by Sergei ‘Mikhas’ Mikailov – cracking down on any references to the involvement of his client into a ‘nonexistent organized criminal group’. By the way, Yakubovsky has recently said at a press conference dedicated to an anti-defamation lawsuit filed against Aleksei Navalny and the Anti-corruption Foundation that “‘Solntstevskie’ organized criminal group does not exist because it is not registered anywhere”. ‘Mikhas’ had tested this defensive trick on the Swiss justice system back in 1998. According to CrimeRussia sources, deeply versed in law ‘General Dima’ was the author of this famous tactics used by ‘Solntstevskie’.
Dmitry Yakubovsky – lawyer, former TV host, and currently a multimillionaire and owner of Swiss holding Engelberg Industrial Group AG (Bilanz business magazine has estimated his wealth at 800 million CHF) – is a truly prominent figure.
Known for his adventurism and frenzied activity, Yakubovsky managed to be an official attorney for the MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow and concurrently defended interests of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang. In the 1990s, he was a confidant of Sergei ‘Mikhas’ Mikailov who, according to a nearly 50-page agreement, has assigned the right to manage all his assets in Russia to Yakubovsky.
When Mikailov was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the murder of Valery Vlasov, Director of Valery Casino, Yakubovsky had used this document to illegally unlock the Moscow apartment of ‘Mikhas’ sealed by the Prosecutor General’s Office in the presence of the district police officer, Arnold Tamm, criminal ‘authority’ Lyustarnov, and two guards armed with Stechkin handguns.
Yakubovsky has fully deserved his nickname ‘General Dima’ – in the 1990s, he has nearly become a general at the age of 28. At that time, a little-known ex-officer of the Prosecutor’s Office of the USSR, USSR State Logistics Committee, and Moscow College of Lawyers, who had remotely gained a legal education, was suddenly appointed the Head of the Workgroup of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR in the Western Group of Forces in Germany and, being only a lieutenant of reserve after graduating from a reserve-officer training department, has been immediately promoted to a colonel.
According to some information, Yakubovsky has directly called Dmitry Yazov, then-Minister of Defense of the USSR, and presented him a plan how to dispose the Ministry’s assets in Germany. His promotion to a general was actively discussed at the highest level – but soon Yakubovsky has been removed from office following a request from the German authorities: he was registering the Soviet Union’s ownership of the real properties vacated by the Russian military too actively.
Later, after serving 4 years behind bars for a theft of valuable books from the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, Yakubovsky has made a legal career by defending many famous people, including Lyudmila Narusova, widow of Anatoly Sobchak and Deputy of the State Duma.
In the early 2000s, Yakubovsky has launched a business and became a millionaire virtually immediately – according to some information, with the financial assistance of ‘Solntstevskie’ gang. In 2007, being a developer, he has sold 75% of shares in Gorki-9 cottage community belonging to him for $170 million and switched to his Swiss business. Later he has triumphally returned to the Russian market to promote a Swiss innovation technology developed by Thermission company and established a joint venture with KamAZ Open Joint Stock Company. It is necessary to note that Yakubovsky has sold the ‘golden’ cottage community on Rublevskoe highway to Sistema-Gals – a subsidiary company of Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation.
A man of Sistema
In late September, it became known that Arnold Spivakovsky detained in Spain is employed with this company.
Dozhd (Rain) TV channel was the first to report this referring to a letter dated September 17, 2017 and published on the web site of the Russian Children’s Fund. In that letter, Arnold Spivakovsky wishes Albert Likhanov, Leader of the Fund, a happy birthday and undersigns as a “Project Manager in Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation”.
Then the corporation press service has confirmed this information to RBC Information Systems and advised that Spivakovsky is employed with Sokolsky DOK woodworking enterprise belonging to Segezha Group controlled by Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation. According to the company’s directory service, the workplace of Spivakovsky is located at 20 Spiridonovka street. According to the Consolidated State Register of Legal Entities, AFK-Servis Limited Liability Company and AFK-Bezopasnost Private Security Company are registered at the same address – although in building 2.
One of the charitable funds chaired by Spivakovsky is also registered at 20 Spiridonovka street.
The CrimeRussia has found out that Oksana Sergeevna Chentsova is the Executive Director of the Fund for Legal and Economic Studies chaired by Arnold Spivakovsky; she is also a cofounder of TKF Dom Mebeli (Furniture House) Limited Liability Company – jointly with Sergei ‘Mikhas’ Mikailov and Viktor ‘Avera Starshy’ (Avera Senior) Averin.
Established in 1993, Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation has recently became widely known due to its corporate conflict with Rosneft. The financial corporation is a major private investor in the real segment of the Russian economy and one of the largest taxpayers in the country (in the period of 2013–2016, budgets and extra-budgetary funds of Sistema have paid some 290 billion rubles ($5 billion) in taxes). Over 150 thousand people are employed with Sistema’s enterprises. The investment portfolio of Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation consists mostly of Russian companies working in different sectors of economy, including telecommunications, high technologies, banking services, timber processing, agriculture, real estate, tourism, etc. Sistema controls MTS Public Joint Stock Company, the leading telecommunication operator in CIS countries, Segezha Group forestry holding, Detsky Mir (Children’s World) retail chain, Medsi federal private network of health care centers, RTI Group Open Joint Stock Company defense and electronics holding, Agrokholding Step’ Joint Stock Company, Binnofarm Joint Stock Company, MTS-Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Cosmos Group hotel chain, and other companies and investment funds. Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation owns control blocks of shares in the majority of its projects. 64.1843% of its shares belong to Vladimir Evtushenkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors (the 30th position in the Forbes rating as of 2017 with a wealth of $3.5 billion).
Another not-for-profit structure chaired by Spivakovsky is Saltaya Fund for Support and Development of the Animal World and Agriculture of Altai and Adjacent Regions registered at building 1, 13 Milyutinsky lane, Moscow. The following companies controlled by Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation have the same legal address: Biznes-Nedvizhimost (Business-Real Estate) Joint Stock Company (controlled via Cyprus-based Vainom Investments Ltd. offshore company), Business Park Development Limited Liability Company, RZ Agro (a joint venture of Sistema and Louis Dreyfus agricultural trader), SBK Agro-Invest, and Fund Real Estate Management Company Limited Liability Company.
The CrimeRussia has found out that the collaboration between Arnold Spivakovsky and Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation has begun long before his transformation into a respectable businessman and manager – at that time, he was known to the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation and MIA as an ‘authority’ from Solntsevo and ‘adjutant of ‘Mikhas’.
According to Interpol, after the arrest of Sergei Mikhailov in Switzerland, Arnold Spivakovsky has assumed the leadership in the organized criminal group and received instructions from the jailed boss via lawyers Ralph Aizenger and Avner Kandov. Kommersant wrote in 1998 that at that time, a large-scale sewer system reconstruction project was ongoing in Moscow and the Turkmenistan–Ukraine gas pipeline was under construction. ‘Mikhas’ had controlled these projects with the total cost of $350 million. To implement the projects jointly with Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation and Ukraine-based Itera company, he has established several companies in the Canton of Vaud – Plamosa Management & Finance, East Line SA, Cougar Distribution SA, and SCFI.
The media wrote for several years that Vladimir Evtushenkov, owner of Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation, knows Sergei ‘Mikhas’ Mikhailov very well. Yuri Luzhkov, ex-Mayor of Moscow patronizing the Evtushenkov’s corporation since its foundation, had reportedly introduced them to each other. It was reported that in 1993, Sistema has become a shareholder of SV Holding whose indirect owner, via IVK International, is Mikhailov.
Yuri Luzhkov and Vladimir Evtushenkov
Spivakovsky, being a confidant of ‘Mikhas’, became a Deputy General Director of Peking Hotel and Office Complex in 2001 – after the murder of its Director Konstantin ‘Kostya Osetin’ Georgiev. The assassin’s paymaster was never found – but shortly before the death of Georgiev, an arrangement had been made with the Moscow Government to perform the reconstruction of the hotel and office complex at the cost of $200 million to be provided by the municipal budget. According to Moskovsky Komsomolets, when Arnold Spivakovsky was escorted to the Lobnya Pretrial Detention Facility in 2002 in the framework of the drug storage case, the MIA structures have received operative information that the mastermind behind the murder of Peking Hotel and Office Complex was arrested. In 2003, in accordance with a decree of the Moscow Government, Beijing-Invest Open Joint Stock Company belonging to Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation became the investor of the hotel reconstruction project – and later the share capital of the hotel and office complex has been gradually transferred to structures controlled by Sistema.
Scene of murder of Konstantin Georgiev
Below is a simple matching of events and facts. In 2004, the Moscow Government has transferred Cosmos Hotel Complex, one of the largest in the city, to VAO Intourist. This has increased the value of VAO Intourist belonging 90% to Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation by $30 million. In 2005, Arnold Spivakovsky was elected the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cosmos Hotel Complex Open Joint Stock Company; a year later, he became its General Director; while in 2013, has been elected the Chairman of the Board of Directors of VAO Intourist affiliated with Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation.
In late May, a private Sud-Aviation Gazelle helicopter has crash-landed in the Khabarovsk krai. As a result, a 72-year-old man died from heart seizure. Another passenger has got a spinal fracture, while the third one – the pilot – came out of the accident with only a minor brain concussion. Later it became known that the deceased person was an FSB colonel general, the one with spinal fracture – a former overseer of the Khabarovsk krai, while a prominent Khabarovsk businessman had piloted the helicopter. The CrimeRussia obtained some exclusive information about this strange company.