The Basmanny Court of Moscow, as part of a criminal case on the embezzlement of more than €1 billion of Promsvyazbank (PSB) funds, arrested in absentia the former head of the project financing department of this credit institution, Alexander Afanasyev. The investigation considers the former owners of the bank, brothers Alexei and Dmitry Ananiev, to be the organizers of the crime. As stated in the case, Mr. Afanasyev was one of the active participants in the withdrawal of this amount, and the financial transaction itself took only a few hours.
The Basmanny Court of Moscow took about two hours to consider the petition of the ICR for the arrest in absentia of the former top manager of Promsvyazbank. And although the lawyer of the financier, Elena Yessikova, opposed the choice of a preventive measure proposed by the investigation, the court considered the arguments of the TFR to be more weighty. As a result, the petition was granted: if Alexander Afanasyev is detained in Russia or extradited from abroad, he will be sent to a pre-trial detention center for two months. Arrest in absentia will allow the Russian side to apply to Interpol to organize the search for Alexander Afanasyev.
Mr. Afanasiev is another person involved in the criminal case on the withdrawal of more than €1 billion from the bank in 2017.
The actions of the financier are qualified by the investigation as embezzlement on an especially large scale (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The organizers of the illegal withdrawal of funds from the TFR considers the former owners of the PSB Alexei and Dmitry Ananiev, and their subordinate Afanasiev, according to the investigation, actively contributed to the execution of the criminal plan. It should be noted that earlier Promsvyazbank filed a lawsuit against its former employee, demanding compensation for losses incurred in the total amount of 20 billion rubles.
As Kommersant previously reported, in December 2017, the day before the Central Bank began reorganizing Promsvyazbank, 57.3 billion rubles were withdrawn from the latter. and $ 505.6 million. According to the TFR, this was done due to the fears of its owners of the loss of the ability to manage a credit institution, since before that the Central Bank had identified numerous violations in lending in the PSB.
Having urgently put together a criminal group to withdraw funds, the bank’s owners, according to the ICR, involved a total of nine people in it, mainly from their subordinates. They prepared various financial documents that gave the withdrawal of funds an allegedly legal character. On December 14, 2017, at the direction of the organizers of the fraud, according to the case, several transactions were executed to purchase various securities. As a result, 57.3 billion rubles were transferred to the accounts of the Dutch company Promsvyaz Capital BV in a few hours. and $505.6 million allegedly for the shares of Promsvyazbank purchased from her, bonds of Promsvyazcapital JSC, as well as securities of PSB Finance SA UNDT and other companies whose activities were controlled by the organizers of the criminal group. At the time of the transaction, the total amount of funds withdrawn exceeded €1 billion.
Later, according to the TFR, this amount was split up, and the Ananyevs organized its legalization.
At the same time, according to the investigation, in fact, the bank did not acquire any securities, and the transaction served only as a cover for the illegal withdrawal of funds.
One verdict has already been passed in this case: in November last year, the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow acquitted the former vice-president of the PSB Nikolai Tsukanov, but at the same time sentenced four more defendants to imprisonment for terms ranging from 5 to 7.5 years.
Recall that ex-lawyer of the PSB Sergey Zorin, a citizen of Ukraine Igor Pidluzhny and the president of Promsvyazcapital JSC Batraz Pliev are on the international wanted list in this case. At the same time, Interpol, as Kommersant reported, in November 2020 removed Alexei and Dmitry Ananiev from the wanted list, recognizing their persecution as politically motivated.