Who is taking revenge on ‘land’ Legislative Assembly MP and corporate raider Alexey Andreev?
Unknown people set Alexey Andreev’s parlor on fire in the City of Novosibirsk. The arsonists could be some of the people who do not like the MP’s raiding activity. He stepped on many people’s toes hiding behind his MP ID. It is worth mentioning it is not the 1st time his parlor was set on fire, too.
Mr Andreev reminded the Novosibirsk about himself once again; unknown people threw Molotov cocktails at his parlor yet another time overnight into January 17. The parlor furniture and office appliances burnt down. Melted plastic bottles were the only evidence found. Naturally, no fingerprints survived. The MP made an announcement for his colleagues as soon as the next morning; the threats he had constantly received escalated into the arson.
“There are people who do not like what I do, including my actions as an MP. I think this is a long-drawn conflict. It was not the 1st time someone set fire to the parlor. I had to go to the Main Directorate of the MIA of the Russian Federation in the Novosibirsk Region last month due to a certain person threatening me and my brother. However, I believe police did not do anything about it. The only thing the district police officer did was to call me; I just repeated what I had written in my complaint to the police” the MP told the Legislative Assembly Office of Public Affairs.
Mr Andreev kept the name of the ‘certain person’ to himself; the only option left to the uninvolved public is to make assumptions.
42 y. o. Alexey Andreev is an experienced MP. He represents United Russia in the Legislative Assembly. The MP campaigned in the District №36 in September 2015 and was supported by the party. He is a member of the Committee for Social Policy, Healthcare, Occupational Safety and Health, and Employment. Mr Andreev is also the Deputy Head of the Committee for Cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies and Combating Corruption. He served on the Novosibirsk City Council in 2010-2015. By that time, he had worked as the Deputy Head of the Mercedes-Kholding Company and Vice President of the Sibirsky Klub Economiki I Prava Regional Public Human Rights Organization, as well as at some other positions. He was appointed the Head of the Nash Rayon Public Organization, Sovetsky District in 2009; Mr Andreev specified it as his principal place of employment when running for a seat in the Novosibirsk Region Legislative Assembly.
He has been a scandalous personality for almost as long as he was an MP. It is worth mentioning that he was the victim only 3 times over the years; other times, he was on the other side. Unknown people threw Molotov cocktails at his parlor in May and November 2014. Mr Andreev still served on the Council at the time. The arsonists have never been found. However, the MP indirectly accused activist Pavel Podyachev of organizing the attacks when testifying at his trial, according to some reports. He also complained that the human rights activist blackmailed him demanding the MP paid him money and resigned prematurely. Mr Podyachev allegedly threatened publishing material compromising the MP and even spread defamatory leaflets. However, Pavel Podyachev died in Novosibirsk prison hospital November 21, 2016.
However, there are still plenty of people who are not happy with the MP even without Mr Podyachev; he stepped on many people’s toes while in the office. Mr Andreev is not popular among his voter base as well; he made a lot of unpopular moves using his position to promote interests of his family and cronies. It is safe to say he is not popular at all, actually. Employees of the oldest market place in the city located in the Ob River Hydro-Electric Power Station Micro-District filed a lawsuit; they claimed the MP illicitly allocated the land their shops were located at to his close relative. The politician claimed there is no conflict, since a business center was to be built in place of the market; the entrepreneurs were to be relocated there. The market place located on the Gidromontazhnaya Street 50 was founded in the City in 1994. The Yuliya I C Company operated the market. Yuliya Konokhova was the company’s CEO. The City Hall Committee for Land, Property, and Construction terminated the operation contract prematurely. The contract allowed the company to control 0.5 hectares of the market land. The land was leased to the Torgstroyservis Trade and Construction Company; a mall called Kholidey Klassic was to be built there. However, the company failed to begin the construction even 3 years into the agreement. That is why the City Hall did not renew the leasing contract with the company in 2009. The entrepreneurs who had been waiting for 3 years were given a new hope that they would be able to return to their spots. They began long talks with the City Hall; public servants were not going to issue licenses right away even despite the Yuliya I C owners willing to renovate the land. The 104 entrepreneurs who had rented market land fought against bureaucrats until they realized they were not able to succeed on their own in May 2010. They asked Aleksey Andreev to help them reestablish the market place.
The entrepreneurs claimed the MP asked them for political support when running for the office. He did so and promised help with the issue several months prior to their official request. Mr Andreev also said that he would solve it because “he knew some people in the City Hall”. The Yuliya I C owners claimed the MP told them that documents were ‘almost done’ throughout 2010. He lied, as it later turned out later. The entrepreneurs learned that the City Hall indeed decided to transfer the land. However, it transferred it to the Merkury 28 Company instead of them. It is worth mentioning that the company was registered in April 2010. The MP’s brother Andrey Andreen was its Head at the time. He also was the Head of the Merkury and Glavmyastorg Companies and the Nash Rayon Public Organization, Sovetsky District (the MP used to be its Head), according to the focus.kontur.ru. Another thing worth mentioning is that Mariya Shlosberg, one of the Merkury 28 incorporators, lives at the same address as the MP; she is his common-law wife. Yet another thing that is worth mentioning is that the City Hall Land Committee decided to allocate the market land for construction of a business center specifically. The decision was made on July 15, 2010; Merkury 28 was to build it. In 2010, the Yuliya I C management told the local media outlets that MP Andreev offered them giving him 50% of their company in exchange for renting the land to them instead of Merkury 28. They refused the offer; the MP then said they better paid him 20 million rubles unless they wanted the land to be sold to a third party that would be responsible for the construction project.
Novosibirsk Legislative Assembly MP Alexey Andreev
Mr Andreev resigned as the Head of the company in 2010, according to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation. Igor Panev became the next Head of the company that was founded in April of the same year. He claimed he owned the land where the entrepreneurs’ shops were located without providing any documents that would support his claim. Moreover, he lobbied allocating Merkury 28 money for the land renovation and rent. He did so by threatening to demolish the shops. Mr Andreev’s former company proposed the following rental terms: the company received one-time 200 000 ruble payment, 12.5 thousand rubles monthly, and utility, security, and garbage disposal payments. Yuliya I C tried defending their rights in court but failed; it was closed in 2014. Many people concerned with the situation openly told the MP committed a corporate raid and illegally seized the market. However, police, prosecutors, the Legislative Assembly, and even a Presidential Envoy did not do anything about complaints submitted to them.
Mr Andreev seems to be fond of market places in general. Novosibirsk entrepreneur Mikhail Bolshov openly accused the politician of unfair competition. The MP trying to close his market was an attempt at unfair competition, he claimed in an interview. The MP claimed the owner of the market that is located in the same micro-district as the abovementioned one did not have the legal right for the land. Moreover that local population allegedly complained about this market failing to comply with health and safety regulations.
“Mr Andreev owns 2 markets in the micro-district. He will deny it and will probably try disputing it. But his family owns the markets. That gives him unfair advantage. He behaves is such a manner even despite us not competing with his business. He does it just because he is a man of 1990s. What does he want? I thing he wants to grab more power and further grow his business. But we work legally; we are in the right no matter what. It does not matter how much inspections will check us; we comply with all the laws. The worst ‘non-compliance’ they were able to detect is a puddle that forms when snow melts or after it rains. Mr Andreev wants us gone. What will it lead to? I think to a legal battle between us”, Mr Bolshov said.
Novosibirsk entrepreneur Mikhail Bolshov
Mr Andreev got involved with yet another land scandal last November. He filed a lawsuit against a Novosibirsk entrepreneur. Court confiscated his land in the Nizhnyaya Eltsevka Miscro-District, Novosibirsk as the result. The entrepreneur was going to build a hypermarket there. The Olma-Sib Invest Company rented the land from the City Hall in April 2012. The company was going to build a multilevel parking initially, but changed its mind after long discussion with the locals. That is why the company asked the City Hall to change the land’s status to “for social and business construction”. The City Hall met the request in February 2014. The company and City Hall later signed an additional agreement that gave the company every legal right to build the hypermarket. However, the Region Public Prosecutor’s Office discovered the parties signed the agreement without a tender and filed a lawsuit. However, the defendants’ lawyers explained that the agreement was legal since the law that required holding a tender for land if its current renter has prerogative right for it was only passed on March 1, 2015. It is worth mentioning that the Public Prosecutor’s Office conducted an inspection and later filed a lawsuit because Alexey Andreev filed a complaint on behalf of Adonina S. P., his official Nizhnyaya Eltsevka assistant. The Novosibirsk Commercial Court satisfied the Office’s claim. The company is going to appeal the decision; the entrepreneurs think it is illegal.
The MP’s family may also be guilty of a land fraud; Mr Andreev’s wife purchased a land worth 2 million rubles for only 166 000. Police searched his apartment and confiscated the purchase documents. Police sources claim the search was due to a criminal investigation against Dmitry Lamert, the Deputy Head of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography of the Russian Federation in the Region. Police arrested him for exceeding official power last May. It is worth mentioning that the land purchase was executed by a real estate company owned by now incarcerated Vadim Dein. Mariya Shlosberg, the disputed land owner and Mr Andreev’s wife, just happens to be one of the real estate company’s incorporators. Vadim Dein and the MP’s brother Andrey are incorporators of the Sovetskaya Company. The company provides utility services to some Sovetsky District, Novosibirsk residents. The MP was earlier openly accused of having interest in the company; he denied it. What can you say, that is one nice business he has with his family and friends there. It is worth mentioning that the MP – or someone with the same full name – is the Dyuna 28 Land Trading Company incorporator. He is also the Dyuna Company incorporator; the company is registered at the same address as Merkury 28, the company that got the land of the market located on the Gidromontazhnaya Street.
It is safe to say there are many people not happy with the ‘land direction’ of the MP’s affairs. Police will have to put significant effort into finding the arsonists. Mr Andreev can claim he knows the name of the arsonist – or the one who ordered the arson – all he wants, but he may very well be wrong just the way it was with the 2 previous arsons.