“Rublev” calls Gutseriev to Cyprus?

Can the disgraced ex-head of Rublev, Grigory Gurevich, save his assets through Mikhail Gutseriev?

"Rublev" calls Gutseriev to Cyprus?Photo: https://souzconsalt.com/news/gutseriev/

The court left the assets of the former top managers of Rublev Bank under arrest, the meeting was postponed to July 13 – information about this is posted on the website kad.arbitr.

The case has been going on for more than three years and the threads from it can lead to Mikhail Gutseriev. More details – in the material The Moscow Post.

From bank to oil industry

The whole story began publicly in 2018, when Rublev’s license was revoked, followed by a statement from the Central Bank to law enforcement agencies and the arrest of Nobel Oil President Grigory Gurevich, who previously headed the bank. RBC wrote about this. Investigative actions are also being carried out with other top managers of Rublev. Now the bank itself is in the process of liquidation.

In February 2021, the former shareholders of Nobel Oil, headed by Gurevich, and foreign investment funds CIC and OPFG sold this company to the Cypriot Sarenoti. This was written by “Kommersant”. Apparently at that moment it became obvious to them that the security forces took them tightly and for a long time, so the asset must be sold before it was taken away.

But why was it sold offshore? Nobel Oil is an extremely tasty asset and perhaps Gurevich wants to keep it for himself, and therefore sells it to familiar hands? Or are Gurevich’s interests completely irrelevant here, just certain influential people have their eyes on the asset?

As journalists write, offshore Sarenoti, which became the happy owner of the shares of the oil company, is associated with the interests of the family of the State Duma deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Vakha Agayev, who died last year, and his son Bekhan. Vakha Agaev was friends with the oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev for many years, which probably influenced the fact that Bekhan Agaev worked as an adviser to Mr. Gutseriev at Russneft. Could this indicate that Gutseriev may be involved in the deal?

It is known that Gutseriev’s Neftisa provides operator services to Nobel Oil, and Agaev Sr. was a businessman. His “Yug-nefteprodukt” included the Krasnodar refinery, which was sold in 2005 to “Russneft” Mr. Gutseriev. Does everything fit?

To whom, if not Gutseriev

By the way, Gutseriev, like Gurevich, had his own bank, and he also suffered the fate of the bursting bubble. As Ura.ru wrote, in 2017 a “hole” of 300 billion rubles was discovered in the bank’s capital. In 2020, Gutseriev’s accounts were almost arrested, Interfax wrote. However, he somehow agreed to solve the problem without a trial and got away with it.

Presumably, assets and expensive real estate were bought at the expense of depositors’ money. Then they were probably mortgaged in banks for loans and new assets were bought with them, which were again mortgaged. By the way, about the same story, judging by the fact that the property of Gurevich and the company was arrested. It could also happen in Rublev … Is it just a coincidence or was the scheme borrowed from Gutseriev? And if so, can businessmen know each other and act in conjunction?

Let’s return to Gutseriev. This isn’t the first time he’s gotten away with it. Back in 2006, a case was opened against him because of illegal business activities. While the tangle was spinning, articles about tax evasion and money laundering were added to it. But in 2010, the case was suddenly stopped, Kommersant reported.

While the investigation was going on, Gutseriev was hiding abroad. There were suspicions that in Baku. As FLB wrote, then President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev personally promised that he would not extradite the billionaire declared in Russia on the federal wanted list. They say that everything is because Gutseriev and Aliyev are connected by friendly or at least business relations. Gutseriev is investing well in the country.

In 2019, UtroNews published an article stating that the Nanolek company, owned by the stepson of Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, Vladimir Khristenko, registered several drugs in Azerbaijan. The journalists suggested that Golikova’s relative was allowed into the Azerbaijani market because she could reduce or even write off Binbank’s debts to Gutseriev. Is that why he managed to get off so easily and not even get into court?

A few more words about the entrepreneur’s connections abroad. Forbes calls Gutseriev a “friend” of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. And at the end of 2019, searches were carried out in the offices of Gutseriev’s companies and at his house in the case of smuggling oil products through Turkey to Ukraine. This was reported by Kommersant.

Against the backdrop of cases against the oligarch in his homeland and his flight that has already taken place once, can this information indicate that Gutseriev plans to leave the country? Now, however, it is already impossible to leave for Ukraine, and protest moods are strong in Belarus. So, it seems that Gutseriev, in which case, will again have to go to Azerbaijan.

Impenetrable tandem

Let’s return to Gurevich. We put forward the assumption that with the help of Gutseriev, he can maintain his asset until he is released.

According to Rusprofile data, Nobel Oil LLC has been owned by the offshore company DOOMERSTONE HOLDING LIMITED since its foundation, since the time of Gurevich. By the way, a certain Lydia Menelau is behind him, then, together with Andreas Menelau, according to data for 2021, he is on the list of affiliates of the OnlineKazFinance microfinance organization.

And this Andreas Menelau, in turn, is affiliated with Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal.

"Rublev" calls Gutseriev to Cyprus?

Photo: https://efiling.drcor.mcit.gov.cy

It turns out that the billionaire can also have his own interests in the company owned by the disgraced Gurevich?

In addition to Nobel Oil LLC, Gurevich once also managed JSC NK Nobel Oil, which was liquidated after the withdrawal of his and his companies from its capital. He was also the head of Nobel-Mol LLC, registered at Orel Nobel-Agro JSC, which earned money on government contracts and has a revenue of 2.6 billion rubles at the end of 2021, and NK Nobel Oil LLC. Gurevich’s wife, Mrs. Vera Artyakova, is still listed among the founders of the company. Gurevich himself is still listed as the general director of Nobel-Invest LLC.

Thus, in the story with Rublyov, everything is not so simple. Here the trace of Gutseriev and the mediating role of the Agaevs may appear. As for Nobel Oil, money from the company can easily flow offshore and be distributed among all the above-mentioned persons. And Gutseriev – to become that very impenetrable shield, which gets away with everything. True, Gutseriev’s weight in Russia is no longer as great as before. They say that he allegedly sells his assets.

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Andrew Fink

Andrew Fink

Andrew Fink was born in 1977 in Bellows Falls, Vermont. His career as a journalist began with the regional publication Bellows Falls Times. political commentator, one of the founders of the project "Russian crimes".

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