One of the largest and most mysterious shadow bankers on the international wanted list has been extradited to Moscow from Poland. Recently, he was known as Ruslan Barkovsky. The investigators believe that hundreds of billions of rubles passed through it, which were “laundered” and cashed through the Master Bank. However, they detained him for another. The investigation believes that Barkovsky was an accomplice of the ex-plenipotentiary of the head of Chechnya in Ukraine, Ramzan Tsitsulaev, during the abduction of a person.
As a law enforcement source told Rosbalt, the investigation into Ramzan Tsitsulaev was completed a few months ago. Now the former envoy is getting acquainted with the case materials. Moreover, the indictment indicates that almost all the incriminated episodes were organized by Tsitsulaev together with Barkovsky. Sometimes it’s not entirely clear who was in charge of them. The operatives did not really expect to ever get Barkovsky. For a long time he moved around Europe, used documents for different surnames. In 2017, he was arrested at the request of Russia in Austria. However, the financier was quickly released on bail, and the question of his extradition was suspended. Unexpectedly, in the spring of 2019, Barkovsky decided to leave for Poland, where he was taken into custody through the Interpol by the local police as an internationally wanted person. In Warsaw, they decided to extradite him to the Russian Federation, which took place the other day. The question of whether Tsitsulaev’s acquaintance with the case materials will now be suspended (or he and Barkovsky will be tried separately) has not yet been decided.
According to investigators, Ruslan Barkovsky maintained close relations with the owner of the Delta Key payment system Andrei Novikov, who had a business partner Ali Zakriev. All three were actively involved in illegal cashing schemes. Somehow, a large sum of money passed through Novikov and Zakriev, of which more than 100 million rubles “disappeared”. The debt "hung" on both, but Novikov was sure that his partner had pocketed the funds.
However, a native of Chechnya Zakriev had strong support, so Novikov turned to Barkovsky for help. The latter was friends with Ramzan Tsitsulaev. As a result, investigators believe that Barkovsky, along with the guards of the plenipotentiary of the head of Chechnya, in 2014 stole Zakriev and his bodyguard on the street. They were taken to one of the houses where they were held for two days. Then they brought the Golden Ring to the hotel. There Zakriev in the presence of Tsitsulaev, recognizing a debt of 100 million rubles, promised to pay it.
Zakriev appealed to law enforcement agencies; Novikov and one of Tsitsulaev’s guards, Adlan Taramov, were arrested for organizing his abduction. Tsitsulaev was put on the wanted list, lived in Ukraine, where in October 2017 the SBU was detained - as a person whose stay in the country is undesirable. Tsitsulaev was expelled to Russia, where he was taken into custody by field investigators.
As a law enforcement source told Rosbalt, Barkovsky can be safely called a ghost man. With what surname he was born, it is not known for certain: in Russia he first "appeared" in the 1990s as Zaur Balaev. Then he changed the data to Ruslan Barkovsky. However, he had passports to other surnames. Moreover, these were documents from different countries: it is known that Barkovsky-Balaev has genuine passports of a citizen of Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Spain. Possessing such a rich set of “crusts”, the shadow businessman constantly moved around the world.
Balaev-Barkovsky "lit up" in dozens of criminal stories. He was seen in the raider seizures of large enterprises in the Moscow region, Omsk region, in southern Russia, in the Novosibirsk region. According to law enforcement agencies, he always maintained close relations with representatives of the criminal world, because of which he could be involved in a number of extortions, kidnappings and more serious crimes.
In particular, his surname is mentioned in connection with the shooting of three people in the Murmansk region. This reprisal was associated with the "showdown" around the market for the provision of illegal financial services. It is in the latter area of activity, according to the source of the agency, that Balaev-Barkovsky specializes. It is known that at some point under his control was one of the largest investment brokerage companies. He was also associated with a number of banks. Thus, investigators believe that it was Barkovsky who controlled the channel through which over 200 billion rubles were illegally cashed and transferred abroad in 2011-2013 at the Master Bank.