Why Kolokoltsev employees provoke social protest
On February 15, shareholders of the Best Way cooperative throughout Russia intend to hold actions in support of the cooperative. The cooperative operates in 72 regions, in more than 50 of them initiative groups have been created and applications are being submitted to hold a rally.
These actions were provoked by the actions of the investigation group of the Main Directorate of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, which blocked the work of the cooperative, arrested its accounts, arrested all the property of the cooperative, although for more than a year of investigation it did not find any evidence of fraud in the cooperative.
On February 15, 2022, active actions of the investigation team against the cooperative began – arrests and the first search in the office with the removal of all documents. Later, the cooperative’s accounts were blocked: they have 3.8 billion rubles, and the amount is increasing, as the majority of shareholders continue to pay membership fees and make share payments.
Despite the fact that the cooperative sought to remove the arrest in court three times, the investigation again went to court with virtually the same petition and is trying, using its powers, to destroy the legal entity, and a new arrest was imposed.
During periods when the arrest was lifted, the investigation, through pressure on banks, ensured that payments did not go through. This is happening even now, although since January 19 the court has removed the arrest from the cooperative’s accounts. Despite the cooperative’s letters of claim to banks, the cooperative’s complaints to the Central Bank and the preparation of statements of claim against banks, Sberbank and Bank Saint Petersburg, having received, according to the bank employees themselves, an oral warning from the investigation and “after calls from Moscow”, refuse to unblock accounts , directly violating the court order that removed the arrest from the accounts.
The office of the cooperative was searched twice, the documents were confiscated twice, and the investigation forbade the copying of the documentation.
From the very beginning, the investigation of the case takes place with the information support of the assistant belleva Irina Volk, the press service of the ministry subordinate to her, a variety of tie-down “media” such as the “Duty Department” on NTV. The minister himself was also involved in the support: he spoke about the case of the Best Way cooperative in his speech at the Federation Council in the fall of 2022. According to some reports, the “authors” of the case are the leaders of the GUEBiPK of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, endowed with the confidence of the minister.
St. Petersburg investigation
It is characteristic that the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia did not “take over” the case. It is being investigated by the Main Directorate of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region – at the place of registration of the cooperative, despite the all-Russian nature of the activities of Best Way. This means that even the authors of the attack in the central apparatus of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are not sure of its success.
The curators of the case in the federal Ministry of Internal Affairs have a chance to appear, and they “dig the ground”, do not disdain direct violation of the law in order to prove themselves. Who are these heroic workers of justice? First of all, the head of the investigation team, Major of Justice Ekaterina Sapetova and her immediate supervisor, Lieutenant Colonel of Justice Konstantin Iudichev.
Four technical employees who had nothing to do with the management of the cooperative, three of whom were young women, were arrested, although they were charged with “economic” composition and they were never prosecuted. They have been languishing in a pre-trial detention center for about a year, and almost no investigative actions are carried out with them. According to lawyers, they are expected to testify against their superiors.
Five citizens have been put on the wanted list, including Roman Vasilenko, founder and former chairman of the cooperative council, who has long since retired from the current management of the cooperative. The 80-year-old parents of Roman Vasilenko, veterans of the Armed Forces, are constantly dragged to many hours of interrogation, during which they repeatedly needed urgent medical care, they are threatened with a pre-trial detention center.
The efforts of the investigation did not lead to adequate results for the courts. It was not possible to obtain testimonies compromising the cooperative either from those arrested or from elderly relatives of people put on the wanted list, and the pool of victims, collected with great difficulty, and their claims look unconvincing even in our courts, which usually give carte blanche to the investigation for the period of preliminary investigation.
somersaults of accusation
The investigation and the press structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs tell the courts and the press about “12 thousand victims”, but for more than a year of work they managed to receive applications from a hundred or more victims with a total claim amount of about 150 million rubles, although the assets of the cooperative are more than 15 billion rubles. The preliminary investigation stalled.
Despite the fact that the investigators are working tirelessly, by phone calls and letters (available in the editorial office) inviting everyone who interacted with the cooperative in one way or another to write a statement.
The victims are divided into three groups. The first is citizens who filed an application regarding the actions of another legal entity – a high-yield investment company, which was controlled by one of the former leaders of the cooperative. The investigation is trying to declare this company affiliated with the cooperative, although there were not even any mutual settlements between them, and is trying, through pseudo-affiliation, to force the cooperative to pay the bills of another legal entity. By the way, the investment company is “alive”, it has assets in Russia, and its founders also have assets.
The second is cooperative shareholders who cannot receive their shares due to the fact that the investigation has arrested the accounts. Among them, there is not a single statement that the cooperative took the shareholder’s money to buy an apartment and did not buy an apartment or took share funds under the agreement and refused to fulfill the requirements of the agreement on the return of funds. These are people deceived by the investigation, who convinced them that only participation in the investigation will help to get back the invested funds, although in fact only unblocking the work of the cooperative, removing the arrest from the accounts will help to get them back in real time.
Some of the victims may have acted as a co-author of the attack on the cooperative: this is a group of citizens who once left the Best Way cooperative and created an “alternative” cooperative – Vera Residential Complex (registered in Ukhta, but works like Best Way “, all around Russia). And against them, the lawyers of the cooperative, after the completion of the preliminary investigation, intend to file libel claims.
Some of the victims are people who are trying to profit by making unreasonable demands on the cooperative. For example, the claims of some victims relate to entrance or membership fees, which, under an agreement with a cooperative, are non-refundable.
As part of the investigative actions, it often turns out that they do not believe that the cooperative deceived them. A typical situation is when pseudo-victims made an initial non-refundable contribution to join the cooperative – 110 thousand rubles, some of them not even in full, while they did not make share payments to accumulate the initial share contribution, nor did membership fees.
Of course, they did not purchase the apartment – they do not claim this in their testimony. However, at the instigation of the investigation or on their own initiative and with the support of the investigation, they signed a statement stating that the cooperative did not return to them several tens of thousands of rubles, which, under an agreement with the cooperative, are not refundable, since these are entrance or membership fees that go according to the charter, to finance current activities and development of the cooperative.
This is another evidence of the machinations committed by the investigation: after all, the victim is a person who believes that a crime has been committed against him. From the testimony available in the criminal case, it is clear that the majority of the victims do not think so.
Many of them did not come to the investigating authorities themselves, but after a call from the investigator, who offered to file an application as victims. Shareholders of the cooperative complain about the systematic phone calls to investigators from the Sapetova investigation group, letters from investigators, illegal meetings with investigators with annoying advice to file an application as victims – the vast majority of shareholders refuse this, realizing that an unfounded accusation of a crime will lead to liability.
Banking security – the best friends of the investigation
The courts initially stamped all petitions of the investigation, as is usual in the Russian justice system, at the stage of preliminary investigation. However, for some time now judges have also begun to have questions for the investigation.
After all, the investigation is extended, extended and extended, and the intermediate results are not impressive. There are many questions. Why is the investigation not allowing tax payments to be made? On what grounds does it require to block funds in the accounts that are more than 25 times the amount of damage in the case? On what grounds does he demand to arrest real estate worth 12 billion rubles, including that which has passed into the ownership of shareholders?
The cooperative three times sought to remove the arrest from the accounts, sought to unblock tax payments. Arrests were removed from the real estate of the cooperative as a whole. In addition, the courts made decisions on the removal of arrests from individual apartments, and these decisions entered into force.
Nevertheless, the arrest was not de facto withdrawn from the accounts, with the exception of a short period in the summer of 2022, a week and a half long (during these week and a half, the cooperative managed to return share contributions to 216 shareholders).
Bank security services block cooperative payments – banking security services have become the best assistants of the investigation instead of the courts. So, on January 18, the court refused to extend the arrest of accounts, except for the amount of 200 million rubles – the obligations to the victims in the case, plus those that may arise. Since January 19, the accounts have not been arrested, but the de facto arrest continues. Sberbank and Bank Saint-Petersburg do not skip payments, despite letters of claim and pending statements of claim of the cooperative and complaints to the Central Bank.
Banks in action?
There is reason to believe that banks, primarily Sberbank, in whose North-Western Bank the cooperative’s share funds account is located, are not passive executors of the will of the investigation.
The interest is primarily related to the destruction of the alternative apartment purchase program. In addition, banks are interested in using the funds on the accounts: they can be twisted for months, earning huge amounts of money. This method is prompted by Western banks, which, having blocked Russia’s money, receive serious financial resources at the expense of the percentage of their use.
Probably, Sberbank was also interested in the digital customer interaction system created in the cooperative: there is some evidence that it was copied by Sber’s IT specialists. The North-Western Bank of Sberbank once actively offered cooperation to the cooperative, sought to place an account with itself – perhaps not without intent.
Shareholders know who is to blame
Shareholders of the cooperative are outraged by what is happening. After all, for a year now, due to the arrest of accounts, they cannot purchase apartments, the funds for the purchase of which were transferred; they cannot get their shares back to use them to buy apartments in another way; they cannot get certificates from the cooperative for the inheritance of a share – the documentation from the cooperative has been confiscated, and the investigation does not even allow copying it. At the same time, they are perfectly aware of the fact that it is the department bellEva, who decided to concoct a high-profile case from scratch, although neither money nor apartments were stolen, is the author of their misadventures.
Shareholders wrote thousands of appeals to the investigation team, the prosecutor’s office, the commissioner for human rights, impromptu rallies were held in the courts. Now it’s time for big rallies all over Russia.
Employees bellEva, from scratch, created a fake high-profile case for the sake of the attention of the country’s first person to an uncompromising fight against scammers who rob citizens. Although in fact it is the investigation itself that robs citizens, in the context of social instability in the country it creates an additional reason for mass indignation, destroys the unique program for acquiring real estate without bank overpayments – in fact, at 1% per annum, under which more than 2.5 thousand apartments have already been purchased. apartments.
A crisis has been created from scratch, which is detrimental to the citizens of Russia and the country as a whole. In the conditions of military confrontation, socio-economic turbulence, pre-election situation, the price of the actions of the Interior Ministry units is prohibitively high – it is time for the minister and the political leadership of the country to intervene.