The investigating authorities are conducting a high-profile criminal case due to the theft of a promotional package of an oil terminal in the Republic of Crimea. In this case, the owner of the terminal, Kruglov, is recognized as a victim. He is a business partner of the well-known lawyer Khmarin, who, by the way, studied on the same course as Vladimir Putin at the Leningrad State University. According to the materials of the investigation, the scheme was carried out by businessman Guskov, who was also involved as a victim in the acquisition of an oil terminal in the role of a consultant. By the way, the scheme was permissible due to the fact that Kruglov wanted to hide his role in the assets of Crimea, apparently, in order not to become a “victim” of sanctions.
In the district court of the Presnensky district, a meeting was held on September 1, 2021, according to which Guskov remained under arrest. The defendant’s side has repeatedly requested that the measure of restraint be different, for example, house arrest, but the district court did not accept the request. He motivated this by the fact that at the age of 52, Guskov has no job and no source of funds, and before that he lived with family members not where he registered – the village of Zaitsevo in the Moscow region.
Note that the investigative materials do not contain information about Guskov’s accomplices. However, it was clear to the court that the acts imputed to Guskov were not of an entrepreneurial nature.
When the court session was taking place, a person from the side of the investigation commented on the information that this was not the first criminal case for Guskov. Earlier, on August 18, 2015, Guskov was under investigation for non-payment of tax obligations. But he did not comply with the preventive measures and violated his recognizance not to leave the place, leaving for another place. This served as a suspension of the investigation. The new case against Guskov served as an occasion to recall his past criminal circumstances, the investigator recalls that Guskov pressures Kruglov using shunting methods, shares incriminating false information, and this may adversely affect other entrepreneurial projects and casts doubt on the ownership of the asset.
According to investigative information, the case of Guskov’s arrest is being investigated by the Investigation Department in Moscow, whose main specialization is crimes against the government and the economy. It took a week to launch the investigation, arrest Guskov and authorize his arrest.
Despite the fact that, according to the investigative data, Guskov was unemployed, before that he was the head of PJSC North-Western Shipping Company, and at the date of his arrest was the head of the board of directors in the organization of the public Union of Integrated Design and Land Management of Agricultural Territories.
According to the information, the events of 4 years (2017-2021) are being discussed. At the beginning of this period, Guskov first met with businessman Kruglov. The meeting took place in Kruglov’s office building. The main topic of discussion is the intricacies of the entrepreneur’s purchase of a number of oil assets. The most important thing that was of interest to Kruglov was the oil depot in Feodosia, in respect of which Guskova invited as a consultant on a potential contract. By the way, speaking of the oil depot in Feodosia, it should be noted that about ¼ million tons of fuel can be stored there at a time. In the 2000s, the base was popular for use by domestic oil businessmen for export purposes, but when new points began to appear in the south, its popularity fell, and after the transition of Crimea to the Russian Federation, the base completely turned into an unprofitable state.
According to the case, Kruglov tried not to show his property in Crimea in order not to become one of the sanctions on the list, among which Guskov can be found.
The investigators found information according to which the potential victim and the accused met in the room where the Khmarin and Partners law office is located. Its head is a fellow student of the President of Russia – Khmarin. Today Khmarin is also the Honorary Consul of Seychelles, and also leads many business projects. “NeftProduktService can be noted among the owned objects. This large oil base is located in Starosyrovo, and Kruglov is listed as its general. The latter is very actively involved in the oil business, for example, among its firms are Gaznefteservis, Baltic Methanol and the Baltic Gas Chemical Company. For 3 years attending the economic forum in St. Petersburg, he entered into an agreement with concerns from Japan on the construction process of a methanol production plant. Investments in this project were approximately USD 1.5 billion. But this document was not implemented.
When the first meeting of Guskov with Kruglov was held, Guskov actively talked about his success in business, rich experience, broad knowledge, ability to make a business plan in exact accordance with the wishes of the customer. Guskov said that his methods would help not only to buy profitably, but also to secretly deal with the administration of the project in Crimea, showing openly only selection managers from Guskov. Thus, it will be possible to create a scheme with reliable managers and efficient production, which brings only profit to Kruglov.
To hide the real owner, Guskov made a proposal to establish a so-called matryoshka, where there will be a place for a combined fund for investments. It will be owned directly by Kruglov. The fund will hold assets, and information about its owners and investors is not advertised in the public domain. It is worth considering that according to Guskov’s method, the ultimate beneficiary will be hiding in the newly acquired company, which in turn will open plus one company. The owner of the latter will be an individual who has absolutely no connection with the real owner of the tank farm.
The investigating authorities think that this method was proposed by Guskov in order for him to redirect the registration of the asset acquisition to him in time.
However, Kruglov even for a second did not pay attention to this dubious deal, agreeing to the scheme. To carry out all the machinations and spend the necessary expenses, Guskov was given 25 million RUB. Immediately after this moment, the Dolina companies and the organization to manage the Mercury Asset Management were formed. In addition, for Kruglov’s money, they purchased Forum Trading House, which acquired 99.7 percent of the Gunas shares. A scanty package of 0.3 percent went to the general director of the company – ex-colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Dorosh, who was previously at the head of the Kursk municipal unitary enterprise “Ritual Services”. According to investigative data, Dorosh’s confidant was Guskov.
But in the period until 2019, the contract in Crimea was paused. The oil base was owned by the Crimean Ministry of Property. The regional authorities did not plan the privatization process at that time. However, at the end of June 1919, what happened changed the course of events: the leadership of the Republic of Crimea gave up the property of the oil base to the Marine Oil Terminal JSC. However, on 09.07, the head of Crimea Aksyonov gave information that the asset is in the plans for acquisition from effective business representatives. So, on 12.12.2019, one hundred percent shareholding went for a little more than 650 million RUB to the firm “Gunas”. At that time, Dorosh was its general. After reconstruction works at the oil depot, it may become the largest in the Russian Federation as a terminal. Its main activity is the supply of oil products for export.
Let’s get back to the main news that the leadership of the Republic of Crimea has sold an oil refining base in Feodosia through tenders. The transaction value is RUB 650 million. This tender was won by the joint-stock company “Gunas”, which can be intertwined with an entrepreneur from Ukraine – Kurchenko. But there is information according to which the owner is called Dorosh, who runs the MUP “Ritual Services”.
There is no connection between Dorosh and Kurchenko. Dorosh comments negatively on this connection, saying that he has no idea who Kurchenko is. According to him, the base in Feodosia is an asset of the fuel and energy complex, even if it has been operating in the Crimean Republic for 6 years already. Regarding other possessions in Crimea, Dorosh answers that this is his personal commercial information. Also, Dorosh does not say “no” to the fact that the asset will be used for export purposes, in particular, to the countries of the Middle East. According to Dorosh, they are ready to actively cooperate for the common good of the Russian Federation.
02/11/2021 Guskov found out that without the knowledge of Kruglov, an agreement was prepared for the implementation of the Marine Oil Terminal JSC. This agreement indicated the ownership of the entire shareholding of the oil base to his ex-head of the Gunas company for the company, which was recently established under the foundation of Guskov’s mother. Such changes on 02/12/2021 were registered in the “Industry-Register”, by the way, where the falsified documents came from.
March 2021. When Kruglov found out that the owner of the bases had changed, he turned to the law enforcement agencies, where, after a detailed check, the process of investigation of the criminal fraud began. The victim did not give any comments on this matter, his lawyer also refused to explain what was happening.
People from the Marine Oil Terminal said that the firm was unaware of the ongoing capital investigation. The company carries out work processes in a regular mode without changes both among employees and management.