Poor cousin: why Putin's friend Viktor Khmarin hasn't become a billionaire

The career rise of Vladimir Putin promised bright future to his classmate: a high position, career in Gazprom and friendship with top officials. But something went wrong,
Origin source
By inconspicuous office building on the south-west of Moscow taxis white Rolls-Royce Ghost with red diplomatic license plates. Out of the car tall burly man - is Viktor Hmarin, a businessman, a classmate of the president and the Honorary Consul of the Seychelles. Fascination with exotic countries is typical of many St. Petersburg acquaintances President - in "Russian league honorary consular officers" except Khmarin include, for example, Thai Consul Yuri Kovalchuk, Honorary Consul of Bangladesh, Sergei Fursenko, the Honorary Consul of Brazil Taymuraz Bolloev. "It does not give special benefits and privileges. The only thing on the table of ranks you have to call me "Your Excellency" - jokes Hmarin.

In the mid-2000s, there were many who wish to refer to it that way. By Hmarin a queue of people who wanted to solve the problem or send a request to the President. Until 2009, his business went up the hill - companies controlled Hmarin, punctually won competitions
for deliveries to "Gazprom". However, unlike many of Putin's friends Hmarin did golovokrutive career in the civil service, did not take a high post in the state monopoly, his name does not appear on the Forbes list. Now a lawyer and honorary consul Hmarin - Vice-President of "International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea," and co-owner of a dozen companies with nothing telling name. Why Hmarin departed from the orbit of Putin's billionaires? And it works, "Putin system" by what rules?

The old tricks

Khmarin Putin except student youth more links and close relatives. The businessman says that in Moscow Vladimir Putin living aunt, father's sister - Spiridonovna Lyudmila Putin. With her daughter Love Hmarin met in 1970 and soon married her. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov details of kinship does not tell, but said that Putin Hmarin classmates and good to know each other. "They studied together, though I can not say that just best friends," - said Peskov.
Putin and Hmarin met at the Law Faculty of Leningrad University, while studying in the different groups. Hmarin & mdash; IOP in group-1, together with the future owner of the shopping center "European" and other Moscow houses Ilgam Rahimov (the state, according to Forbes estimates, more than $ 500 million). And Putin - in IOP-4 group, together with the future head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin.

"It was an inseparable trio - Putin Hmarin, Rahimov. Fight them united ", - he tells the story of former classmates fizorgom Faculty of Law Leonid poloho.
Like Putin, Hmarin engaged in sambo and judo, but the injury - the knee ligament rupture - forced him to quit the sport.

After the end of the road graduates dispersed. Rahimov was in graduate school, Putin took the KGB poloho went to the military prosecutor's office, and Hmarin became a lawyer. In 1976 he received the status of a lawyer, a few years later he led the legal advice №1 City Bar Association.

Fuel career

In the era of market reforms, the lawyer turned into a businessman. In the summer of 1993, the company "Vita-X" was recorded at his home address. Suscheit exists a hitherto. The company engaged in? "There were a lot of things. The main work - is making money ", - away from direct Hmarin response. In the sphere of his interests turned out to fuel business. There were one-time deal, says the businessman, and "Vita-X" acquired "for little money" share in the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK) - about 2%. Petersburg Fuel Company - one of the legends "Gangster Petersburg", from its origins were officials and mobsters. Established at the initiative of the City Hall, the city received the PTK oil depot, gas station network and has become a monopolist in the market of petroleum products: in the mid-2000s the company ran the fleets of 70% of the city budget organizations.

Co-founder of PTC acted "Information and legal bureau" Peter ", belonging colleague of Putin's KGB Viktor Korytov and authoritative businessman Ilya Traber, who reportedly" Novaya Gazeta "referring to the report of Monaco police, was" connected with the Tambov gang. "
Prior to 2000, vice-president of PTK was the leader of the "Tambov" Vladimir Barsukov-coumarin. "PTC - Chaussuresins in the crown Kumarin assets, it is actually the father-founder of the company, although it is now, perhaps, we do not find among them no legal relationships ", - said the deputy director of the St. Petersburg Agency for Journalistic Investigations, a former employee of the criminal investigation department of the Leningrad Eugene Vyshenkov. The beneficiaries of the PTC at different times, were the co-founders of the cooperative "Lake" Yury Kovalchuk (through the Bank "Russia"), a reputable businessman Gennady Petrov (through JSC "Petroleum"), the current State Duma deputy Vladislav Reznik. Last in conversation with Forbes reported that neither the "Vita-X" or Khmarin remembers. "Minority shareholders have not seen at close range, the dividend is not paid, - says Hmarin. - I spent two years somehow involved, but then gave up. "
Since the late 1990s, Petersburg City Bank, which is controlled by businessmen Andrey and Olga Golubeva, began to buy the share of the PTC shareholders. Now the bank controls 99.4%. And only Hmarin not parted with his package, the "Vita-X" - 0.6%. "About 15 years ago I was offered to sell its stake, but for ridiculous money. I refused and decided: let it be & raquo ;, - Hmarin explains.

From St. Petersburg to Moscow

The career of Vladimir Putin's rise has changed the fate of his friends, classmates, colleagues and neighbors dacha cooperative "Ozero". Natives from the northern capital quickly occupied key positions in state agencies, state monopolies, state-owned banks. Among those who have committed personnel leap from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and was Hmarin.

In November 2001, he became chairman of the supervisory board of the bank "Flora Moscow," his friend Rahimov also joined the supervisory board. While the bank took 383rd place in terms of assets (605 million rubles), capital - 195 million rubles. By the time of departure Khmarin from the bank in June 2002, the bank dropped to 403rd place. The head of the bank Michael Otdelnov recalls that during his Khmarin "asked," but "no benefit was not from him." Hmarin assures that the position of the bank "was nominal and allowed to use the office." "On Don (here is the central office of the bank), I had an office, and a large number of people came to me to talk," - says the lawyer. The former head of serviceSecurity Khmarin Sergei Sokolov said that after moving to Moscow Khmarin stretched to many asylum - generals, astronauts, members. "They brought a ton of paper: pass to Vladimir Vladimirovich! Then I throw it all in the trash. " According to Sokolov, the president was seen as a new family member "Tatyana Dyachenko" at the next king. " In the press every now and then there were reports about the impending appointment Khmarin - the prosecutor, the head of the Interior Ministry, the prime minister. As a result, there was a Hmarin matter as much in "Gazprom".

Step on the gas

On the morning of May 30, 2001 in "Gazprom" was a revolution: was dismissed and predpravleniya one of the founders of the concern Vyakhirev. Vyahirev contract was due to expire on the next day, but, as he told Forbes Vyahirev his resignation began to prepare in advance - c-March. "The new" king "[Putin] began to ask me questions rather interesting. Well, I say, if I'm not in place right now and leave. So we agreed. Putin when he heard that I'm so glad that the right to claimWhen I began to call [Alexander] Voloshin (in 2001, he served as head of the presidential administration -. Forbes) with the request to write the Order "- recalled Vyahirev.

Vyahirev replaced 39-year-old Miller, a longtime friend of Putin, a former Deputy Minister of Energy and Development Director of Sea Port of St. Petersburg - another legend of "gangster Petersburg." This assignment abruptly changed the career path of many of Putin's friends. Hmarin was among them.

While all purchases gas monopoly was in charge of her daughter "Gazkomplektimpex". In 2003, it was headed by a native of Leningrad KGB, the head of the secretariat of the St. Petersburg mayor's office Valery Golubev. It included Golubev Hmarin "green light" to work with "Gazprom", told Forbes source surrounded by two businessmen. Hmarin confirms that Golubev familiar with from the beginning of the 1990s, when he headed the Vasileostrovsky district of St. Petersburg. But, says Hmarin, he was not "appointed" - the company engaged its partners to supply "Gazprom" still before Golubev headed "GAZKOMPLEKTImpex ". Golubev on Forbes questions answered.

The first contacts with "Gazprom" in Khmarin were still in St. Petersburg. In 2001, the company appears "Raznoexport", a 100% founder of which was the childhood friend and partner of billionaire Gennady Timchenko, a mysterious businessman Peter Kolbin (the state in 2013, according to Forbes estimates, $ 550 million). In an interview with Forbes Timchenko said that Kolbin "for a while" acted as financial investors of Gunvor, for which he received a small stake in the company.

Hmarin claims that he met with Kolbin before the restructuring - in the 1980s he worked in the meat department store. "Carcasses are cut large knife, and I was getting at Petit best pieces," - he says with a laugh Hmarin. Over the years, he has not forgotten his breadwinner. "I needed a reliable person [for" Raznoexport "], and I invited him to take part", - says Hmarin. CEO of the company he put his other friend - Vyacheslav Kupriyanov. In the late 1990s he was engaged in tax consulting of foreign companies operating in Russia. In fact, he became for Khmarin "right pCoy ". "In the beginning was small contracts, a year and a half, the opportunity to work with" Gazprom ", - says Forbes Kupriyanov.

Big business began in 2003, when the area of ​​interest "Raznoexport" hit the Moscow company "YamalInvest" (75% "daughter" of "Gazkomplektimpex"). She was engaged in the supply of equipment for the "Gazprom". "It was the decision of the founders' Gazkomplektimpex" the sale of a blocking stake "Yamal Invest" "Raznoexport" and appointing me general director - Kupriyanov says - but then reappeared difficile minority shareholder and launched a legal war. "

This is a minority shareholder (25%) was the company "Gosprominvest", for which, Kupriyanov believes, was the former head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Arkady Volsky. Due to the conflict to fully Kupriyanov could not run the company, I did not have access to any documents or
"Yamal Invest" to print. Only a year later transferred its share of the minority shareholder "Raznoexport".

According to Kupriyanov, Kolbin operational affairss not doing - sitting in St. Petersburg, and he went to it with reports on the negotiations. In any Khmarin same "Raznoexport" nor "YamalInvest" fraction was not. Already at that time in its business strategy it appeared a feature that will continue in the future, - formally remaining on the sidelines, to control the company through its trusted men. He was an unofficial adviser and, according to Kupriyanov, directly involved in making policy decisions. Hmarin himself says that supplies engaged in "specially trained people", and he only counted on the dividends and does not remember even the names of companies.

How are the revenues? A former employee said that as the owner Kolbin "Raznoexport" and had to get all the profits, but may have some internal arrangements on which part of the money getting any Hmarin. According Khmarin, neither he nor Kolbin of "Yamal Invest" money is not received - "Financial Kupriyanov engaged to him and questions." "I was not a co-owner of" Yamal Invest ", but only the manager, received only a salary and sometimes Premiums ", - said Kupriyanov. How to distribute the money between Kolbin and Khmarin, he does not know.

From 2003 to 2008 the company "YamalInvest", "Raznoexport" and numerous "daughter" (see. Chart) won tenders for the supply of gas production and drilling equipment, machinery and spare parts. The supply archive "Gazkomplektimpex" During this period there are other companies in the form of an exception. "In contrast to the large-diameter pipes for our nomenclature were small amounts - tenders for 100-300 million rubles," - says Kupriyanov. Turnover of "Yamal Invest" is estimated at 5-8 billion rubles annually. "10 billion rubles - this is an average, it was 15-20 billion rubles in the best years", - says one of the former employees of the "Yamal Invest". At the same time, according to the statements of those years, the turnover of enterprises controlled Hmarin did not exceed several tens of millions of rubles. How can this be? "The scheme has never been clear. Part of Gazprom money through a chain of white firms and one-day firms deduced on the offshore part of cashes and went on toyatki "- says a former manager of" Yamal Invest ".

Wrung from the "Gazprom"

In October 2008, in the office at Vavilova 79, which at the time appeared Hmarin, police appeared. "15 people came running - all arms and blocked rooms - recalls Hmarin. - Seized documents server. I went to the elder and asked directly: "Are you here from the Treasury are working or on request?" "Yamal Invest" interested in the Department of Tax Crimes Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow ZAO. "In our testing materials Hmarin not figured - we checked" YamalInvest "and its director general Kupriyanov, but we know who is behind them" - says a former senior operations officer for OPN Police Major Ruslan Milchenko. The investigation, he said, began with the information that "YamalInvest" using a chain-day firms, tax evasion.

"YamalInvest" it was hard to catch, because in the scheme were of white and gray. We hooked them behind the bill, "- says a former policeman.
The scheme, according to the police, looked like. "Gazkomplektimpex & raquo; transfer to the "Yamal Invest" an average of about 400 million rubles a month - it is payment for the supply of equipment. "YamalInvest" buying promissory notes in the Don branch of Sberbank, some of which are cashed through one-day firms, and some went to pay for the equipment for the needs of "Gazprom". The police said Milchenko discovered a whole bunch of violations: black bookkeeping, one-day firms, tax evasion. "70% of Gazprom extracted through money bill. During the period, we investigated - for two years, bills have been purchased by 4 billion rubles ", - says Milchenko.

The matter has not been raised - the actions of management "Yamal Invest" found no corpus delicti. However, business partners and Khmarin began to shrink. At the end of 2008 "Gazprom" structure no longer sign contracts with them, says one of the former employees. And since 2009, "YamalInvest" ceased to win competitions, from the composition of its shareholders came "MiscellaneousExport "and" Gazkomplektimpex ". He became sole owner of the company "Vita-X", owned directly Hmarin. In 2011, "YamalInvest" and was eliminated altogether. Why so sad brilliant business ended? Kupriyanov said that it could be connected with the appointment of a new head of "Gazprom bundling" (that became from 2009 called "Gazkomplektimpex") Igor Fedorov, who had his own ideas about who should deliver the "Gazprom" accessories. On the field, where previously played Hmarin & Partners, in 2010, there were other companies. Fedorov on Forbes questions answered.

A former employee of "Yamal Invest" puts forward a different version: the collapse Khmarin business was associated with the appearance on the market of the stronger players, Arkady Rotenberg, who bought in 2010, the company «North European Pipe Project", which already has a monopoly on "Gazprom" supply pipe market large diameter. Hmarin himself says that Rothenberg sign, but no conflicts had. The only person to whom he has a claim -the general director of "Yamal Invest" Kupriyanov, who "in the supply procedure to" Gazprom "to earn some money." "Taking advantage of the trust, he himself made out of paper, he organized and signed contracts. Then it turned out that there is no money, no papers. " Kupriyanov says that, on the contrary, has always refused to "gray schemes" that he was advised to apply, because he understood: to answer him. Now he himself has a claim to Hmarin. Kupriyanov sued, trying to get payment for the sale of its stake in the company "Invest Star" - she belongs to, in particular, Khmarin office on Vavilov Street.

Another litigation associated with the company "Unitech" on which the Gazprom including former oil depot in Podolsk, warehouses and office buildings. Co-owners of the company were Victor Hmarin (20%) and Vyacheslav Kupriyanov (50% stake in two offshore companies), but Kupriyanov has sold its stake in the "Unitech".

As I told Forbes the current co-owner Sergei Epifanov herebuet with "Unitech" through repayment Court (together with interest is 58 million rubles), and the proportion of the going out of business. Source Forbes estimates the value of "Unitech" assets of $ 20 million "is not true, all the assets of the old and requires investment," -. Hmarin disagrees. The story of the "Unitech" He explains: "We have burned a warehouse in Moscow, and 50 million rubles from offshore, the beneficiary of which was Kupriyanov, went to his recovery. Then it requires repayment of the debt, but it is not his 50 million rubles - these are my 50 million rubles! "

After "YamalInvest" closed debts to enterprises, budget and "Gazprom", the company has been abolished and no profit for shareholders is left, said a source in the company.
Since then Khmarin was a series of failed projects. In April 2009, Hmarin headed the board of directors of JSC "Suntarneftegaz" owned licenses to develop two fields in Yakutia. Their total reserves estimated at 60 billion cubic meters of gas. In autumn 2009, 51% "Suntarneftegaza" repurchased shares registered in Hong Kong RusEnergy Investment Group. The amount of the transactionand not disclosed. In mining RusEnergy in Chinese banks took a loan of $ 300 million - produced gas, it was said, I had to go to export - to China, Japan, South Korea. Suddenly in December 2009 ahead of Rosnedra to revoke the "Suntarneftegaza" license to South Berezovsky plot. And for RusEnergy Investment Group, as claimed by the Chinese press, the CEO was "Suntarneftegaza" Afanasy Maximov. "He had nothing to do of RusEnergy, Maksimov with investors has been in touch all the time, the paper showed that the Chinese are ready to invest," - says Hmarin.

In December 2011, Maximov got 7 years in another case (after year, however, the conviction was overturned and the case sent for retrial). Khmarin have its own version of "Maximov was summoned to Rosnedra and offered to transfer money to a certain charity. He refused, he was put, "Suntarneftegaza" affiliated sites gave the Lord. " Hmarin assures that invested in their funds the project - about $ 6 million (180 million rubles) and "they were burned."
Another failed project was the purchaseMakhachkala cement grinding production plant (JSC "ICAT"). In 2010, Vyacheslav Kupriyanov and assistant Khmarin Sergey Khmara entered the Board of Directors of, and the Hmarin became a member of the Audit Committee of the company. In 2010 at the plant were listed only 10 employees, the loss for the year amounted to 6.4 million rubles. "Hmarin bought it for $ 11 million (330 million rubles), and was forced to sell for $ 1, 5 million (45 million rubles)," - says the source Forbes, who knows about the deal.

"I came from the fact that the Russian sub needed cement, but had no idea about the working conditions in Dagestan - Hmarin explains. - When we went [to plant], the administration has run up all the stolen, flew small threat. We realized that it is impossible to work with, and sell assets at a loss. "

And what one youth and a distant relative Khmarin - Vladimir Putin? Several sources in the environment Khmarin told that in the mid-2000s, their chief fell out of favor. "Hmarin was unrestrained in conversations and several times got a record," - says Sergey Sokolov. According to him, too candid conversationsopponents Khmarin sent "upstairs." "One day the guards did not even have missed the car Khmarin in the presidential residence. Then he just unloaded documents at the gate and drove away, "- says businessman familiar.
In Khmarin, according to him, now it is still a good relationship with Putin. During that summer, he met with the president four times. "We have to talk about that. I never for himself did not ask anything. We fly separately, beer separately ", - says Hmarin.

Strange items

Formally with "Gazprom" and its cooperation Khmarin companies ended in 2009. Nevertheless, a few years later the name Khmarin again surfaced in the context of the supply of the gas monopoly. At this time - the supply pipe. Since May last year, a little-known company "Stroypromdetal" won several major competitions of "Gazprom" for the supply of large diameter pipes in the amount of about 10 billion rubles. This company was incorporated in 2006. Its revenue is unstable:
According to "SPARK-Interfax" in May 2012, in 2009 it was about 780 million rubles, in 2011year rose to 33 billion rubles, and in 2012 fell to 5, 5 billion. In 2010, the newspaper "Vedomosti" wrote that "Stroypromdetal" associated with Victor Khmarin partners. In May 2012 19% of the company owned by ZAO "Fittings Pipeline", which in 2002 created the businessman Partners Alexander Kazakov and Nikolai Yakovenko. Start working with them Hmarin says so:

"They had decent contacts with manufacturers, but" Gazprom "direct feature bald start up - it is necessary to punch delivery. They told me: Nikolayevich, we immediately pressed-plyuschat, would not want you to work with us? "

Kazakov said that the collaboration with Khmarin was related primarily
with "YamalInvest" and "Raznoexport".

The "Stroypromdetali" no website, even hard to find contact details. Director General Ludmila Melnikova company said Forbes, that "Stroypromdetal" is not going to reveal the structure of the owners and to comment on the financial performance. About Hmarin she did not know anything, and its partners Kazakov and Yakovenko is not"Stroypromdetali" tsya owners. Refusing to comment on the details, Kazakov has confirmed that in 2009 he and his partners in this venture are not involved.

According to SPARC, 62% "Stroypromdetali" belongs "Pipe Industry Group" Alexei Bazhenov, who in 2012 was registered in the same place and "Stroypromdetal" - in the Bread lane. About Bazhenov it is known only that in 2004 he was co-owner and CEO of the company "Pipeline", owned by the creator Ivan Shabalova SETP. Shabalov remembered that Bazhenov had worked, but left, likely to start their own business. Bazhenov on Forbes questions answered.

An old friend of more than two new ones

While Victor Khmarin business is not flagged, the case of his friend Ilham Rahimov went uphill. His partners Year Nisan and Zarah Iliev (overall $ 6 billion) bought the Moscow authorities to the hotel "Ukraine" and "Radisson Slavyanskaya", built the shopping center "European" and now own more than one million square meters of real estate. According to Forbes, in Rahimov (see. Statyu about it in the October issue of 2012), there are minority stakes, particularly in the "European" shopping center, the hotel "Ukraine" shopping centers "Grand" and "Grand 2". His total fortune is estimated at $ 500 mln.A what Hmarin?

"Rahimov - this is my university friend. Nisan his partner. They have their own development projects. Joint projects, we are not. We Rahimov communicate as friends, and joint business there - maybe for the better, "- says Hmarin.

Not certainly in that way. In 2004, near Moscow authorities passed to the Turkish holding "Aran" to rent a plot of land next to the Sheremetyevo Airport for 49 years. On the area of ​​17 hectares is planned to build about one million square meters of warehouses, offices and retail stores. Rent space will be manufacturers of Turkey and will come for shopping wholesalers from all over Russia. President of the holding company "Aran" Aranly Ali Nagi says that he met with Khmarin in 2004. "I told Hmarin about this idea, he supported and lobbied for this project before and now lobbying very actively using the environment and communicationides ", - he says. Hmarin involved in this project, not only ideologically, but also financially. In the first phase of about 600 million rubles were invested in it.

However, after the government decided to build a third runway Sheremetyevo, the project had to alter and to invest another 400 million rubles. These costs are a Turkish company, and yet are Hmarin half, says Aranly. Hmarin assures that investment is much less - about $ 10 million (300 million rubles), including his own - $ 6 million (180 million rubles). However, all the questions about their income and savings Hmarin answers evasively, remembering the words heard once from his father Ilham Rahimov: "That will be when the last bag of money, then I will consider."

In 2009 Hmarin headed the International Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea Fund, established at the initiative of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Romania. Hmarin explains that it there persistently called Rahimov - "dopek". At one of the meetings Hmarin Fund presented the project "Sheremetyevsky", promising that the area of ​​the complex will reach 1 mln square. m, and the investment - $ 1 bn. At the same time representative of the honorary member of the Fund Nisanova said that the businessman will participate in this project. Now he refuses to comment. "I do not know whether to invest in this project Ilham Rahimov and Year Nisan, - says Aranly - coordination with the Russian investors involved Hmarin". Draft Prospects are unclear: the regional government destined since 2009, trying to recognize the company bankrupt project, because it is not enough to pay the rent. Aranly says that now all the money paid, the government of the Moscow region to the inquiry Forbes did not respond.

What does the "sea" fund? For three years the organization includes representatives of 19 countries, not only in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea countries, but also for example, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Switzerland and South Africa. There is a fund and the investment component. On its official website posted projects in which management promises to attract investment. Among them, a device for obtaining fresh water from the atmosphere, an extract from the larch, rejuvenating the body for 25 years, TechnologistIa produce fertilizer from bird excreta. Sam Hmarin invest in these projects is not going to, but in 2012 his company "Gas Invest Fleet" became a Romanian company Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP), which is engaged in drilling and producing oil field equipment. In June 2011, Vladimir Putin and Alexei Miller, at the flash of cameras gave a command to control the flame ignition and start the Olympic Dzhubga - Lazarevskoye - Sochi. Marine part of the pipeline length of 159 km 5 paved the GSP Romanian company, received a subcontract from "Stroygazmontazh" Arkady Rotenberg.

Romanians, says Hmarin themselves turned to him for help through the Cooperation Fund. "They are faced with the problems of corruption properties: won one of the tenders of" Gazprom "for laying of fiber optic cable, and they were asked to roll back the 70% of the money. They came to me with this issue. I say, do not pay a damn to anyone. " As a result, according to Khmarin, "Gazprom" has decided not to fund the project. The GSP Forbes reported that they had nothing to add to this information. "Gazprom" is not osuschestvlyaet this project because of the high cost and uncertainty of loading, retort of "Gazprom" in the information department.

As long as "Gas-Invest Navy" no revenue, but Hmarin sees bright prospects for the company. It plans production of oil in the Arab countries and Africa, which is one of the countries, Ghana, Hmarin expects to take in the Cooperation Fund of the Black and Caspian Seas.