Ex-customs Head spoke of his conversation with Putin after searches
According to Andrey Belyaninov, he agreed off the reel.
Now the head of the Eurasian Development Bank, formerly the Head of the Federal Customs Service (FCS), Andrey Belyaninov told RBC how he relinquished his post in 2016 and what he negotiated with the President after the searches in his house in the smuggling case.
Belyaninov met with Vladimir Putin in July 2016, the very next day after his house was ransacked. The President, according to Belyaninov, offered the official to step down, and he agreed without a moment's hesitation.
"The next day [after the search], he [Putin] offered me to resign. He says: you have been asking it for a long time, and here is such a situation," added Belyaninov.
According to RBC, Belyaninov's intention to leave ripened for a long time. He filed reports of resignation a few years before the searches. The ex-Head of the FCS claims that he did not hold down the job and was ready to quit any day, and this situation with searches only played into his hands.
Being now the EDB head, Andrey Belyaninov claims that he does not monitor the situation at the customs and everything that happened there is already history for him.
"I took this post for a long while. This is a very important position, such a hot spot. Obviously, I gained enough experience, knowledge, intelligence, in order to serve a little bit in a different field. I have already turned this page. Ten years of my life, probably the best years, were given to the customs. But I have good prospects. I believe that the customs was very lucky with the new leader. Vladimir Ivanovich Bulavin is such a balanced, conservative person."
Furthermore, the former Head of the FCS corroborated that all the money seized during the searches had been returned to him, however, he decided against responding to RBC's question about the reasons for instituting criminal cases on smuggling through St. Petersburg's ports.
"I am facing other tasks now," he said grimly.
The loud searches in the office and house of the FCS ex-Head Andrey Belyaninov took place on July 26, 2016. Employees of the FSB conducted investigative actions in the criminal case on smuggling elite alcohol through the ports of St. Petersburg. The searches turned up costly old paintings and boxes replete with money. In total, 10 million rubles ($177.3 thousand), 400 thousand dollars and 300 thousand euros were discovered. In the closing month of 2016, Vladimir Putin himself made a speech leveling criticism at photos taken at the site of searches.
"I consider the fact that some pre-investigation actions, including searches and something similar, were covered by the media, obnoxious. They tarnish the business and personal reputation of any person," the President stated then, accentuating that no criminal case against Belyaninov had been filed.
July 28, 2016 Belyaninov resigned, and in October 2017 Dmitry Medvedev nominated him for the post of head of the EDB, reminding reporters that the former Head of customs "has never been accused of anything."
Photos of searches