Dmitry Zakharchenko tied to the "Moldavian Landromat"

The ex-colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs could provide cover for the withdrawal of more than $ 250 million by the beneficiaries of the 1520 group, investigators believe. They are studying the role of Moldovan politicians in the case, including Renato Usatii, who is still witnessing.
Origin source
Kings of the state order and the Moldavian scheme

The IC is investigating the involvement of former Interior Ministry colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko in the withdrawal of money from Russia under the Moldovan “Moldavian Landromat” scheme, say three people familiar with the investigation of the source of RBC. According to investigators, the withdrawal of at least $ 250 million from Russia to Moldovan banks and then to Switzerland was carried out in the interests of the former co-owners of the contractor of the Russian Railways group “1520”.

The investigation is checking the role in this scheme of the leader of the opposition “Our Party” in Moldova and the ex-mayor of the second largest city of Moldova, Balti Renato Usatii, while he is a witness, RBC sources said. According to investigators, he “accompanied the process in the interests of the beneficiaries of the 1520 group,” said one source.

Case 1520

The beneficiaries of the 1520 group are accused of giving a bribe (at least 2 billion rubles) to the former colonel of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Economic Security and Combating Corruption, where he served as the head of the T department. The investigation believes that Zakharchenko actually acted as the head of the group’s security service. In October 2018, the former co-owner of “1520” Valery Markelov was detained, and in March, another co-owner of the company Boris Usherovich was arrested in absentia.

According to the investigation, sources say RBC, the beneficiaries of "1520" withdrew money from Russia to Moldova

"1520" - a company engaged in the design and construction of railways, a major contractor of Russian Railways. In 2018, the company topped the Forbes list of “government procurement kings”, receiving RUB 218.2 billion from the monopolist.

“1520” was the largest business structure that used the services of Colonel Zakharchenko, say RBC interlocutors.

How the Moldovan scheme worked

Two sources familiar with the investigation told RBC that the Moldovan politician and businessman Renato Usatii, who worked closely with the owners of 1520, introduced Usherovic to the former leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, one of the country's richest businessmen, Vladimir Plahotniuc.

The money laundering scheme worked like this: in Moldovan courts, Russian companies formed false debt to counterparties in Moldova, the bailiff service ensured their recovery, after the funds arrived in Moldova, mainly to the accounts associated with Moldovan businessmen Vyacheslav Platon and Plahotniuc Moldindconbank SA, they were sent to bank accounts in Switzerland, says one of the sources of RBC.

According to RBC's interlocutor familiar with the investigation, one of the largest beneficiaries of these financial schemes was Andrei Krapivin, adviser to the former head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin (he died in 2015). His son Alexei Krapivin is the main beneficiary and head of the 1520 group.

“Andrei Krapivin was a senior partner of Markelov, Usherovich and Usatii,” says the interlocutor of RBC. According to him, on the Swiss accounts of companies Krapivina Redstone Financial Ltd (Belize) and Telford Trading S.A. (Panama) a total of $ 99.3 million and $ 155.9 million were received through Moldovan banks. Novaya Gazeta in 2017 wrote that Alexei Krapivin was the sole beneficiary of two companies from 2011 to 2014 - Redstone Financial Ltd and Telford Trading SA registered in Belize and Panama.

Another source close to the investigation, confirmed to RBC information on the verification of the participation of Usatiy and Krapivin in money laundering. He said that Dmitry Zakharchenko oversaw the activities of the 1520 group of companies. “All the affairs on this site, which served as a subcontractor for cashing out funds, were falling apart,” the source said.

The investigation began working on Usaty, Markelov and Usherovich as part of the investigation of the Zakharchenko case in 2018, a source told RBC. According to him, during the arrest of Markelov in October 2018, Renato Usatiy was nearby with him. In November, he was ransacked.

In 2016, the Moldovan authorities opened a criminal case against Renato Usatii, after which he left for Moscow. But after Markelov’s arrest, he left Russia for treatment in Germany, then moved to Romania, saying that Moldovan President Igor Dodon was going to organize his persecution. But in June 2019, he returned to Moldova. On October 20, parliamentary elections will be held in the country, in which the Usatii party takes part.

RBC sent inquiries to SK, “1520” and the lawyers of the defendants in the case.

“I don’t know anything about this,” said Zakharchenko’s lawyer Alexander Gorbatenko in response to a question about his client’s connection with the landromat case.

Renat Usatyi told RBC that he was not related to the 1520 group, "he is familiar with Usherovich, Markelov and Krapivin, as well as with all Russian Railways." According to the interlocutor, he headed the company in Nizhny Novgorod, which collaborated with Russian Railways. “As for Zakharchenko, I have never seen him and I don’t know who this person is,” said the Moldovan politician.

He added that banker German Gorbuntsov inserted him in “this story” in his testimony. “Since 2010, I was the first in Moldova who began to open all cash-in schemes, landromats in Moldova, and I said that Gorbuntsov organized the flows of $ 10-20 million per day that Plahotniuc and the first security officials of Moldova covered,” says Usaty. “When they ask me if I communicate with Plahotniuc, it’s funny for me because in 2017 the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a case against Plahotniuc, who was trying to organize an attempt on me,” he added. “How can I talk to the person who ordered me.”

In June, the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia charged Vladimir Plahotniuc in absentia with the leadership of the criminal community and participation in it (parts 1, 2 of article 210 of the Criminal Code). Also, Plahotniuc, who for many years was considered the most influential person in Moldova, is accused of 28 episodes of drug smuggling and marketing on an especially large scale. He faces life imprisonment. Plahotniuc left the territory of Moldova.

In August, the Tverskoy court of Moscow authorized the absentee arrest of Moldovan businessman Vyacheslav Platon in the Plahotniuc case on the withdrawal of more than 37 billion rubles from Russia.

On June 10, Dmitry Zakharchenko was sentenced to 13 years in prison and a fine of 117 million rubles. in the case of receiving bribes and obstructing the investigation. In addition, he was deprived of the rank of police colonel and awards, and also received a two-year ban on holding senior positions in government agencies. On October 15, the Moscow City Court continued to consider Zakharchenko’s appeal against the verdict.