Source Possibly linked to the withdrawal of money from Evromet and Sinko Bank, the head of Roskontrol Vadim Gitlin is “profiting” from businessmen. The bankruptcy of two companies headed by Vadim Gitlin has been initiated – RK-Media Agency JSC and ANO National Institute for Expertise and Quality Control (formerly Roskontrol). Gitlin is the founding father of Roskontrol, the counterpart of Roskatchestvo, which examines goods.
The statement in both cases was made by Sergei Molozhaviy – he was also the onetime head of Goldenberg Invest, the firm founded by Gitlin.
It all looks like an attempt to withdraw money from the companies. The Moscow Post looked into the situation.
Are “donations” from businessmen the basis of Gitlin’s wealth?
A few words about the organisation itself. “Roskontrol, which in 2018 was renamed the National Institute of Expertise and Quality Control because of complaints from the Federal Tax Service, has been operating since 2012 (the tax authority was not happy with the “Ros” in the name, because it could mislead consumers – they perceive the organisation as state-owned). The office identifies itself as an independent auditor and operates, as its management claims, on donations.
In fact, Roskontrol may operate on a commercial basis, earning money from businessmen for positive audit results. “Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote about this openly. Rumor has it that if you want a good inspection you can simply order it – the price of this service depends on the size of the company.
There are many questions about the way inspections are carried out. For example, when Coca-Cola’s Bonaqua water was tested, it was poured into a used bottle and then suddenly (!) traces of tap water were found in it. There have been cases where the examination took place several days after the sample was taken, which is also against the norms and standards.
The inclusion of the company in the so-called Roskontrol black list seriously affects the reputation of the company, because consumers, in general, are not aware of the methods of the “experts” and stop trusting the manufacturer.
And it is true that almost every other Roskontrol study creates a furor – in 2015 we learned that most cheese in the country is “imitation palm oil”, in 2016 – that semi-smoked sausages are all adulterated, and in 2018 we were told that chicken thighs produced under popular brands are dangerous and contain antibiotics.
What people are largely unaware of is that Roskontrol is up to its neck in lawsuits from producers, who openly accuse it of conducting unfair inspections and defaming the companies’ business reputation.
Many fight Roskontrol in court, but the practice is such that decisions are not always issued in favour of the plaintiffs. And it also takes too much time to go to court. Take the separate story of the Korolevskaya Voda company where experts from Roskontrol allegedly found impurities that even the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station, which checks the water every week, does not detect. The company spent a year in court and in the end succeeded in having only one statement removed, but the firm remained on the ‘black list’. In the end, the company gave up and decided to pay Roskontrol for the inspections. Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote about this. What is this if not direct blackmail for profit?
That begs the question: how much can manufacturers “kick back” to Gitlin to avoid problems?
Vadim Gitlin is a very interesting man. He arrived from Ukraine in 2005 and, according to Argumenty Nedeli, obtained a Russian passport illegally.
In Russia, even before setting up Roskontrol, he was involved in the development business together with his father Boris Gitlin and his brother Igor Gitlin. Their surname and company Goldenberg are well known in the market, which in 2011 won a tender from the Moscow government to reconstruct a bridge in Nagatinskaya Floodplain. In the end it never built anything, and three years later, despite the fact that by that time it had already accumulated complaints about a previous project, it won another major government contract. For the construction of the House of Moscow in Vilnius for 677 million roubles.
The second contract also went bust, but because of the cooling of international relations. But if that had not happened, it is not certain that Goldenberg would not have dealt with this project like they did with the bridge. The Moscow government cancelled the contract with the contractor for the latter’s construction through the courts. The result of all these “moves” was two criminal cases against Boris Gitlin, the bankruptcy of Goldenberg in April 2018, and over a billion roubles in debt to subcontractors, the tax authorities and the Moscow mayor’s office.
The Gitlin family also left the shareholders of the Spassky Most housing estate, which their affiliated firm was building in Moscow, with nothing. By the time the buildings were handed over, it turned out that the new buildings could not be connected to the heating system and storm sewer, which automatically makes them unfit for use. “The family also pressured the administration, to whom they had promised to build a school, except that the construction company went bankrupt beforehand.
There’s criminal activity all around.
Gitlin’s colleagues at the RK-Media Agency until 2021 included one Anatoly Kolesnikov. He is a former banker who worked in the auditing commission of the collapsed Euromet, which was declared bankrupt in 2015.
Then, following an audit organised by the Deposit Insurance Agency, it emerged that “over a period of two years before the revocation of the licence, persons controlling Evromet had been replacing the liquid assets of the bank with irrecoverable loan debts of technical legal entities”, and later Igor Shutov, chairman of the bank’s board, was found guilty under article “Falsification of financial accounting and reporting documents of a financial organisation”.
Kolesnikov did not show up in these cases, but given his position, it can be assumed that he was actively involved in all the above-mentioned ventures. The open question is how does he know Gitlin and did they conduct illegal operations at Euromet together?
Perhaps the answer lies in Kolesnikov’s biography. It is known that in the early noughties he was in charge of the International Center OJSC, which was building the President Plaza complex in Moscow City. This project was originally created by Sergei Polonsky’s Mirax, the same one accused of embezzling 6 billion rubles from investors in the construction of the Kutuzovskaya Mile.
Against this background, there is speculation that the Gitlins’ developers may have been well acquainted with Polonsky and even worked in his interests.
Nowhere without bankers
Roskontrol has other interesting connections – more obvious ones. According to the Daily Storm, a group of Roskontrol experts actually work through an organisation called Rostest. It, according to journalists, is owned by Testekspertiza NPF LLC, which is owned by Olga Pavkina and Gennady Barsegov. The latter is the chairman of the board of Sinko Bank.
So, it appears that the Gitlins hold on to their office also thanks to their connections with bank officials. Building on the story of Euromet, we would like to suggest that law enforcement agencies check the activities of Sinko Bank.
By the way, in fact, Roscontrol has not changed its name so far. In 2022 the FAS has already ordered the legal entities that are part of the organisation to change the name. But the Gitlins are in no hurry to change the structure, because this very prefix can effectively manipulate public opinion and put pressure on unwilling merchants?
This is probably what the whole successful business model is based on. And now, when the FAS has already clamped down on the organisation for the second time, Gitlin feels it is time to “wind up the shop” as it happened to Goldenberg. Hence the bankruptcy petitions, of course, on behalf of an acquaintance – in order not to lose any penalties and to leave the creditors “with their noses”?