Investigation: how the owner of AFK Sistema Vladimir Yevtushenkov ended up under investigation

Vladimir Yevtushenkov put under house arrest had helped to legalize Bashneft stolen from the state, according to investigators.
This is the fourth attempt by the authorities to regain control over the company. This time it can be successful.

Early last week, the Investigative Committee filed Yevtushenkov prosecution in a criminal case of theft of property from Bashkiria shares of energy companies, are now included in "Bashneft". AFK "System" owns 85% of its voting shares. The case opened under Art. 160, Part 4 (embezzlement - up to 10 years in prison). Art. 174 Part 4 (the legalization of funds or property acquired by others - up to 5 years)., And Art. 174.1 (legalization of funds or property - up to 7 years) of the Criminal Code. But Yevtushenkov charge is shown only in art. 174, h. 4.

As told to "Vedomosti" sources close to the investigation, Yevtushenkov has appeared involved in the criminal case initiated on April 28 in respect of Ural Rakhimov, son of the former President of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. Victims in the case recognized by the Ministry of Property and Land Relations of the Republic, to assess the damage from the theft of shares of more than 209 billion rubles. (Or about $ 5.5 billion at current exchange rate). in the middleof July at the request of the Investigative Committee of Russia Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested 85% of the voting shares "Bashneft", belonging to the "System" and its structure. In July, in the case arrested businessman Levon Hayrapetyan, one of the richest members of the Armenian diaspora.

What accuse Evtushenkova

According to "Vedomosti" interlocutors, developed a case of theft of shares of Bashkir energy companies alike. In April this year, the former senator from Bashkortostan Igor Izmestyev, since 2007 serving a life sentence for a series of serious crimes, testified that members of the AFC "System" under the mediation Hayrapetyan helped Rakhimov Jr. legalize stolen from Bashkiria totaling property $ 7 billion rubles. It happened in 2009 during the acquisition of the "system" of shares of enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex.

"He does not care to sit. He was asked, and he gave the necessary evidence "- shares the opinion of one of the law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation. But indications Izmestieva were not convincing enough, soak in 2009, when the transaction took place, he had already been imprisoned, he continues. Then he testified another witness who is familiar with the negotiations on the deal - Alexander Yakubov. He was in 2001-2005. He was the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers of Bashkortostan in the Federation Council.

As told to a person familiar with the investigation data, organized Rakhimov Jr. group by 2003 during the privatization stole large stakes in six enterprises fuel and energy complex of the republic - "Bashneft", Ufa Refinery and Novoufimsky "Ufaneftekhim", "Ufaorgsintez", "Bashkirnefteproduct" . In the same year, verification of the Accounting Chamber found that the share of state property illegally withdrew later prosecuted - first criminal, then tax and arbitration (for more details about the privatization and claims to see her incision, and drawing.). Rakhimov to solve their problems attracted Hayrapetyan, has extensive ties to the government. That had an impact on the unidentified officials who have achieved removal arrest imposed by 2006 the Arbitration Court of Moscow on shares of Bashkir enterprises. This has allowed to transfer sharescharitable foundations created with the Ural Rakhimov, followed by several commercial firms. For the purpose of the legalization of stolen property and Rakhimov Hayrapetyan we found representatives of AFK "Sistema" interested in buying businesses, and in 2009 they sold a controlling stake for $ 2 billion. The investigation considers this amount too low. According to him, the "System" listed, in addition to this sum, $ 5 billion in the Ural Rakhimov controlled accounts in foreign banks. Translations were controlled by Hayrapetyan's bank accounts in Switzerland, Austria and Armenia. Hayrapetyan himself has received for the mediation of $ 50 million, according to the investigation. In fact there is evidence that Yevtushenkov by AFK "System" was involved in negotiating the deal, said a law enforcement source.

Representatives Evtushenkova Hayrapetyan and charges do not comment, contact Ural Rakhimov failed: he has a lot of years living in Austria in secrecy, reduces external contacts with the outside world to a minimum, says his friend. He doubts that in Bashkir companies could pay insuch a huge amount of black: "It is difficult to imagine how to transfer $ 5 billion on someone's account without good reason, so that no control is not noticed."

Why accuse Evtushenkova

In fact, it is a banal dispute over an expensive asset, the case appeared because top officials managed to convince: "Bashneft" does not belong to the person familiar convinced Rakhimov family. In 2003, by the way, the situation was similar: when the shares of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector went to companies related to the Ural Rakhimov, a family started to press, forcing the owner agreed to transfer an asset, hence all the noise around the privatization of these enterprises, continues the source "Vedomosti". Rakhimov did not want to give "Bashneft", says another of their friend. They resisted as best they could, but they were told that the decision was taken "at the top", and pressed - it raises criminal cases. "Then, the meetings - Yevtushenkov repeatedly came with Hayrapetyan, who knew Rakhimov, discussed the purchase and finally proposed a scheme, which all arranged," - continues"Vedomosti" source.

"Buyer's candidacy was endorsed at the highest level, I attended meetings with Rakhimov Hayrapetyan and Yevtushenkov, where it was discussed", - says one of the interlocutors "Vedomosti". Hayrapetyan, he said, was a mediator in the discussion of the deal: "This is a man-communicator, who knows all, and all drives, Rakhimov its very respected, and he knew Evtushenkova, and the country's leadership."

President Dmitry Medvedev was then, but with Vladimir Putin, who was then prime minister, have agreed to the deal, too, says a federal official. Igor Sechin, who was responsible at the time of FEC in the rank of deputy prime minister, was aware of the transaction, although not too pleased with it: he thought that the asset should remain in state ownership, says the man, who worked 5 years ago in the Kremlin. Approval of the transaction is not included in the powers of the prime minister, says Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov.

Back in June of last year, sources close to the "System", was told that "Bashneft" is interested in purchase of "Rosneft".But the part of it is not confirmed. "It's an interesting question. But we do not discuss, "- said Sechin in July 2013 (according to" Interfax quoted ").

Nevertheless, after this "Bashneft" has been actively preparing for the placement in London. The deal, among other things to protect the company from hostile takeover, then explained the sources close to the "System". Placing scheduled for September, but after the arrest of shares of the Board of Directors "Bashneft" recommended to postpone the deployment of "adverse market conditions".

Two federal official told "Vedomosti" and in August, the possibility of buying or interaction with "Bashneft" interested "Rosneft". But formal proposals "System" have been reported, one of them added.

The owner of the Independent Oil and Gas Company (NOC) Edward Hudaynatov some time ago met with the Chairman of the Board of Directors "Bashneft" Felix Yevtushenkov, the son of the owner of the main "System" Vladimir Yevtushenkov, say the last two acquaintances. Hudaynatovproposed to merge in "Bashneft" to the NOC, but was refused, they said. Hudaynatov considered a man of Sechin. In 2010-2012. he was the president of "Rosneft" and Sechin headed the board of directors. In 2012, shortly after Sechin stood at the helm of state-owned companies, Hudaynatov left of "Rosneft", announcing the establishment of the NOC, the purpose of which he called buying up promising oil and gas assets.

The representative of the "System" stated that the company did not conduct any negotiations on the merger or the sale of "Bashneft" and proposals on this subject have been reported. NOC representative did not respond to questions "Vedomosti". Press-service of "Rosneft" does not comment on these questions "Vedomosti", but a representative Mikhail Leontiev state company categorically denied last week as the company's interest to "Bashneft", and the fact of any negotiations and discussions on the subject.
The authorities are not the first time there are complaints against the privatization of "Bashneft" and its member companies. In 2003, a serious competitor in the presidential elections in the republic Murtaza Rakhimov was the manager etc.irektor Industrial Bank Sergey Veremeyenko. The latter was believed to support the administration of the Russian president. At the same time the privatization of enterprises of the Bashkir fuel and energy sector checked Audit Chamber and the Prosecutor's Office on materials testing opened a criminal case.

In 2005, Ural Rakhimov had quarreled with his father. He decided to head the parliament, received the support of the deputies. But Rakhimov Senior rigidly opposed and ordered the return of sold oil and gas assets. Relations of the Republic filed a suit in the Arbitration Court of Bashkortostan and won lawsuits for the return of property in the Republic 63% of the shares "Bashneft" and 32% of shares of "Bashkirenergo". However, the appeal of Property against all claims refused. According to "Kommersant", Rahimov Jr. promised his father not to engage in politics and more than pay for the purchased assets of about 13 billion rubles. A few months later a blocking stake in Bashkir companies Rakhimov Jr. for $ 613.3 million acquired AFK "System".

What threatens the case of "the System"

Yevtushenkov If convicted, belonging to the "System" shares "Bashneft"Shall be confiscated in favor of minzemimuschestva Bashkortostan, as well as all dividends received by the company during the ownership of shares. AFC has received from "Bashneft" only for the years 2009-2013. 180 billion rubles. This scenario can cause serious difficulties for the "System". In the AFC that kind of money in the accounts there, and lenders will consider a debt repayment capability including taking into account the termination of the cash flows from the "Bashneft", says the head of control analytical studies "Uralsib" Konstantin Chernyshev. In this case, the AFC will have to mobilize the resources of their "daughters", including in terms of attracting debt, or sell any assets, he warns.

"Bashneft" can change the owner soon, told "Vedomosti" a person close to the "System", and a senior official. In what form it can happen, they do not know.

At the same time deal with the investigation in the form of voluntary return "Bashneft" the state will not release from responsibility Evtushenkova, said the lawyer, specializing in the protection of the accused in the ecoohmic crimes. The deal with the investigation is possible only with the full admission of guilt, but neither she nor the voluntary reparation can not be a ground for exemption from criminal liability, he said. The court may consider it only as extenuating circumstances. But some possible agreement in principle. The solution in this case is unique, it is difficult to predict; it happened that the prosecutor in the court refused the charges on the grounds that it is not possible to prove fault, it happened that the accused fell under the amnesty lists lawyer. In such cases, the witnesses in the case often refuse to change their testimony or, he says.

The reaction in the Kremlin and the government in the history of the arrest Evtushenkova different. Familiar Medvedev said that the Prime Minister is dissatisfied with Yevtushenkov history: the case against the businessman - a violation of an informal social contract between government and business that existed behind the scenes after the Yukos affair: a business will not go into politics, and the government does not touch the business and listen to his opinion. Meetings on the situation around the "System" and etc.he effects of this case for the investment climate in was not the government but the informal discussions and consultations with the Prime Minister Deputy Prime Ministers and the Ministers of the financial and economic bloc of the government held. A spokesman for the prime minister, Natalya Timakova, this comment did not.

RSPP President Putin sent via courier connection handling to support a petition to change the measure of restraint Evtushenko, said September 18 the head of RSPP, Alexander Shokhin. Once sent courier, it seems, has come, Sands said. But the president "is hardly the right to express publicly their opinion about this story," he adds.