The search in the Spanish villa of Vladislav Reznik, the head of the parliamentary Committee for financial markets, the member of the panel of the general council of United Russia might be considered a provocation against Russia, as Boris Gryzlov, the chair of the State Duma, stated, but for one circumstance. In the 2004 and 2006 the deputy dealt with three Spanish firms that are allegedly related to Gennady Petrov, arrested in the course of the “Troika” operation.
Among a few other Russians, Gennady Petrov is charged with money laundering, tax avoidance and organizing a criminal structure that was engaged in smuggling, weapons trading and murders. The villa of Reznik was put in the charter capital of the company that used to have a relation to Petrov. That company also received money from a Swiss organization associated with the relatives of another arrested person, Alexander Malyshev, who is considered to be the leader of a criminal group bearing his name, “Malyshevskaya”.
The spokesperson for Reznik, Oksana Altynova, has communicated that the deputy has given an account about the details of the deal on purchasing the villa and a motor-boat in 2004 from the firm Inmobiliaria Balear 2001 SL for ˆ1,2 millions. And in 2006 Reznik bought a motor-boat for ˆ2.27 millions, for which Centros Commerciales Antei was bought from Inversiones Gudimar SL that possessed the boat. The villa was put into the charter capital of this company, while its stock was passed to the Reznik’s family’s trust. This company (and the trust accordingly) possesses all the property situated in Spain.
Inmobiliaria Balear, that sold the villa to Mr. Reznik, is mentioned in Clause 15 of the Spanish bill of particulars related to the lawyer Juan Antonio Untoria Augustin, who is considered to be Petrov’s adviser and is supposed to be a member of the criminal group. The bill of particulars says that the lawyer developed illegal financial schemes, made all the documents, managed 59 banking accounts and had the power to sign. He took part in making and managing Inmobiliaria Balear 2001 SL, Inversiones Gudimar SL and other 7 firms that were intended to conceal the origin of the Petrov’s money.
During the period from 1998-2007 over ˆ16 millions passed from Panama, Latvia, Switzerland, Great Britain, Virgin Islands and Russia through the accounts controlled by the lawyer. The bill of particulars says that Juan Antonio used his connections for strengthening his influence and once he even threatened one man that someone would send Russians to him and he would just disappear.
The accusation says that Petrov was the only manager at Inversiones Gudimar SL, from which the firm Centros Commerciales Antei was bought with the motor-boat registered to it and intended for Reznik. On 30 May 2001 the Inversiones Gudimar acquired an Italian yacht “Sasha” (registration number 6-PM-1-01111-01) for Petrov himself, for ˆ3.5 millions. Petrov pointed in the declaration that the yacht was worth less than ˆ700,000, through which he avoided paying 530,000 to the Spanish State.
Centros Commerciales Antei had not only the motor-boat. The deputy also put the villa into the chartered capital of the acquired firm. The above mentioned bill of particulars mentions this firm in the clause dealing with legalization of the capital, banking accounts and money transfers that, as the investigation believes, involved Gennady Petrov, Alexander Malyshev and his partner Olga Solovyova (she was engaged in the financial matters of the criminal group).
The firm was authorized to carry operations in the La Caixa Bank. On 31 October 2003 it received $600,000 from the Swiss Shimer Finance Corp, that also transferred $413,547 to the account of Irina Usova, the sister of Olga Solovyova and sister-in-law for Alexander Malyshev.
Dealing of the deputy with one firm mentioned in the bill of particulars might have been considered a chance. However, there are three firms mentioned in the context of illegal activities, and at the same having relation to Vladislav Reznik. Hence, the question is logic whether Vladislav Reznik is acquainted with Gennady Petrov and Alexander Malyshev and whether he has had business relations with them.
Oksana Altynova, the assistant to Reznik, remarked that the deputy knew Petrov personally only due to the fact he bought a house from him. Mrs. Altynova considers it that a person cannot be accused only on the grounds that he has bought something from someone, as one has no obligations to check who the previous owner of the company was. The deal was legal, she says, and Reznik dealt with a juridical person. The Reznik’s lawyer is preparing an appeal against the actions by the Spanish authorities.
In Mrs. Altynova’s opinion, presence of the three firms dealt with by the deputy and mentioned in the bill of particulars does not matter much, as all that has been just juridical nuances enabling reducing the costs for administration.
“When we deal with three sinks, what is to comment here?” reflects the former prosecutor general Yuri Skuratov. “However, one should take into consideration that the Spanish often charge only having some operative information without hard evidence. We cannot trust completely the Spanish justice, as, unfortunately, the ideological component is rather big here, and the facts adduced not always get proved. I think, we should wait till the outcomes of the investigation and the court’s proceeding”.
Mr. Skuratov stressed that the immunity of the Russian MPs is not effective in other countries. He also agrees to the point of view saying that the foreign law enforcement bodies have difficulties finding the evidence of the guilt by those involved from Russia, without aid from their Russian colleagues. And that aid is complicated to be rendered in case the involved person has a power resource or is related to influential political figures.
“The Spanish justice dislikes Russians” concludes the former prosecutor general. “However, we provide breeding ground for that”.
Novaya Gazeta information
Vladislav Reznik started his career in St Petersburg. At the late ‘80s he was the deputy general director at Russkoe Video, and in the early ‘90s he was deputy chair of the board of Rossia Bank that united the Putin’s friends. Afterwards, he headed the St Petersburg insurance company Rus’. During the period from 1995-1998 he headed Rosgosstrakh (state-run insurance company). He has been an MP since December 1999. In 2002 he sold 50.2% of Rus’ stock to a German insurance group Ergo for $10 millions, which means he might have been able to afford a villa and a motor-boat in Spain.
P.S. In 2004, Vladislav Reznik insisted himself that the purchase of the real estate with the amount of over 3 million rubles, also the purchase of the securities for cash, and also deals with currencies (over 600,000 rubles) must be all checked. He was one of the initiators of the amendment to the Act on Struggle with legalization of profits gained through criminal activities, also struggle with financing terrorism.