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Andrei Kozlov Was murdered in September 2006


Court: Russian banker guilty in Kozlov murder

Posted 10/28/2008 3:02 PM | Comment | Recommend E-mail | Print | Subscribe to stories like this

By David Nowak, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW — A Russian banker was found guilty Tuesday of organizing the murder of a Central Bank official who oversaw efforts to clean up the country's murky banking industry, a court spokeswoman said.

A Moscow City Court jury decided that Alexei Frenkel, the former chairman of  VIP Bank, ordered the September 2006 murder of Andrei Kozlov, spokeswoman Anna Usachyova said. Six others were found guilty of involvement in the murder, she said.

Kozlov, 41, was gunned down as he left an indoor soccer game in northeastern Moscow. His driver, Alexander Semyonov, died immediately, and Kozlov died the following morning in the hospital.

Frenkel, 36, has denied any involvement in the murder. He was so confident of being cleared that he had ordered a taxi from the courtroom to take him home, state television reported.

Frenkel's lawyer Ruslan Koblev said they would appeal.


"We'll file an appeal to the European court in any case irrespective of the verdict, because in our opinion the violations made by the court and the prosecution in this process have surpassed all possible limits," Koblev said in televised remarks outside the courtroom.

Three Ukrainians -- Alexei Polovinkin, Maxim Proglyad, and Alexander Belokopytov -- were found guilty of killing Kozlov. A fourth Ukrainian, middleman Bogdan Pogorzhevsky, and two people from Moscow, restaurant owner Liana Askerova and businessman Boris Shafray, were found guilty of being accessories to murder.

As first deputy chairman of Russia's Central Bank, Kozlov inspected the activities of Russia's commercial banks to weed out money laundering. He had the power to revoke licenses and in summer of 2006, he suspended VIP Bank along with dozens of other financial institutions.

"It's revenge. Of course it's revenge," state prosecutor Gulchekhra Ibragimova said in televised remarks.

VIP's suspension came weeks after a Moscow court ruled that the Central Bank had illegally refused to insure deposits in it.

The murder trial has been closed to the public, with authorities saying they feared outside pressure on the jury.

A hearing to decide a sentencing date is scheduled for Thursday.
Posted 10/28/2008 3:02 PM
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/2008-10-28-2151327806_x.htm

Court sanctions arrest of main suspect in Central Banker murder -1
RUSSIA
13:38 15.01.2007
200
Moscow court formally sanctioned the arrest Monday of banker Alexei Frenkel, a suspected paymaster in the killing of a senior Central Bank executive four months ago.
(Adds paragraphs 8-15)
MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court formally sanctioned the arrest Monday of banker Alexei Frenkel, a suspected paymaster in the killing of a senior Central Bank executive four months ago.

Frenkel was taken into custody Thursday as a main suspect in the murder of the Central Bank's First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov September 13. Kozlov, 41, was in charge of bank licensing and closed down VIP Bank over alleged money laundering three months before his killing. Frenkel's lawyer has not confirmed his client's former top position in the VIP Bank.

Prosecutors said they would press charges against Frenkel Wednesday, and the banker said he would appeal the court decision to sanction his arrest. "Of course, I will appeal," he said.

On Friday, the court issued an arrest warrant for another suspect in the case, Liana Askerova, who put the blame on Frenkel during her questioning, Frenkel's lawyer said.

"Askerova is blaming Frenkel, saying he is allegedly involved in the crime," Igor Trunov said, adding that Frenkel, who pleaded not guilty, insisted on confronting his co-defendant.

"Askerova's questioning is the only evidence the Prosecutor General's Office has," Trunov said.

The woman's lawyer Yevgeny Martynov said Friday, "Liana Askerova is involved in finance, but is not officially on the staff of any bank."

Russia's leading business daily, Kommersant, quoted sources close to the investigation as saying that a personal conflict between Kozlov and Frenkel erupted in 2005 when the Central banker refused to include VIP Bank into the deposit insurance system. Frenkel then resigned as chairman of the bank's board and appealed the decision in the Arbitration Court.

Witnesses said the banker also tried to organize a personal meeting with Kozlov, who simultaneously began receiving phone calls from top prosecutors and the FSB, KGB's successor, demanding that VIP Bank be included in the deposit insurance system, the paper said.

Frenkel won the appeal against the Central Bank's decision but Kozlov conducted a separate check into VIP Bank and withdrew its license, which infuriated Frenkel and prompted him to order the killing, investigators told the paper.

Frenkel addressed his acquaintance, Askerova, whom he met in her restaurant, Trish, in Moscow and who had been under investigation for fraud but was never found guilty. She contacted a Ukrainian businessman, Boris Shafrai who in turn found three people in eastern Ukraine through another contact. Shafrai and the four other Ukrainians agreed on a meager "reward" of $10,000. Investigators later established the suspected "killers" were not professionals.

One of the three men was found while trying to sell his personal car he was driving on the day of the killing. He gave away his two associates. The fourth man, Shafrai's contact, was detained in late December and implicated Shafrai, who declined to cooperate with investigators, Kommersant said.

Following Shafrai's arrest, Askerova began looking for a lawyer to help the businessman, a fact that attracted police attention. Investigators' shadowing helped to gather enough evidence to detain the woman who gave away Frenkel's name when police told her Shafrai had revealed all the details, the paper said, adding that all the seven suspects in the case have therefore been arrested.

Frenkel has described his custody to Kommersant as "the Central Bank's provocation against its opponent," and his lawyer Trunov said his client had addressed all issues with the Central Bank legally.

"There was a huge distance between Andrei Kozlov and Alexei Frenkel," he told the daily. "Figuratively speaking, it is the same as if somebody had ordered the killing of the Moscow mayor because the hall in their apartment block was poorly cleaned."
http://sputniknews.com/russia/20070115/59075049.html
 

 Seized documents point to Neftyanoi Bank money laundering role
RUSSIA
18:21 09.12.2005
200
MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Prosecutors raided Neftyanoi Bank Thursday and seized documents that prove the bank was involved in money laundering, the Prosecutor General's Office said Friday.
"Investigators said the documents seized from the Neftyanoi commercial bank were evidence that it had used fake companies and their accounts to conduct illegal bank transactions and launder money," the news release said. "They discovered around 20 stamps of organizations, which investigators said had been involved in the illegal financial transactions."

"Heaps of banking papers and computer servers, which investigators believe were used by the bank in illegal transactions, were found in the cellar."

Boris Nemtsov, the bank's director who formerly served as deputy prime minister under Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin and co-led a liberal political party, said Thursday the raid and searches were related to a client's activities and not to the bank itself. He said the bank had experienced several such raids already.

"Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon situation in our country," Anna Yartsev, the bank press secretary, said also adding that prosecutors were after the bank's client.

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20051209/42416843.html

Bank Neftyanoi quietly shutting
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 03:00
Bank Neftyanoi, which was raided by prosecutors in December and until recently was known for its links to liberal politicians, appeared on Tuesday to be quietly shutting down its operations.

"The bank has temporarily stopped accepting deposits from individuals," said a note posted on the banks web site, most links on which were disabled. The bank appeared to have gone much further in shutting down, however.

No officials from the bank or its parent company were immediately available for comment Tuesday, despite calls to both companies and an attempt to visit the banks head office.

"Why are you calling us? There is no one to talk to you; we are closing. We are down to about one-tenth of our normal number of employees," said a woman who answered the telephone at the banks headquarters Tuesday afternoon.

A visit to the banks headquarters on Tuesday afternoon revealed no outward signs of business activity. The automatic teller machine in the buildings lobby was turned off, and a movable sign for posting currency exchange rates had been stowed in a corner, with no currency figures posted.

A security guard in the lobby declined to let a reporter enter, and said that no representatives of the bank were available for comment.

Press officials at the Central Bank, and its Moscow division, said that Neftyanois operating license had not been revoked. Most bank closures in recent years have involved such a move.

They refused to comment further, citing laws on "banking secrets."

At the office of the banks parent company, Concern Neftyanoi, no officials were available for comment, while a secretary who answered the telephone said that there were very few people left there.

In addition to the bank, the countrys 76th-biggest, Concern Neftyanoi has various petrochemicals, construction and media interests.

OMON troops and officials from the Prosecutor Generals Office raided the bank as part of a money-laundering probe in December. In late January, Igor Linshits, head of Concern Neftyanoi and a supporter of liberal politicians, was put on a federal wanted list on charges of illegal banking activities and money laundering. His whereabouts are unknown.

A spokesman for the Prosecutor Generals Office refused to comment on the latest developments involving Neftyanoi.

Former Union of Right Forces leader Boris Nemtsov, who served as a Concern Neftyanoi director until December, also refused to comment about the bank Tuesday. "I have nothing to do with it. I am not involved in any form," he said by telephone.

In December, Nemtsov and political analysts said the bank raid could be a warning from authorities that businesses should not side with the opposition.

Nemtsov has expressed support for former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanovs bid for the presidency.

Until December, Bank Neftyanoi remained out of the spotlight, and to most observers was nothing but an ordinary bank.

"On the surface, just a few months ago, the bank did not appear to be a cause for any particular concern," said Natalya Ponomaryova, deputy director of Rusrating rating agency.

"Certainly, recent events were unpleasant, but such a speedy worsening of the situation was hard to predict."

Staff Writer Stephen Boykewich contributed to this report.

http://www.rusrating.ru/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=316:bank-neftyanoi-quietly-shutting&catid=7:the-press-about-us&Itemid=7 

 


Andrei Kozlov-CENTRAL BANKER

Andrei Andreyevich Kozlov (Russian: Андре́й Андре́евич Козло́в; January 6, 1965 – September 14, 2006) was the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation from 1997 to 1999 and again in 2002 to 2006.

Kozlov was fluent in Russian, German, and English. He was married, and had three children. Kozlov died on September 14, 2006, in Hospital No. 33 in Moscow from gunshot wounds. Kozlov was born in Moscow and served in the Soviet Army from 1983 to 1985. He then attended the faculty of international economics at Moscow Institute of Finance, where he graduated in 1989.[4] He began working at the Soviet Union's central bank in the same year as a senior economist. He left the Bank of Russia in 1999 to work in the private sector, before returning to the Bank of Russia in April 2002.[4]

Kozlov introduced a deposit insurance system and founded the Deposit Insurance Agency to restore public faith in the banking system after the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Kozlov prevented other banks from continuing operation by denying them access to the deposit insurance system. As head of bank supervision, Kozlov withdrew licences from banks suspected of money laundering and other crimes. In 2004, Kozlov took control of Sodbiznesbank, accusing the bank of engaging in laundering ransom money from hostage-taking.[1] In 2006 he revoked the license of Neftyanoi Bank.[3]

In 2005, Kommersant reported that Kozlov is "valued as a top-of-the-line professional. He is also given due credit as one of those who started the formation of the stock market in Russia."[1] After his death, Kommersant credited Kozlov with combating "gray schemes," illegal importing practices that minimize customs duties and value-added tax payments.[3]

On September 8, 2006, the Friday before his murder, Kozlov gave a speech at a banking conference in Sochi, saying, "Those who have been found out laundering criminal money should probably be barred from staying in the banking profession for life. Such people disgrace the banking system."

Raiffeisen Zentralbank in Austria and Diskont Bank in Russia have been accused of money laundering. In September 2006, Andrey Kozlov revoked Diskont's license. Just days later Kozlov was murdered.

According to Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for the Moscow prosecutor's office, two gunmen shot Kozlov in the head and neck at 8:50 PM,[4] but other law enforcement officials claim Kozlov was shot at 8:30 PM. Inna Sergeyeva, deputy head doctor at the Hospital No. 33 in Moscow, said Kozlov later died of his injuries.

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov ordered Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, who is personally prosecuting the case,to provide regular reports on the investigation.

Kozlov was near the Spartak sports center with his driver, Alexander Semyonov, when they were shot.

Semyonov died at the scene and Kozlov died after doctors unsuccessfully performed emergency surgery.

The police later found weapons they suspect were used in the attacks: a "handmade pistol and a modified Baikal pistol... in tall grass near the Spartak sports center, 250-300 meters away from the site of the incident, during the investigation of the crime scene."

Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the State Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, said, "The central bank revoked licenses of a number of banks, and it's quite possible that the gangsters linked to them might have put out a contract on him."

Austria questions Russia's findings in contract murder
By ANDREW E. KRAMERJUNE 14, 2007

MOSCOW — It was among the more shocking contract murders in recent years in Moscow, a city that has seen more than its share of such crimes.

Men wielding pistols walked up to the first deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank in a parking lot of a soccer stadium and shot him in the head. Andrei Kozlov, 41, died early the next morning.

Even more shocking, perhaps, as contract murders here are rarely solved, was the prosecutorial diligence that followed. Within three months, the police arrested seven suspects and called the case closed.

Now, however, the authorities in Austria have cast doubt on the quality of the Russian sleuthing in Kozlov's murder, which they linked to a multimillion-dollar money laundering scheme that made use of a bank in Vienna.

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"We stated there could be a link and it should be investigated," Gerald Hersztera, a spokesman for the Austrian Interior Ministry, said in a telephone interview.

So far, however, there has been no follow-up by Russian investigators.

As the investigation into the shooting of Kozlov on Sept. 13, 2006, unfolded in Moscow last winter, the Austrian police say that they passed an important lead to their Russian colleagues but that it was disregarded - though Kozlov was among the highest-ranking officials to be killed in the six-year administration of President Vladimir Putin.

Two weeks before his murder, Kozlov had been cooperating closely with the Austrian authorities on the money laundering case, a detail the Austrians made public in April in a report posted on that country's Interior Ministry Web site. It said the Austrian police could not rule out "official corruption" in Russia as a motive for murder.

"We didn't get any information about how the investigation is going in Russia," Hersztera said.

Kozlov's portfolio involved, in part, shutting smaller banks that were used as intermediaries in schemes to launder money. These usually entail shifting profits from illegal enterprises, like drug deals or bribe taking, between banks and companies to disguise the origin of the money. In Russia, the initial, or precursor, crime is most often official corruption.

The New Times, an independent magazine in Moscow that first reported the story, suggested that Kozlov was killed as he tried to halt a money laundering operation run for corrupt officials in the Russian government.

In August, Kozlov had informed an Austrian bank of suspicious transfers from a bank in Russia, according to Hersztera.

As the authorities in both countries were quietly rolling up the suspected money laundering channel, Kozlov on Sept. 1 revoked the license of Diskont Bank, an obscure "pocket bank" that operates discreetly and without visible customers.

The Austrian police have not identified the bank. However, Raiffeisen Zentralbank, one of Central Europe's largest, conceded in a statement that it had received the wire transfers from Diskont Bank. The New Times, citing anonymous Russian Interior Ministry officers, said that $60 million was transferred in the final days of August last year.

After the murder of Kozlov, the Austrian state attorney forwarded evidence - including the information Kozlov had provided about money laundering - to the Russian prosecutor general.

The Austrian state attorney did not receive a response from the Russian authorities, either on the initial money laundering investigation begun by Kozlov or on the possible link to his murder, Hersztera said.

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Written questions submitted to the prosecutor general's office were not answered.

Other Russian officials, however, have said that Diskont Bank was involved in more than small-time fraud.

On Sept. 16, just three days after the Kozlov shooting, Russia's finance minister, Aleksei Kudrin, speaking at a meeting of the Group of 7 finance ministers in Singapore, named Diskont Bank as suspicious when asked whether Kozlov's campaign against money laundering was a motive for the murder.

In March, a department head in the Russian Interior Ministry, Fyodor Putintsev, in a report presented to a banking conference in Moscow, said the police suspected that a total of 41 billion rubles, or about $1.6 billion, was laundered through Diskont Bank.

Raiffeisen has confirmed that it froze funds transferred from Diskont Bank based on a tip from Russia. Raiffeisen, in a statement, said its employees immediately notified the Austrian authorities and the Belgian-based SWIFT system for clearing international bank transfers.

"We have instantly and actively cooperated with the authorities both in Austria and Russia, because the avoidance of suspicious transactions is of paramount importance for us," Raiffeisen said in the statement.

The Austrian disclosure suggests a motive for the killing that is at odds with what prosecutors pursued in Moscow last fall. Here, the authorities say they solved the case: Prosecutors charged a mid-level banker, Aleksei Frenkel, whose business was unrelated to the Diskont bank money laundering investigation.

"The Russian police believe he was killed by another suspect, who had nothing to do with these banks" in the money laundering scheme Kozlov was closing, Hersztera said.

Frenkel was a board member of a little-known Russian bank, VIP Holding, which had earlier been sanctioned by Kozlov but had no relation to Diskont bank.

Russian prosecutors contend that Frenkel paid a female acquaintance to arrange the murder of Kozlov. They say the woman and two other intermediaries paid three unemployed Ukrainian men to shoot Kozlov as he walked toward his car after playing in a soccer game.

Frenkel maintains his innocence. His attorney, Igor Trunov, said in a telephone interview that his client refused to confess even after being placed in a pre-trial detention cell with inmates who were incorrectly told Frenkel is homosexual, inviting violence.

The evidence from Austria, Trunov said, has not been made available to defense attorneys.

Moreover, in letters from jail published in Russian newspapers, Frenkel further muddied the waters around the killing. He alleged that Central Bank officials, including Kozlov, were engaged in blackmailing bankers accused of money laundering by demanding bribes in exchange for destroying evidence of illegal transfers. The Central Bank has denied wrongdoing.

The case against Frenkel is scheduled to go to court this summer. That makes it one of a minuscule number of such crimes to do so. Most contract murders are not solved, including several high-profile killings of members of Parliament, wealthy bankers and journalists.

A version of this article appears in print on June 14, 2007, in The International Herald Tribune. Today's Paper|Subscribe

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/opinion/14iht-moscow.4.6144376.html
 

Ukraine billionaire accused of fraud and coercion in US lawsuit
Posted on August 5, 2013 | Leave a comment
Graham Stack for Business New Europe in Kyiv

July 31, 2013

Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash and his bank seized a soybean oil plant through “a campaign of fraud, physical threats, coercion and corruption,” according to a lawsuit brought by businessmen Vadim and Ilya Segal. But the case may bear not so much on ownership of the plant, as on a massive bank fraud in Ukraine committed nearly five years ago at the height of the global financial crisis – and could spark revelations about the reach of organised crime in post-Soviet banking.

Brothers Ilya and Vadim Segal, the owners of Cyprus company Dancroft Holdings, in turn the former owner of Ukrainian company Kakhovka Prom Agro, have filed a complaint against one of Ukraine’s richest and most furtive men Firtash and Nadra Bank, currently the Ukraine’s 11th largest lender, in New York County Supreme Court.

According to the complaint, Firtash, as the new owner of Nadra Bank after 2008, pressured the Segal brothers over around $40m outstanding loans to Nadra owed by Kakhovka Prom Agro, a soybean oil producer in Kherson region, and other agricultural businesses controlled by the Segals. 
The brothers claim that Firtash entered a handwritten agreement with them in July 1, 2009 that apparently settled the issue of the debts, freeing Kakhovka from further payments in exchange for the Segals’ purchasing the debts at 50% of their value.

However, according to the complaint, Firtash failed to comply with the agreement and instead launched a barrage of lawsuits. In addition, Nadra Bank deliberately supplied Kakhovka with a false bank account number, preventing the successful transfer of any funds to the bank. In December 2010, Nadra Bank then took control of the plant, installing new management. Firtash’ press service has declined to comment on the complaint.

The whole saga about the dispute and alleged seizing of Kakhovka Prom Agro is used to explain why in March 2011 Ukraine’s security service SBU brought charges of large-scale fraud against the Segals – charges which have now placed them on Interpol’s red list, the closest that exists to an international arrest warrant. This was allegedly part of the plan forcing the Segals out of the country, making them unable to contest the takeover of Khakovka.

The complaint adduces widespread reports (although apparently no documentary proof) that the then head of the SBU, Valery Khoroshkovsky, is a business partner of Firtash, together with head of the presidential administration Sergei Levochkin, and former energy minister, now Deputy Prime Minister Yury Boiko. Thus according to the complaint, the SBU, in bringing charges against the Segals, was simply acting on behalf of Firtash.
 “As a result of Firtash’s intimate connections to the government, there is no fair and impartial forum for plaintiffs’ grievances in the Ukraine,” the complaint reads.

The Segals are now demanding actual and punitive damages against Firtash and Nadra Bank for their “extreme and outrageous conduct,” including breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud, and conspiracy.

Blast from the past

The complaint apparently neglects to mention some key facts, however. The Segals themselves are widely to believed to have been from 1997-2008, via a proxy, one of the major shareholders in Nadra Bank before its bailout. Publicly they only acknowledge on Vadim Segal’s blog that “in 1996 Mr. Segal took part in reorganization and development of the bank.”

However, their agricultural companies feature among the leading borrowers from the bank, in a list of its largest debtors published by the bank in October 2009. The other leading debtors were companies linked to Ihor Eremeev, owner of the Kontinuum group of fuel retailing companies, also believed to have held a large stake in the bank via a proxy. In addition, the Segals’ ties to Nadra Bank’s manager from 1997-2009 and co-accused, Igor Gilenko, appear corroborated by leaked company data from the British Virgin Islands database, which show the Segals and Gilenko to be co-directors of an offshore set up in 2003, Universal Advisory Capital Limited.

According to Ukrainian court records, the Segals are accused of conspiring with Gilenko to steal $25m from Nadra Bank in 2008, via companies KUA Kruar and TOV Solnechnaya Dolina. An appeal against the charges was turned down by Ukrainian courts in June 2011, and in July 2011 the Segals fled Ukraine, according to Vadim Segal’s blog.

Nadra Bank was before the crisis Ukraine’s eighth largest and a brash exponent of the virtues of the credit boom, with CEO Igor Gilenko touted as a financial Wunderkind and regularly winning top awards as banker of the year.

But the dream turned sour. Allegations of massive fraud at Nadra Bank in late 2008 are no invention of Firtash and his cronies: It was in fact then prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko – Firtash’ arch-enemy – who first railed against the theft of bailout funds from Nadra as the global financial crisis struck. According to reports, the National Bank of Ukraine lent Nadra Bank nearly $1bn from October through December 2008, but in February 2009 the bank had nevertheless to be placed under temporary administration. The bank had reportedly used more than half of the NBU money, intended for recapitalisation, to buy dollars at the official lower rate and re-sell them commercially at a higher rate. The remainder was used to make new loans. It is these new loans made in October-December 2008 that the criminal charges against the Segals apparently refer to.

Also listed as co-conspirators in the criminal case in Ukraine against large-scale fraud at Nadra Bank are unnamed officers at Latvia’s Trasta Komercbanka, presumably where the allegedly stolen funds were transited through. Trasta Komercbanka has previously been involved in similar stories – for instance listed as transiting $1.5bn moved by Kazakhstan banker Mukhtar Ablyazov from his bank BTA in an assets retrieval court case won by the now nationalised BTA in the High Court of London in 2011. The bank denies any irregularities regarding anti-money laundering compliance.

However, the mention of Trasta Komercbanka officers as co-conspirators of the Segals is intriguing, because the bank is linked to Firtash through his long-term junior partner Ivan Fursin, and other associates. Fursin owns 20-33% in Trasta Komercbanka. In 2009, Charles Treherne, deputy head of Firtash’s holding company Centragas AG, sat on the board and held a stake in Trasta Komercbanka. Centragas is now Nadra Bank’s shareholder.

Firtash may use this fact to refute the Segals’ claims that he is behind the criminal charges brought against the Segals – why would he incriminate a bank to which he is closely linked? The real reason for filing the lawsuit may be for the Segals to build a case against extradition, bne sources believe.

Juicy revelations

The court case may be fascinating for what it yet reveals about the post-Soviet underworld, and organised crime’s reach in the region’s banking – especially if, as seems probable, the Segals’ intention may be to drag Firtash’s name through the mud until he lobbies in Ukraine to get charges against them dropped.

There is plenty of potential mud out there, considering that even such a “diplomatic” source as the leaked US embassy cables at the wikileaks website adduces business links between Firtash and alleged global crime lord, Kyiv-born Semyon Mogilevich, now resident in Moscow. The cables even quote Firtash directly acknowledging such links. Firtash has denied making any such statements.

Moreover, the Segals may be optimally placed to shed light on such ties: their business career started in a number of banks in 1990s’ Russia that later acquired a reputation for organised crime links: Vadim Segal partnered Aleksei Frenkel at Moscow’s Neftyanoi bank 1993-1997, as a result of which “the bank became one of the most innovative financial institutions in Russia,” according to Segal’s blog.

In 2006, the Central Bank of Russian withdrew Neftyanoi’s licence due to money-laundering suspicions, whereupon Russia’s deputy central bank head and “anti-money laundering tsar” Andrei Kozlov, was slain by Ukrainian hired killers in Moscow. In 2007, Neftyanoi’s Frenkel received a 19-year jail sentence for organising the killing. The Segals failed to respond to questions filed to them via their blog and their lawyers.

The Segals may well be now grinding their teeth as they bitterly rue missed chances, with the fifth anniversary of the global financial crisis that devastated Ukraine’s economy looming: In the months leading up to the crisis, European banks were queuing up to pay top dollar for Ukrainian banks, and Nadra Bank one of the few top ten banks not yet to have closed a deal: according to a Forbes Ukraine report, in January 2008 Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo offered $1.5bn for the bank. However the Segals and their co-owners held out for more – then the crisis struck, and they lost everything.

Someone else got lucky in their stead: Intesa Sanpaola in the final analysis purchased the smaller Pravex Bank from the then mayor of Kyiv, Leonid Chernovetskii, for $750m, in February 2008, only months before the crisis struck. On July 23, 2013, Ukrainian media reported Intesea Sanpaola has put the bank up for sale after years of losses, with evaluations at around one-fifth of its original acquisition price.

https://grahamstack.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/ukraine-billionaire-accused-of-fraud-and-coercion-in-us-lawsuit/



LIBERAL SUPPORTER PUT ON FEDERAL WANTED LIST

By Valeria Korchagina
Staff Writer
Published: January 31, 2006 (Issue # 1141)

Igor Linshits, head of the Concern Neftyanoi business group and a prominent supporter of liberal politicians, was put on a federal wanted list on charges of illegal banking activities and money laundering, the Prosecutor General’s Office said Friday.

The announcement came nearly two months after prosecutors and OMON special forces raided a Neftyanoi affiliate, Neftyanoi Bank, in an investigation into suspected money laundering. The raid was seen by some as a warning to backers of the liberal opposition, including former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who last year declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2008.

Linshits appeared to be out of prosecutors’ reach. He left Russia for an unidentified European country, Kommersant reported Saturday. Officials at Neftyanoi declined to comment Friday.

The Prosecutor General’s Office refused to provide details of the charges, but a source in the office told Interfax on Friday that Linshits had been charged with earning 57 billion rubles ($2 billion) through illegal banking activities and laundering 610 million rubles ($22 million). No time frame for the alleged offenses was given.

Founded in 1993, Concern Neftyanoi includes Russia’s 76th-largest bank, Neftyanoi, and various petrochemicals, construction and media interests.

Yeltsin-era powerbroker Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and a co-leader of the Union of Right Forces party, or SPS, resigned as a director of Neftyanoi Bank after last month’s raid.

At the time of the raid Nemtsov, along with a number of political observers, said the search could be a warning from the authorities to businesses not to side with the opposition.

Nemtsov resigned his post at the bank a few days after the raid in an apparent attempt to reduce the political risks for Neftyanoi.

When contacted by telephone Sunday, Nemtsov refused to comment on the charges against Linshits. He also declined to comment when contacted by Kommersant.

Nemtsov’s reluctance to speak out could have been prompted by a desire to protect Linshits and Neftyanoi’s business, liberal politician Irina Khakamada said.

“You have to remember what happened to Yukos. Any public attempt to resist provokes an even tougher reaction, any comment can harm the company,” she said, Kommersant reported.

The news of the charges against Linshits came a day after Nemtsov was appointed to head an SPS committee tasked with uniting the liberal opposition.

Despite repeated attempts to form a united front against the Kremlin, the country’s liberal parties have yet to agree on a common program or pick a leader acceptable to the various parties and factions.

Some recent progress, however, was made when liberal parties agreed to field a united list of candidates for December’s Moscow City Duma elections.

http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=16683 Moscow court upholds VIP-Bank license revocation
RUSSIA
15:59 08.02.2007
000
A Moscow arbitration appeals court has upheld a decision to revoke the license of a bank whose former board chairman, Alexei Frenkel, has been charged with masterminding the murder of a senior banking regulator.
MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow arbitration appeals court has upheld a decision to revoke the license of a bank whose former board chairman, Alexei Frenkel, has been charged with masterminding the murder of a senior banking regulator.
The court thereby turned down an appeal from three companies, the bank's shareholders.

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20070208/60409910.html

 


Frenkel Gets 19 Years In Kozolov's Murder
By Francesca MereuNov. 14 2008 00:00

AP
Banker Alexei Frenkel standing behind bulletproof glass Thursday in the Moscow City Court, which sentenced him to 19 years in prison on charges of ordering the murder of Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov in September 2006.
The Moscow City Court on Thursday sentenced banker Alexei Frenkel to 19 years in prison for ordering the 2006 killing of central banker Andrei Kozlov, who had led a campaign against money laundering and corruption.

Frenkel, 36, was convicted last month along with six other defendants of organizing and carrying out Kozlov's assassination, which prosecutors said was motivated by revenge after the first deputy head of the Central Bank had stripped hundreds of banks of their licenses. Four of those banks were linked to Frenkel.

The court sentenced the other defendants, including three Ukrainian citizens convicted of carrying out the attack on Kozlov, to prison terms ranging from six years to life.

Prosecutor Gulchekhra Ibragimova said she was satisfied with Frenkel's sentence, describing it as "fair, in line with the law and well-founded," Interfax reported. Prosecutors had asked that Frenkel, who has maintained that he is innocent, be sentenced to life in prison.

Frenkel's family said he would appeal. "For him, a life sentence and 19 years are the same thing," Frenkel's brother, Mikhail Frenkel, told Interfax.

"He didn't move a muscle in his face," Frenkel's father, Yefim Frenkel, said. "Maybe the Supreme Court will sort it out."

Kozlov was gunned down in September 2006 as he left a Moscow football game. His driver, Alexander Semyonov, died immediately, and Kozlov died the following morning in the hospital.

Kozlov, 41, had led a campaign to clean up the banking sector and the Central Bank revoked the licenses of dozens of private banks, accusing them of many forms of criminal activity including money laundering. Investigators said Frenkel, whose Sodbiznesbank and VIP-Bank had their licenses revoked by Kozlov, lost billions of rubles as a result of Kozlov's actions.

The court on Wednesday sentenced Alexei Polovinkin, the man convicted of pulling the trigger in the attack, to life in prison. Maxim Proglyad, who was convicted only of shooting at Kozlov's driver, was sentenced to 24 years.

Moscow residents Boris Shafrai and Liana Askerova, who were convicted of being accessories to the murder, were sentenced to 14 and 13 years in prison, respectively. The jury last month asked for leniency for Bogdan Pogorzhevsky, who admitted his guilt and testified against the other suspects, and Alexander Belokopytov, who they said played a minor role in the killing. The court handed Pogorzhevsky and Belokopytov six- and 10 years, respectively.
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http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/frenkel-gets-19-years-in-kozolovs-murder/372373.html



3 Jurors Charged In Banker's Trial
By UnknownJul. 17 2008 00:00
Three jurors in the 2006 murder trial of central banker Andrei Kozlov have been charged with wrongdoing, officials said Wednesday.

One of the unidentified jurors has been charged with attempted obstruction of justice after he purportedly tried to bribe fellow jurors to declare murder suspect Alexei Frenkel not guilty, prosecutors said, Interfax reported.

Frenkel's lawyer, Ruslan Koblev, described the charges as an effort by the government to tip the jury in favor of convicting Frenkel, the former CEO of VIP-Bank, whose bank was shut down by Kozlov. "They don't like this jury. They need another jury that will make a decision that suits them," he said.

Two other jurors were removed from the jury after being charged with drinking in public and talking about the case, respectively.
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/tmt/368983.html


Central banker murder suspect asks to return to court
RUSSIA
17:44 24.04.2008
000
MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - The main suspect in the murder of a top Russian banking regulator wants to be re-admitted to his trial after being removed from the court on Tuesday, his lawyer said.
Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov, who oversaw bank licensing and led efforts to close down dozens of banks, including over money laundering, was shot dead along with his driver in September 2006.

The main suspect in the case is former banker Alexei Frenkel. He has been in custody since January 2007. Frenkel, along with restaurant owner Liana Askerova, whose testimony led to his arrest, and Boris Shafrai, a Ukrainian businessman, are accused of organizing the murder.

"Frenkel believes holding a court investigation in his absence is impossible, as his lawyers are not familiar with the criminal case materials, and he has questions for the eyewitnesses," lawyer Ruslan Koblev said.

He said a ruling on Frenkel's petition will be made not before Monday, as hearings have been postponed until April 28.

A Moscow City Court judge removed Frenkel from the court session on Tuesday after, as Koblev said, "Frenkel voiced his objections to the presiding judge's actions."

Another four people have been charged with involvement in the murder. Another suspect is on the international wanted list.

Investigators said Frenkel paid $300,000 for the murder, and that the perpetrators received $3,000 to $8,500 and intermediaries over $80,000 each.

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20080424/105836788.html

Four versions in Kozlov central banker murder case - prosecutors
RUSSIA
15:42 15.09.2006
000
Four versions of the murder of Russian Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov have been proposed, the first deputy prosecutor general said Friday.
MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - Four versions of the murder of Russian Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov have been proposed, the first deputy prosecutor general said Friday.
Alexander Buksman said one of the versions was "linked with Kozlov's professional activities."

Kozlov, 41, died Thursday morning after gunmen opened fire on him with semi-automatic weapons late Wednesday. Kozlov's driver was also killed in the attack.

Buksman said 30 people are involved in the investigation of Kozlov's murder. "They are the best investigators and most qualified employees," he said adding that no suspects had been detained yet, and that their photokits were not available.

He also said Kozlov's killers were professionals judging by a number of details. Buksman said the gun's handle "was wrapped with textile tape that leaves neither fingertips nor smell."

Buksman said according to one of the four versions, Kozlov could have been killed by mistake, but it was a minor version.

Kozlov oversaw the Central Bank's efforts to clean up the banking sector, and was shot in an attack that bears the hallmarks of a contract killing as he left a sports stadium in the northeastern Moscow district of Sokolniki.

His driver Alexander Semyonov was killed at the Spartak stadium, where Kozlov had watched Central Bank employees play soccer. The banker underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the head.

But a hospital official said Thursday morning that doctors were unable to save the married father of three after an operation lasting five hours.

President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the banker's family Friday and asked the Central Bank's heads "to make every effort to support them."

Kozlov led efforts to close down dozens of banks for violations of banking legislation, particularly on money laundering, and Central Bank regulations. Two high-profile cases centered on the revocation of licenses from Moscow-based Sodbiznesbank in 2004 and Neftyanoi Bank this year, but the CBR has been withdrawing licenses almost by the week in 2006.

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20060915/53917476.html


Central Bank executive killer's appeal for civil damages dismissed
CONTEXT
Convicted murderer appeal against Russian authorities to be heard on Nov. 20
Convicted murderer denied compensation from federal investigators
$609k lawsuit by convicted banker shelved
Convicted banker seeks $612k from government corporation
Alexei Frenkel
© RIA Novosti, Ruslan Krivobok
Tags: Investigative Committee, Deposit Insurance Agency, Russia, Moscow
16:27 20/11/2012
MOSCOW, November 20 - RAPSI. The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal of Alexei Frenkel, who was convicted of the murder of Central Bank Deputy Board Chairman Andrei Kozlov, against the court's refusal to reconsider the lawsuit on the recovery of $572,530 from the Deposit Insurance Agency and the Investigative Committee, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Tuesday.

The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal launched by convicted murderer Alexei Frenkel challenging the court's earlier decision not to reconsider his $572,530 claim against Russian investigative authorities and his victim's business, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Tuesday.

Frenkel was convicted of murdering Deputy Board Chairman Andrei Kozlov.

Frenkel failed to attend the hearing on Tuesday.

The appeal disputed the Moscow Commercial Court's June 6 ruling, which dismissed Frenkel's statement of civil claims against Russia's Investigative Committee and the Deposit Insurance Agency, which Kozlov founded. The decision was due to Frenkel's failure to submit the necessary documents.

The Moscow City Court sentenced Frenkel to 19 years behind bars on November 13, 2008. He was also ordered to pay 10 million rubles ($318,070) to Kozlov's father.

In addition to founding the Deposit Insurance Agency, Kozlov headed the Central Bank's supervisory division. His responsibilities included selecting banks for the deposit insurance system and revoking banking licenses. The attempt on Kozlov's life took place on September 13, 2006. Kozlov and his driver were shot. His driver died on the spot, while Kozlov died in hospital the next morning.

Frenkel was the chairman of VIP Bank. His bank forfeited its license in 2006 for multiple violations of money-laundering legislation. According to the case records, Frenkel was also associated with the establishment of Sodbusinessbank, which also lost its license.

In the jury's view, the investigators managed to prove that Kozlov's role in revoking banking licenses inflicted multimillion dollar losses. The case records read that Frenkel paid $300,000 for Kozlov's murder. Out of this, the killers received between $3,000 and $8,500, while the intermediaries received $80,000 or more.

The Deposit Insurance Agency, established in January 2004, pays out compensation to depositors for deposits at insured events, keeps a register of banks participating in the deposit insurance system, controls the formation of the deposit insurance fund, including by contributions from banks, and controls the means of the deposit insurance fund.

Central Bank is the main state bank. It was established in July 1990.
http://rapsinews.com/judicial_news/20121120/265438038.html

Andrey Kozlov
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Andrei Kozlov)
For footballer, see Andrei Vladimirovich Kozlov.
Andrei Andreyevich Kozlov (Russian: Андре́й Андре́евич Козло́в; January 6, 1965 – September 14, 2006) was the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation from 1997 to 1999 and again in 2002 to 2006.[1]

Kozlov was fluent in Russian, German, and English.[1] He was married, and had three children.[2] Kozlov died on September 14, 2006, in Hospital No. 33 in Moscow from gunshot wounds he sustained the night before.[3]

Contents [hide]
1 Career
2 Death
3 Natalia Morar's investigations
4 Tributes
5 Trial
6 See also
7 References
8 External links
Career[edit]
Kozlov was born in Moscow and served in the Soviet Army from 1983 to 1985. He then attended the faculty of international economics at Moscow Institute of Finance, where he graduated in 1989.[4] He began working at the Soviet Union's central bank in the same year as a senior economist. He left the Bank of Russia in 1999 to work in the private sector, before returning to the Bank of Russia in April 2002.[4]

Kozlov introduced a deposit insurance system and founded the Deposit Insurance Agency to restore public faith in the banking system after the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Kozlov prevented other banks from continuing operation by denying them access to the deposit insurance system. As head of bank supervision, Kozlov withdrew licences from banks suspected of money laundering and other crimes. In 2004, Kozlov took control of Sodbiznesbank, accusing the bank of engaging in laundering ransom money from hostage-taking.[1] In 2006 he revoked the license of Neftyanoi Bank.[3]

In 2005, Kommersant reported that Kozlov is "valued as a top-of-the-line professional. He is also given due credit as one of those who started the formation of the stock market in Russia."[1] After his death, Kommersant credited Kozlov with combating "gray schemes," illegal importing practices that minimize customs duties and value-added tax payments.[3]

On September 8, 2006, the Friday before his murder, Kozlov gave a speech at a banking conference in Sochi, saying, "Those who have been found out laundering criminal money should probably be barred from staying in the banking profession for life. Such people disgrace the banking system."[1]

Death[edit]
Raiffeisen Zentralbank in Austria and Diskont Bank in Russia have been accused of money laundering. In September 2006, Andrey Kozlov revoked Diskont's license. Just days later Kozlov was murdered.[5][6]

According to Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for the Moscow prosecutor's office, two gunmen shot Kozlov in the head and neck at 8:50 PM,[4] but other law enforcement officials claim Kozlov was shot at 8:30 PM.[2] Inna Sergeyeva, deputy head doctor at the Hospital No. 33 in Moscow, said Kozlov later died of his injuries.[4] Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov ordered Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, who is personally prosecuting the case,[3] to provide regular reports on the investigation.[7]

Kozlov was near the Spartak sports center with his driver, Alexander Semyonov, when they were shot. Semyonov died at the scene and Kozlov died after doctors unsuccessfully performed emergency surgery.[3] The police later found weapons they suspect were used in the attacks: a "handmade pistol and a modified Baikal pistol... in tall grass near the Spartak sports center, 250-300 meters away from the site of the incident, during the investigation of the crime scene."[8]

Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the State Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, said, "The central bank revoked licenses of a number of banks, and it's quite possible that the gangsters linked to them might have put out a contract on him."[1]

Natalia Morar's investigations[edit]
Main article: Natalia Morar
When Natalia Morar investigated Raiffeisen Zentralbank, she was expelled and she says she received a death threat from the FSB.[9]

Tributes[edit]
Levan Zolotarev, a senior vice president at Russian Standard Bank, said, "Kozlov was a strong believer in reforming the financial markets of Russia. He pushed many radical changes that were important for the banking business." Zolotarev first met Kozlov when they studied at Moscow Financial Institute. Recently they worked together on amendments to a bankruptcy bill, which was to be voted on in the Duma in late 2006, making subordinated loans equivalent to capital.[4] Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin described Kozlov as "a very courageous and honest personality, who has been on the frontline of the struggle against financial crimes," frequently damaging "the interests of dishonest financiers."[3] Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of RAO UES, said Kozlov was "an undoubtedly honest, principled, and absolutely non-commercial man. He was one of the most professional people in the entire Russian banking sector,"[1] calling his assassination a "blatant challenge to the entire Russian government system. This is a case when the authorities must respond in a tough manner, promptly, and mercilessly."[10] Mikhail Grishankov, a senior member of the lower chamber of parliament, said the assassination was a spit in the face of the state. Punishing the killers is a "matter of honor... This is a terrible murder of a person who protected interests of the state and opposed schemes used by some banks to legalize revenues of shadow and criminal business. Criminal groups that control those banks will stop at nothing." The Central Bank issued a statement applauding Kozlov for making a "huge contribution to the reform of the country's banking system, making it more effective, transparent and stable."[3] Oleg V. Vyugin, Russia’s chief securities regulator, in a telephone interview, said, "It was criminals taking revenge for the legal actions of the central bank, and unfortunately Mr. Kozlov paid the price."[7]

Trial[edit]
On October 28, 2008, a trial jury reached the verdict in the murder case. Banker Aleksei Frenkel, Liana Askerova and Boris Shafrai were found guilty of organizing Kozlov's murder, and Bogdan Pogorzhevsky, Aleksei Polovinkin, Maksim Proglyada and Aleksandr Belokopytov were found guilty of carrying it out.[11] According to the prosecution, Frenkel organized the murder after his bank, VIP-Bank, lost its license on June 16, 2006 by Kozlov's decision (Kozlov accused the bank of money laundering). Frenkel asked his former co-worker, Askerova (who owned a restaurant at the time), to get him in touch with somebody who can kill Kozlov, and she found more intermediaries in Pogorzhevsky and Shafrai, who, in turn, found the shooters - Proglyada and Polovinkin. Frenkel paid $310,000 to Askerova, out of which $200,000 went to Pogorzhevsky, $90,000 to Askerova and only $20,000 to the shooters themselves. Another person involved, Andrei Kasmynin, was still not under arrest and was wanted by the police at the time of the trial.[12] Based on the jury's verdict, the judge sentenced Frenkel to 19 years of imprisonment. Polovinkin received a life sentence, Proglyada - 24 years, Shafrai - 14 years, Askerova - 13 years, Belokopytov - 10 years, Pogorzhevsky - 6 years.[13] The appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Russia on November 17, 2009. Proglyada's sentence was reduced to 22 years, all the other sentences were not changed.[14] Kasmynin was eventually arrested and sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment on March 19, 2010.[15]

On May 18, 2010, the investigators issued an indictment against 58-year-old Sergei Levin, who was one of the jurors in the Frenkel trial. Allegedly he tried to bribe other jurors to rule Frenkel not guilty, because he did not agree with the manner in which the judge carried out the trial. The bribe offer came to light during the trial and he was removed from the jury before they reached the verdict. Levin admitted his guilt during the investigation.[16]

See also
Paul Klebnikov
Vladislav Listyev
Galina Starovoitova
Valentin Tsvetkov
Alexander Slesarev


References
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Obituary: Andrei Kozlov BBC News
^ Jump up to: a b Russian Central Banker Kozlov Dies After Being Shot Last Night Bloomberg.com
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Deputy Russian central bank chief Kozlov dies after shooting RIA Novosti
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Russian Central Banker Kozlov Dies After Being Shot Bloomberg.com
Jump up ^ Who Whacked Kozlov? An update on last year’s Central Bank murder mystery. The Exile
Jump up ^ Robert Amsterdam: Raiffeisen's Ties to Murder and Corruption in Russia, Raiffeisen's Russia Scandal - Part I, Raiffeisen's Russia Scandal - Part II, Moscow Times Digs Deeper on Diskont, Raiffeisen, and the Kozlov Murder
^ Jump up to: a b Russian Bank Reformer Dies After Shooting The New York Times
Jump up ^ Police find murder weapons in Kozlov case Interfax
Jump up ^ Moscow’s New Rules. By Adam Federman, Columbia Journalism Review, February 1, 2010
Jump up ^ Kozlov's murder a "blatant challenge" - Chubais Interfax
Jump up ^ Jurors find Frenkel guilty, Kommersant, October 28, 2008
Jump up ^ Prosecution asked for no mercy to Frenkel, Kommersant, October 15, 2008
Jump up ^ Frenkel sentenced to 19 years, Kommersant, November 13, 2008
Jump up ^ Френкель без изменений
Jump up ^ "Обвиняемый в убийстве зампреда ЦБ Андрея Козлова осужден на девять лет". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
Jump up ^ Сенаторов, Юрий (May 19, 2010). "Присяжный признался в противосудном деянии". Kommersant.
External links[edit]
Articles from around the world focusing on Andrei Kozlov.
Moscow Times Digs Deeper on Diskont, Raiffeisen, and the Kozlov Murder
A Pocket Bank and A Murder Mystery By Simon Shuster and Nikolaus von Twickel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrey_Kozlov

 


 


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