Journalists found in the Czech Republic bank accounts, apartments and firms associated with suspected embezzlement at the Yekaterinburg non-ferrous metal processing plant (EZOTsM).
Investigationthe materials of which were studied by the editors of Kompromat-Ural, revealed that one of the ex-heads of the enterprise who were under investigation received an apartment in an elite Prague complex from a business partner, which have chosen Ural businessmen, and another registered a company in a Czech village at the same address as a member of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes Lev Kovpak. Consequently, a United Russia deputy is directly connected by personal interests with a NATO country.
The scandal at the Yekaterinburg non-ferrous metal processing plant broke out in April 2006
Then it turned out that at the EZOCM gone almost 33 tons of precious metals, including 720 kilograms of gold and 11.7 tons of silver, worth over $500 million. The ex-heads of the enterprise fell under suspicion, but the investigation eventually suspendedwithout bringing any charges against anyone.
According to Investigace.cz, investigators assumed that precious metals were stolen from 1993 to 2005, and with the proceeds from their sale, fraudsters opened companies to buy real estate, including in the Czech Republic. From 1993 to 2002, the position of General Director of the EZOCM was held by Nikolay Timofeevand from 2002 to 2005 – Alexey Fisenko.
Fisenko, who became Yekaterinburg’s Leninsky district administration head in 2006 and United Russia’s City Duma deputy in March 2009, denied the allegations, citing a calculation error. “All the fuss flared up on the basis of one incorrectly written conclusion of the Accounts Chamber,” – said he told Novaya Gazeta journalists in 2013.
Investigace.cz journalists found that in 2005, shortly before the disappearance of the metals became known, Fisenko founded Fonestum in the Czech Republic. The company was registered in a private house in the village of Trnova. In total, from 2005 to 2007, nine firms were registered there – most of them were owned by Fisenko’s associates from the EZOTsM and from the mining industry or Ural politicians.
In 2007, a company in Trnov was opened a lion (offspring) and Igor Kovpaki.
Lev Kovpak, a State Duma deputy from the United Russia party, who then sat in the Yekaterinburg City Duma, together with his father registered the IK Group company in the same house in the Czech outback. The politician’s father, Igor Kovpak, owns the Kirovsky supermarket chain in the Sverdlovsk region.
Investigace.cz found out that in Prague, a certain Igor Kovpak owns an apartment in the elite Pod Mrázovkou complex. Registered at this address Julia Kovpak – according to Russian mediathat is the name of the wife of Kovpak Sr.
Czech authorities found on the account of Lev Kovpak’s wife Veronica a quarter of a billion crowns, when the account was frozen due to sanctions against the deputy in connection with a special military operation in Ukraine. This amount significantly exceeds Kovpakov’s income. From tax returns it follows that from 2014 to the present, the family has earned 440 million rubles (approximately 170 million crowns).
Last fall, as part of the Pandora Archive project, OCCRP learned that Igor Kovpak founded Sikesko Enterpres in the British Virgin Islands in 2011. As of 2016, she had a bank account in Switzerland and investments worth the equivalent of $56 million. In the same year, the company was liquidated.
Ex-director of EZOCM Nikolay Timofeev received an apartment in Prague from business partner Mikhail Kindler
Timofeev left from Russia in 2006, when investigation in connection with the loss of 33 tons of precious metals. According to Investigace.cz, an apartment in the same elite complex Pod Mrázovkou was registered to him in 2007.
In 2012, an American company accused Timofeev of defaulting on a loan in the amount of 14.6 million crowns (about $63,000) to buy an apartment. Businessman then said authorities that the funds should be returned by his business partner Mikhail Kindler, who took them. Timofeev said that he gave Kindler a power of attorney to buy him an apartment in exchange for a share in a joint business, and he secretly issued a loan on it in his name.
Mikhail Kindler – son-in-law of the Ural metallurgical and energy magnate Vyacheslav Spitsina. The journalists learned that in 2004 and 2005 he headed two development companies in the Czech village of Trnova – Fontana Development sro and HGF Development sro Together they were supposed to build there 350 houses in the amount of 140 million crowns, but the project was never implemented.
Representatives of three Maltese companies that had shares in Fontana Development accused Kindler of illegally withdrawing tens of millions of crowns from the project. In 2013, Fontana Development was declared bankrupt, and the land worth 104 million crowns in Trnov sold at auction. The total amount of accounts receivable for the project is still 43.6 million kroons. Money for the Fontana Development project was provided, among other things, by the Czech firms Zenobia and Grilan, owned by the Seychelles company Sunflower Production Ltd.
Among the creditors of the development project in Trnov were the spouses of the ex-head of Uralsevergaz and the director of IDGC of Urals
According to Investigace.cz, the Maltese companies and Sunflower are behind Natalia Kuzyushinawife of the ex-head of Uralsevergaz and honorary consul of Hungary in Yekaterinburg Vladimir Kuzyushinand Evgenia Kondratievawife of the CEO of one of the largest Russian energy companies Valeria Rodina.
Through the Czech company Zenobia, Kuzyushina owns five apartments in the Pod Mrázovkou complex. Three apartments belong Alexei Valerievich Kondratiev – most likely, this is the offspring of Valery Rodin.