Oleg Kuzmin repented of the withdrawal of a billion dollars

The ex-co-owner of the "European Express" is charged with the withdrawal of more than 1 billion dollars under the Moldovan scheme.
As it became known to Kommersant, the final version of the charge was brought against the former co-owner of the Evropeyskiy Express bank Oleg Kuzmin. The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs considers him one of the important participants in the withdrawal of money from Russia according to the so-called Moldovan scheme. The banker is charged with laundering more than $ 1 billion. Mr. Kuzmin has fully admitted his guilt and can count on his case being considered in court in a special order. However, cooperation with the investigation did not save him from arrest.

According to Kommersant's sources, the final charge brought against Oleg Kuzmin differs markedly from that which appeared in the criminal case at the initial stage of the investigation. Immediately after the arrest, the banker was charged with paragraph "a" of part 3 of Art. 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (performing currency transactions to transfer funds abroad using forged documents), and now the plot of the accusation indicates a much more serious clause 1 of Art. 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (organization of a criminal community).

According to the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Oleg Kuzmin was one of the founders of the organized criminal group, in which the leading role belonged to influential Moldovan politicians Vladimir Plahotniuc and Vyacheslav Platon, the latter's sister Elena Platon, as well as Russian shadow bankers Alexander Grigoriev and Alexander Korkin.

According to the investigation, at the end of July 2013, Mr. Kuzmin met the head of the Democratic Party of Moldova Plahotniuc through Mr. Korkin and, having learned from the latter about the launch of the so-called Moldovan scheme for withdrawing funds from Russia, he voluntarily decided to participate in its implementation.
Soon, according to law enforcement officials, the banker became one of the key participants in the fraud, in which not only Moldovan and Russian, but also Ukrainian and Latvian credit institutions were involved. Let us remind you that the essence of the “Moldovan scheme” is that fictitious debts of Russian companies to local legal entities and individuals were registered in Moldova. Then, according to the decisions of the Moldovan courts, the corresponding amounts were debited from the correspondent accounts of the “debtor” companies in Russian banks. More than 100 Russian firms and 20 banks were involved in the machinations, according to the materials of Moldovan regulatory and law enforcement agencies, and it was a total of hundreds of billions of rubles.

The European Express was included in this scheme. In 2013, he opened a correspondent account in Moldindconbank, Chisinau, which was the operator of the scheme and accumulated the main money to be withdrawn from Russia. At the direction of Mr. Kuzmin, according to the case, a selection of technical firms for fraud was carried out in St. Petersburg and Moscow. It was these companies that opened accounts in the "European Express", which received money. Then, with these funds, currency was purchased through the exchange, and they ended up on correspondent accounts in foreign banks, from where they were debited according to the decisions of the Moldovan courts. Thus, through the bank of Oleg Kuzmin, according to the estimates of the investigation, more than $ 1 billion was withdrawn (40.1 billion rubles at the then exchange rate).

The police became interested in Oleg Kuzmin, meanwhile, only in April 2019 - five years after the license was revoked from his bank.

Since May 25, 2019, Mr. Kuzmin has been in jail. He pleaded guilty and entered into a pre-trial cooperation agreement. This gives him the right to a special procedure for considering the case in court and a significant mitigation of punishment, however, the transaction did not affect the banker's measure of restraint - he is still in custody.