In Austria, the once successful Tatarstan businessman, honored aquabike coach Dmitry Kuramshin, who heads the Kama-Gruzovik company, which was the official dealer of KamAZ PJSC, was detained. The accusations are based on embezzlement and attempted embezzlement totaling almost 900 million rubles under the pretext of manufacturing and selling trucks on the KAMAZ chassis. According to the auto giant, the case was initiated at the initiative of the company. While Kuramshin was hiding from the security forces, his business began to go bankrupt, and a queue of creditors is lining up for the entrepreneur himself. Details – in the material “BUSINESS Online”.
What is Kama-Gruzovik accused of?
Criminal case under Part 7 of Art., rare for Tatarstan 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Fraud on an especially large scale, associated with deliberate failure to fulfill contractual obligations in the field of entrepreneurship”) was initiated back in January 2022.
One of the defendants is Dmitry Kuramshin, well-known in certain circles. He may be familiar to the public as the former head coach of Dynamo-Tatarstan in aquabike. In business circles, his name flashed more than once in the scandal surrounding the Taflex printing house, at the origins of which he stood. But the criminal prosecution of Kuramshin is not connected with either one.
The case was initiated on the fact of fraud around his other company – Kama-Gruzovik, the former official dealer of KamAZ PJSC. And it concerns the period of work of the company from 2018 to 2021. Kuramshin then was (and remains now) the sole founder of the enterprise, combining first the posts of adviser to the company’s general director, and from December 2021 – director. Kuramshin’s colleague Andrei Nikulin is also under suspicion, who until August 2021 was the deputy general director of the enterprise, after which he even managed to manage them for several months. According to investigators, both defendants acted by prior agreement.
The initiator of the initiation of the case was PJSC KamAZ itself. “The company is most interested in identifying all the perpetrators,” the company told BUSINESS Online, however, without disclosing the details of the case, referring to the secrecy of the investigation.
Partially, the plot of the case was revealed by our sources. The investigation established that the company “Kama-Gruzovik” in the specified period of time entered into agreements with JSC “Sistema Leasing 24” (now the company is called “Universal Financial Solutions”) and PJSC “Rosgosstrakh Bank” (now – PJSC “Bank” Otkritie FC “” ). What exactly was the subject of these agreements, in what terms they were to be executed, has not yet been disclosed. But it is known that Kama-Gruzovik did not fulfill its obligations under these contracts, and the money was allegedly stolen under the pretext of manufacturing and selling “special purpose vehicles” on the KAMAZ chassis.” Usually, this wording means fire engines, mobile laboratories, dump trucks, truck cranes and other special equipment. The investigation believes that the money of the bank and the leasing company was stolen – a total of 836 million 220 thousand 364 rubles. Another episode in the case is about an attempt to steal money from the same counterparties, but already in the amount of 80 million 641 thousand 200 rubles.
BUSINESS Online asked PJSC Bank FC Otkritie and JSC Universal Financial Solutions for comment, but the questions were left unanswered.
Did the defendants hide in Austria and Germany?
Kuramshin has been on the federal wanted list since February 2022 – they began to search for him three weeks after the initiation of the case, just on the defendant’s birthday. However, already at that time the security forces had evidence that he was hiding abroad, namely in Austria. In November, the court, at the request of the investigation, chose Kuramshin’s arrest in absentia, which he tried to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan. For obvious reasons, the defendant did not appear at the meeting then, as well as his lawyer Farid Sabitov.
Nikulin was also arrested in absentia, and he also tried to challenge this decision, but in vain. According to our sources, the second suspect is also hiding abroad, but allegedly in Germany. They say that both left the country as soon as they found out that they had begun to “dig” under them, about a month before the initiation of the case. The BUSINESS Online correspondent tried to get through to Kuramshin’s lawyer, as well as Nikulin’s defender Sergei Dorokhin. No one picked up the phone, sent messages were ignored. It was not possible to contact Kuramshin himself: none of the phone numbers that he ever owned were answered.
It is possible that such silence may be due to the fact that about a month ago, according to sources from BUSINESS Online, Kuramshin was detained in Austria. This means that the question of his extradition will soon be decided. Usually, the corresponding process takes considerable time: until the documents from Russia are sent to another country, until the local court examines them and makes its decision, until the decision is executed … Extradition can drag on not only for months, but also for years.
And what about the extradition from Austria?
The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, which deals with extradition issues, did not respond to a request from BUSINESS Online by the time of publication.
What contractual relationship did Kama-Gruzovik connect with the leasing company and the bank? An indirect answer to this can be found in the documents of arbitration courts, where Kama-Gruzovik was sued. In one of these documents, there is a dispute about non-fulfillment of obligations under the contract dated May 31, 2018 – this date appears in the investigation materials as the starting point of the criminal case.
As follows from the decisions of the Moscow Arbitration Court and the Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal, in May 2018 Kama-Gruzovik LLC and KAMAZ Trading and Financial Company JSC (TFK sells the products of the auto giant in the Russian Federation) entered into an agreement. According to its terms, TFK was supposed to supply KAMAZ trucks and engines, and Kama-Gruzovik was to accept them and pay for them.
On the same day, TFK transferred all its rights and obligations under this supply agreement to Sistema Leasing 24. Court filings state that this became possible due to a financing agreement that was concluded between TFK and the leasing company back in 2015.
At the same time, the leasing company and Kama-Gruzovik entered into a pledge agreement “to secure the fulfillment of obligations.” Under this agreement, Kama-Gruzovik transferred cars to the leasing company as a pledge. How many exactly is unknown – this moment is not disclosed in the materials of the court. However, in 2021, Sistema Leasing 24 decided to conduct an inventory (the pledge agreement allowed this – they say that the pledgee has the right to come to the warehouse or office at any time of the day or night and check the remains of cars and the sales book). To do this, the leasing company made five visits from October to December 2021 and suddenly discovered that the trucks that were pledged and had not yet been paid had disappeared somewhere.
The agreement between the two companies provided: if it turned out that the goods were missing, then the defendant (i.e., Kama-Gruzovik) was obliged to pay its cost and pay off the debt on interest on a commercial loan within three days. Sistema Leasing 24 estimated this debt at almost 292 million rubles. Kama-Gruzovik paid nothing. Then the leasing company went to the Arbitration Court, which saw in the actions of “Kama-Gruzovik” a “unilateral refusal to fulfill obligations” and decided to recover the entire amount requested.
At the same time, representatives of Kama-Gruzovik appealed this decision. “In the appeal, the defendant (“Kama-Gruzovik” – ed. note) refers to a significant change in economic conditions and international sanctions as force majeure circumstances, which prevented him from fulfilling his obligation,” the court materials say. At the same time, we note that the inventory, which revealed the loss of “mortgage” trucks, took place, as mentioned above, at the end of 2021, that is, even before the imposition of sanctions in 2022. As a result, the company did not heed the appeal to such arguments, and the decision to recover almost 292 million rubles from the company remained in force.
What is known about the company “Kama-Gruzovik”
On the saved version of the company’s website (now it does not exist), it is said that Kama-Gruzovik is the official dealer of KamAZ PJSC and it received such a “title” in August 2020. According to the same version of the site, the company was allegedly founded at the end of January 2016 as a partner of the auto giant. Two more years later, the company opened a branch in Moscow, then launched its own production in Chelny, and in 2019, a branch in Austria called KNK Automotive GmbH. According to open sources, the branch is registered in Vienna, on Rosenbursen Strasse, next to the tourist center of the city. On the online maps in the house where the address of the registration of the branch is indicated, this company is not marked. The earlier place of registration of the company is located across the street from the Vienna Opera. The company’s website does not work, in open sources, citing the website of the Austrian Ministry of Constitution, Reform, Deregulation and Justice, it is said that it was filed for bankruptcy and closed. The reason for this decision is “lack of control by the debtor”.
In Russia, things are not going so smoothly for Kama-Gruzovik either: on March 31, 2023, the Arbitration Court of the Republic of Tatarstan introduced a bankruptcy procedure against the enterprise – observation on the claim of PJSC Bank FC Otkritie due to a debt of 58 million rubles. The court materials (including those on other claims cited by the bank) stated that since 2019, Kama-Gruzovik had been serviced by the bank, and in 2021 signed an additional agreement for issuing a loan in the form of an overdraft with an initial monthly limit of 100 million rubles. As a result, the company stopped returning the money, at the end of March 2022, the bank calculated a debt of 63 million rubles, taking into account interest, penalties and fines. After the bankruptcy lawsuit, the representatives of the Kama-Gruzovik company in the AS RT said that they were ready to transfer a “land plot” to pay off the debt in the bank (at what address and price, it was not specified). They also accused the bank of dishonest behavior (they say, first it was necessary to try to solve the problem peacefully) and justified themselves by being mired in disputes “to recover receivables from counterparties”. The court did not heed their arguments and sided with the bank.
Literally at the same time as Kama-Gruzovik, the bank made financial claims personally to Kuramshin, who acted as a guarantor for the loan described above. AC RT declared him bankrupt. In the register of Kuramshin’s creditors, in addition to PJSC Bank FC Otkritie, JSC Universal Financial Solutions (formerly Sistema Leasing 24) was declared with a claim amount of almost 292 million rubles, as well as Chelny businessman Alexei Kustov with a claim of 7, 2 million rubles.
Who is mr. Kuramshin?
Kuramshin is 54 years old, he can be said to be a military man by profession – he graduated from the Kazan Higher Military Aviation Engineering School in the early 1990s. He devoted his youth to a passion for aquabike. In 2006, he became the silver and bronze medalist of the Russian Championship and the Russian Cup. Then he became a coach in this sport, coached the Dynamo-Tatarstan team, which under his leadership won the same tournaments more than once, and in 2011 received the title of Honored Coach of the Russian Federation. Under his leadership, for example, Alexander Kuramshin trained (presumably Dmitry’s brother, judging by his last name and patronymic), who won the Russian Cup 10 times, became vice-champion of Europe, and also won many other titles and is still fond of this sport . Judging by the latest publications in social networks, now he is also abroad.
According to the Kontur.Focus database, Kama-Gruzovik LLC recorded the lowest revenue in four years at the end of last year (there is no earlier reporting) – 99.2 million rubles. Prior to that, it reported on revenues from 3.8 billion to 4.4 billion rubles. However, even despite the poor financial results over the past year, the company recorded not the biggest loss – 58 million in 2022 against 417 million rubles of loss in 2021. According to the same service, the company has a pledge in Otkritie FC Bank PJSC dated July 7, 2021, the due date of which is January 2021. The list contains 77 cars without a name, but with VIN codes.
Before Kuramshin, the general director of the company was Stanislav Blyamov, now the director of the Tatarstan branch of ER-Telecom Holding (Dom.ru), who worked in the field of communications even before Kama-Gruzovik. It was not possible to reach him on the numbers indicated in open sources.
Sources of “BUSINESS Online” partly attribute Kuramshin’s rise to a successful marriage, which made him related to one of the influential Chelny families. Judging by the Kontur.Focus database, he has a rich background in the business field. One of his first projects was Taflex (printing). In 2012, the long-suffering company was bought out by Andrey Gerasimov, a businessman from Udmurtia, who was eventually tried for the deliberate bankruptcy of the company and the withdrawal of property from it. Gerasimov himself assessed the company as innovative, and recognized the merits of its managers, but he bought it with outstanding loans taken to purchase equipment. Together with Kuramshin, the owner of the company was Azat Gabidullin, the head of the State Unitary Enterprise SPC “Shtrikh”.
Together with Gabidullin, Kuramshin had other businesses in this area – for example, the Ak Pak packaging company (registered at the same address as Fun24 and the Baryonix water park, excluded from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities in 2022), Ak Pak LLC of the same name (excluded from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities in 2021), as well as Prolabel LLC (liquidated in 2022).
In addition to Kama-Gruzovik, Kuramshin was associated with another company that was part of the KAMAZ orbit. This is Crane Center KAMAZ LLC, a joint venture between the Chelny auto giant and the Austrian concern Palfinger AG, registered in 2012. According to Kontur.Fokus, Kuramshin headed this firm from 2014 to 2017. Now shares in the company are owned by KAMAZ and Palfinger Emea GmbH (Austria), 49% each, the remaining 2% belong to Anton Syreyshchikov. The authorized capital of the company is 200 million rubles. Almost immediately after Kuramshin, Albert Shakirovich Yagudin became the general director of the company; He is the current head of the firm. The company is engaged in the production of special purpose vehicles. Judging by the publications in the media and on the website of the auto giant itself, the company has enough customers: for example, the large scrap collection company Akron Holding, Rostelecom, and the Moscow housing and communal services department. Delivered “Crane Center” KAMAZ “” and tow trucks for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Since 2017 (there is no more recent data), the company has been consistently showing profits. So, according to the results of 2021, with a revenue of 4.4 billion rubles, the Crane Center KAMAZ received almost 292 million rubles of net profit). These are record numbers for the firm (both in terms of revenue and profit) since 2017.
“Crane Center KAMAZ is one of the few enterprises in the country that offers customers crane-manipulator units from Russia, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Japan and Korea,” said a publication on the auto giant’s website dated 2015.