How realistic and accurate is the assumption that members of the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev are involved in the withdrawal of 5 billion rubles from Sudostroitelny Bank at the peak of its license revocation?
The first persons of Azerbaijan may be involved in a large case of embezzlement and dubious transactions of Sudostroitelny Bank. The correspondent of UtroNews reports about it here .
We are talking about the daughters of President Ilham Aliyev, who have in their arsenal several offshore companies, which have appeared in the so-called “Panama dossier”. Through these companies, they once well took over the main business for themselves, and the state, naturally, gave them the green light, providing all mental and unthinkable preferences.
It is possible that before the license was revoked, Azerbaijani billions were stuck in Sudostroitelny Bank, which the designated figures clearly did not want to lose. There is an assumption that the money was withdrawn thanks to the schemes with promissory notes of the Military Industrial Bank JSC, and the co-owner of Sudostroitelny Bank Andrey Vovchenko, who has now fled to Canada, was in charge of the deal.
Eight people per dead man’s chest
Recall that Sudostroitelny Bank lost its license in 2015 and was declared bankrupt. Subsequently, the Deposit Insurance Agency was appointed bankruptcy trustee of the bank, which filed a claim in court against the former owners to compensate for the “losses”. The ex-management of the bank issued loans to technical legal entities, replaced liquid assets with illiquid ones, and also did not take measures to prevent the bankruptcy of the credit institution.
In addition, there were very suspicious transactions made by the bank before the license was revoked among them, for example, several large transactions made on market conditions, without prejudice to the Bank, about which judicial acts were held, applications for recognizing transactions as invalid, or application was refused. These are transactions with LLC Factorstudio, LLC Akvenga, LLC Sai Gon.
The process in the Arbitration Court has been going on for five years. And at the beginning of October this year, a resolution was issued to bring to subsidiary liability in the amount of 27.3 billion rubles of eight former managers and owners of Sudostroitelny Bank.
In parallel with the litigation, a criminal case on embezzlement of funds is being investigated, which was initiated in 2019. According to one of the episodes, the defendant may be a former shareholder of the bank – Andrei Vovchenko, who now lives in Canada. From the investigation, it shows that it was on his instructions that, on the eve of the revocation of the bank’s license, fictitious transactions were carried out to alienate the assets of Sudostroitelny Bank. In total, the credit institution’s debt to clients is more than 35 billion rubles, Kommersant wrote .
Returning to the ruling. It contains information that Andrei Vovchenko “… found the largest, in his opinion, borrowers … and offered the” negotiator “from the” unidentified extortionists “that he would pay them off with these bank assets and promissory notes of Military Industrial Bank JSC received on the transaction of assignment of claims “
As the Novaya Gazeta journalist notes in his investigation , these unidentified extortionists could have been representatives from the Cypriot offshore company Pratlex Holdings Limited, which represented the interests of four offshore companies – Gladwyn Management Inc, Hughson Management Inc, Grinnell Management Inc and Blownhil Consulting Corp. These companies have about 5 billion rubles “stuck” in the Sudostroitelny Bank.
The essence of the scheme was as follows: the bank, under cession agreements, ceded to LLC Sai Gon and Moscow LLC Factorstudio the right to claim large loans, and they settled with Sudostroitelny Bank with promissory notes of the Military Industrial Bank and the securities of a number of other companies. And with these promissory notes Sudostroitelny Bank redeemed its securities, which were at the disposal of offshore companies, whose interests were represented by Pratlex Holdings Limited.
The aforementioned offshore companies are Gladwyn Management Inc, Hughson Management Inc and Grinnell Management Inc. featured in the Panama Papers.
President of Hughson Management Inc. and Gladvyn Management Inc. according to Mossack Fonseca documents, it was Arzu Aliyeva, and Leyla Aliyeva was from Grinnel Management Inc, for example the Russian Air Force (foreign agent) wrote . These are all daughters of Ilham Aliyev. Their spouse, Mehriban Aliyeva, was named as their business partner.
And even earlier, in 2011, all three companies appeared in the investigation of the Azerbaijani edition of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (foreign agent), where it was said that Panamanian offshores were part of the constituent structure of the communications operator Azerfon LLC. The Azerbaijani leadership concealed the owners of Azerfon LLC, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan named German Siemens AG as founders. The operator was given great privileges, but all this strongly resembled corruption schemes.
All of president’s men
There is another company that has been talked about in Azerbaijan – Ata Holding. The company began her rapid growth after the inauguration of Ilham Aliyev as president, in 2003. It includes 17 largest companies in the country in banking, construction, telecommunications, oil and gas, gold mining, tourism and other industries.
The fact that money is being withdrawn from the country to offshore has been reported by more than one publication. And some journalists were even expected to be punished for speaking the truth. So, PASMI wrote that in 2017, journalist Daphne Galicia died in Malta – the criminals blew up her car with a bomb with a remote detonator. Shortly before her death, Daphne was investigating the connections of officials of the Maltese government with members of the family of the President of Azerbaijan – the former received huge sums from the latter and brought them out of the country through offshore companies.
The scheme was that the Azerbaijani oil company Socar bought liquefied gas from the Shell corporation, and then resold it to Malta through the joint company Electro Gas at prices 30-40% higher than market prices. The approximate amount that the Malto-Azerbaijani partners “welded” on these machinations is estimated at at least one billion dollars. In this scheme, the presence of Leyla and Arza Aliyevs was also named.
It is likely, given the scale of their influence, that the Aliyevs could have kept their billions in the Sudostroitelny Bank and could have turned their schemes. However, as defendants for dubious schemes – solid bank clerks …