Gang warfare: Kononok came for Balai?
The arrest of the vice-president of the Water Polo Federation, Alexey Balay, may be an echo of gang warfare between him and his former colleague in the criminal business, Sergei Kononk.
There is a loud scandal in St. Petersburg – the local vice-president of the Water Polo Federation and the general director of the Center for Rehabilitation and Immunocorrection of Dr. Borisov V.A. (TsRIID Borisov) Alexey Balai and his alleged accomplice Igor Tikhonov were arrested in connection with suspicion of attempted trafficking in prohibited substances, which, according to official data, were found in the trunk of their car.
As we found out, two figures could have become victims of a setup by former partners from criminal circles. The interests of Balai’s chief in the Federation, Sergei Dmitrienko, may also be involved in the case.
Alexey Balai is a very remarkable person. About 10 years ago, his name appeared in a report about members of the Karadzheva-Kononka gang, who were jailed for a number of reasons. Balai risked imprisonment for 16 years for complicity in the murder of businessman Sergeev, a brutal robbery at the Yat creative workshop and the illegal cultivation of prohibited substances. He was sentenced to 6.5 years of strict regime. Apparently, even then he could have had high patrons, since the punishment was commuted, and after leaving prison he took such a respected position.
The punishment was commuted not only for him, but also for one of the gang leaders, Sergei Kononka, who was sentenced to 12 years. This was in 2014. The deadline has not passed, but apparently Kononok has already left.
After all, as follows from a court case dated 2023 on the Moscow City Court website, he continued to commit illegal actions – in 2021, as stated in the document, “he (Kononok S.O.) was in the store of MVM LLC, located in the shopping center” Kovcheg” at the address: Moscow, Mitinskaya St., 36, building 1, for selfish reasons, presented to the specialist of MVM LLC, authorized on behalf of the bank PJSC Sovcombank to accept documents for citizens to obtain a consumer loan, a citizen’s passport RF series **** No. *** in the name of Tsarana S.A., *** DOB in which his (Kononka S.O.) photograph was pasted, knowingly knowing that this document was forged, after which in continuation of the criminal intent, he filled out an application – a questionnaire for obtaining a consumer loan, and, realizing the illegal nature of his actions, without the intention and financial ability to fulfill his obligations to repay the consumer loan, entered into a consumer loan agreement with PJSC Sovcombank.”
Photo: Moscow City Court
Further in the case several more such cases are indicated. It is interesting that as a result, the court gave Kononka a lenient sentence in the form of a suspended sentence (for two years from the date of entry into force of the decision, the convicted person must appear at the police station once every certain period), as indicated in the case materials, guided by Article 73 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. If translated into everyday language, it was decided that Kononok could reform without serving a sentence. That’s just funny! The leader of a gang involved in murders and robberies, who was released and began to conduct criminal activities again, can correct himself, this time realizing for sure that he was wrong, the court decided.
Not much is known about the fate of Karadzhev and other gang members. It is worth noting that they were patronized by police officers, which was also established by the court. And, judging by the fact that Kononka is almost released after committing another crime, and Balai is appointed to the post of vice-president of the Water Polo Federation, they may still have friends “at the top”.
According to Fontanka, Kononok and Balai flew together to Holland to purchase equipment needed in their “drug laboratories.” It is possible that now the remnants of the so-called Karadzheva and Kononka gang are gathering to continue their illegal activities. However, taking into account their probable connections in the authorities, in the current situation there is a suspicion that Kononka could simply be framed.
Is polo just a cover?
As we managed to find out, Balai’s chief of the Water Polo Federation, Sergei Dmitrienko, is not an ordinary person. It is possible that they are approaching him through Mr. Balai.
Olga Dmitrienko, the former wife of the head of the Federation, was declared bankrupt in 2020. This lady owned the Logotech company, which was liquidated literally at the beginning of this year. The company received large government contracts from PJSC NCSP, Seaport of St. Petersburg and other companies whose work is based on water.
Electrical equipment and accessories for ships are the main products purchased from Logotech. From the archived link you can find out that the company supplied supplies to the oil and gas, chemical, metallurgical, construction and even nuclear industries. At the same time, the company did not pay taxes. At the same time, revenue amounted to hundreds of millions. The ex-wife of the head of the Federation has a good side business.
Through another former business – the company “Cafe Avtomat”, the lady is connected with a major entrepreneur, Viktor Konovalov, the head of the Norilsk MPK, who was thanked by the governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Council of the Administration of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the head of the city of Norilsk. This is one of the richest businessmen in the region.
People with money are clearly attractive to those who want to earn extra money. It is unknown how Balai and Dmitrienko met and why the latter decided to make Balai his “right hand”, despite his gangster past. But it’s hard to believe that he didn’t know about it. Perhaps, against the backdrop of his wife’s bankruptcy and the need to wind down his assets, Dmitrienko was looking for new ways to earn money and remembered his old friend and his abilities?
And later he could become a victim of the same Kononka and his probable friends from the police, who did not want to “share” either people or money. Punishing former partner Balai, who is doing business behind his back, and at the same time “squeezing” the wealthy Dmitrienko is a very good scheme.
A favorite tactic of the Kononka-Karadzheva gang during their heyday was to use the police station as a place where people were brought for extortion. Everything, albeit in a slightly modified form, but using the same resources, returns to normal?