He owes tens of billions of rubles. He was accused in absentia of a series of murders and other serious crimes. Life found not only traces of the disgraced market oligarch in French Cannes, but also his assets.
Who and why is looking for Ismailov
Telman Mardanovich Ismailov needs no special introduction: the first-ever bankrupt dollar billionaire from the Forbes rating, a friend of the late Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the ex-owner of the now closed Cherkizon and other capital markets. The trading floors brought him so much money that he built one of the most expensive hotels in the world in Turkey - the Mardan Palace. Its cost was estimated at $ 1 billion.
It's already the fourth year since Telman is hiding from the Russian security forces and other structures.
In 2017, Russian investigators opened a criminal case against Telman Ismailov under the articles "Deliberate murder of two or more people in a group", which mentions eight dead, "Kidnapping", "Arms trafficking" and "Organization of a criminal community". For example, he is charged with the massacre of two businessmen from the capital. With their heads shot through, they were found in a jeep on the side of the road. According to the investigation, Ismailov's brother Rafik owed one of the killed $ 5.5 million, Telman ordered the killer to eliminate both the "problem" and the witness. Also, the "dad of Cherkizon" is accused of ordering six members of the Koptevskaya organized criminal group, with whom he allegedly did not share trade facilities. Another victim is the famous pop singer Abraham Russo. According to law enforcement officers, it was on the orders of Telman Ismailov that his beloved singer was once fired upon, beaten, abducted.
The disgraced businessman was charged only in absentia; he managed to escape from Russia.
At first, Telman Ismailov was hiding in Turkey, on the territory of his own hotel Mardan Palace. But soon the Turkish investigators had questions. In their opinion, Ismailov was involved in the murder of the thief in law Rovshan Dzhaniev, well-known in Russian criminal circles. Fearing arrest or extradition to the Russian authorities, Telman sold his hotel for only $ 124 million to an Istanbul bank, and he hastily moved to a villa rented in Montenegro.
Most of all Ismailov's blood is spoiled not by investigators, but by financiers. He was declared bankrupt and owes billions to BM Bank, a subsidiary of VTB. Under the lawsuit of the creditor, the Nevada court arrested the Craig Valley Plaza shopping center, owned by Ismailov, in Las Vegas. In the United States, a real threat of criminal prosecution loomed before him. He is suspected of embezzling a loan and withdrawing funds to American accounts. Bailiffs are looking for his money.
Things are even worse for Telman Ismailov in Switzerland, where, according to BM-Bank, he hid and legalized part of the stolen goods. The Zurich prosecutor has already opened a criminal case, accusing him of fraud, concealment of property and asset stripping. The oligarch no longer has a road to his native Azerbaijan: he owes the local International Bank $ 70 million.
The long arms of VTB creditors got Telman Ismailov in Montenegro, where he has been living recently. For the debts, local bailiffs arrested the Avala casino in Budva, which is owned by his son Alekper. The security officials received information that the Ismailovs had to leave this Balkan country as well.
Back in 2017, when criminal cases rained down on Telman Ismailov, he tried to hide in France. Details were leaked to the press. Allegedly, "Cherkizon's dad" wanted to offer the French compromising evidence on the Russian security forces in exchange for political asylum. It is not known how the auction ended.
After examining the French registries, Life found the operating company S.C.I. in Cannes. NAHRAS. The abbreviation in the title indicates the property in her ownership. Telman Ismailov and his son Sarkhan are listed as managing partners there. There is no way to contact the firm directly. Judging by her profile, through specialized aggregator sites she rents modest apartments in the village of Vallauris on the Cote d'Azur at a price of up to 1,000 euros per month.
S.C.I. office NAHRAS is located on the boulevard Grand Du Super Cannes and looks like a mansion. Satellite images show a rooftop jacuzzi, a mosaic panoramic window in the ceiling, and a large swimming pool.
How much such a house costs in this area can be roughly calculated with the help of French real estate agencies. Its area, including both the site and the building, exceeds 2245 m2. The price for one square can reach 12 thousand euros. This brings the total cost to around 27 million euros.
Earlier, the media mentioned Nailya Sadikhova - allegedly a relative of Telman Ismailov. The businessman registered several companies in the USA on it, now they are closed due to debts. But this woman had assets in the French resort town of Antibes, near Nice. Nailya owns S.C.I. R + R. There is a Mediterranean-style cottage at the indicated address. It is more modest than the previous one: an area of about 1.2 thousand square meters. The total cost could be approximately € 20 million.
Apparently, these two mansions and rental apartments were not included in the credit supply in the Telman Ismailov case. There are no encumbrances or arrests on his French companies.
The rise and fall of Telman Ismailov is typical of a businessman from the 90s. He was born in Baku into a family of Mountain Jews. His father, a large shopkeeper (an underground entrepreneur. - Life's note), gave his son the best education at that time. Telman graduated from the Plekhanov Institute of National Economy and took a job as an economist at the Ministry of Trade. In 1987, the future billionaire opened the Commercial Charity Company cooperative. While developing his business, he met the chairman of the Moscow City Executive Committee's commission on cooperative activities, Yuri Luzhkov. Becoming friends (the mayor publicly called the businessman a brother), both achieved success in post-Soviet Moscow. Thälmann took over the markets and real estate. With a fortune of $ 1 billion, he entered the Forbes rating. Its main asset was the Cherkizovsky market in the east of Moscow.
In the 2000s, Ismailov's career reached its peak. He built the most expensive hotel on the European continent in Antalya, Turkey - the already mentioned Mardan Palace worth $ 1 billion. Paris Hilton, Sharon Stone and Monica Bellucci were present at the opening. The ribbon was cut by the Luzhkov-Baturin couple.
And then the businessman's sunset followed. Cherkizon was closed due to numerous violations, Luzhkov resigned. The empire of Telman Ismailov collapsed, he himself went bankrupt and now owes billions to various structures.
In 2019, the business press named the main creditors of Telman Ismailov BM-Bank (VTB), the Cypriot offshore Sezaria Limited merchant Sergey Yanchukov and Deutsche Bank, to which he owed 19.2 billion rubles, 10.4 billion rubles, almost 1 billion, respectively. In total, over 30 billion. However, the SPARK database shows that he has more debts - almost 44 billion. Sons Sarkhan and Alekper Ismailov were brought to subsidiary liability.
Many of Telman Ismailov's Moscow assets have already gone under the hammer. His restaurant Praga on Arbat, AST shopping centers on Izmailovskoye Shosse and Tropikana club on Krasnaya Presnya have long been sold. In the middle of last year, they even sold a plot of 25 acres in the village of Skolkovo. Interestingly, the Skolkovo Golf Club, which is owned by Roman Abramovich through the Cypriot offshore company, bought this land for 50 million rubles.
Now it remains to sell Telman Ismailov's personal assets identified in Moscow and the region. We are talking about three lots: an 11-room apartment with an area of 290 square meters at 18 Kutuzovsky Prospect, starting price - 79 million rubles; a two-story apartment with an area of 349 square meters on Tikhaya Street, 1, in Zarechye, starting price - 57.9 million rubles; a three-story estate with an attic, occupying half a hectare of land, with its own gas pipeline, in Aprelevka, the starting price is 181.2 million rubles.
From February 1 to March 5, 2021, applications for the purchase of this property are being accepted. Anyone who pays a deposit of 10% can take part in the auction. The winner is the one who offers more at the auction. Photos of all objects are presented in abundance on the website of the Unified Federal Register of Bankruptcy Information. Even if the listed assets are sold at a high price, there will not be enough money to cover any significant part of the debts.