Investigation: behind the case of the Ministry of culture

Investigation: behind the case of the Ministry of culture

Who came?

72 the investigator of the FSB — just the right amount of employees, according to press reports, needed for investigation of the theft of several hundred million rubles allocated from the budget for restoration of the Pskov drama theatre, the Novodevichy convent and the of St. John the Baptist monasteries of the Kaluga Museum of cosmonautics. Starting from 15 March across the country, a wave of arrests of suspects in this story — businessman Dmitry Sergeyev and Alexander Kochanova from the company Baltstroy, the Deputy Minister of culture Gregory Pirumov, which commandos flew to Rostov-on-don. For an entrepreneur Nikita Kolesnikov in his house on Rublevskoe road came two bus operatives, says an eyewitness of the operation. Kolesnikov hid in a secret room behind the cupboard on the top floor, but was quickly found, he continues and reaffirms the familiar businessman.

The magnitude of the operation, is not comparable to the harm suffered, could lead one to believe that the purpose of all events were more senior person. If I were in his place, immediately handed in the resignation, said shortly after the incident, the presidential adviser Vladimir Tolstoy about the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky (the Ministry of culture has been the distributor of money for restoration).

With the Minister but nothing bad happened, and the case began to develop in a very different direction. “The Minister is not threatened now, this (the arrests in the Ministry of culture and “Baltstroy”. — ) a war between two secret services,” says a government official.

Closer to the dinner on March 29, employees of one of special services — the FSB — at the entrance to the hotel “Ukraine” in Moscow twisted the influential Petersburg businessman, the co-owner of group “Forum” (and there is Baltstroy) Dmitry Mikhalchenko. The case for him was found, though very different: he’s accused of smuggling brandy and wine under the guise of construction sealant.

The owner of the holding company “Forum” Dmitry Mikhalchenko was accused of smuggling alcoholic beverages to 2 million rubles.

Photo: Kommersant

“I myself ofigel when he saw it!” — so emotional source in the Investigative Committee explains the details of the case Mikhalchenko. Investigators searched the office of “Baltstroy” in the restoration business, and have found evidence of the involvement Mikhalchenko to smuggling, he said.

Why St. Petersburg businessman Mikhalchenko, who caused the damage, how to calculate the result, only 2 million rubles, attracted the attention of the FSB?

Shadow merchant

Mikhalchenko long and widely known in St. Petersburg business circles, it even has the nickname “the Governor 24 hours” (as opposed to authoritative businessman Vladimir Kumarin, who was called the “night Governor”). The newspaper “Business Petersburg” in September 2015, assessed the condition of the Mikhalchenko in 18 billion rubles. However, the opacity of the group “the Forum” makes it impossible to understand how such evaluation is adequate.

The second proprietor of the “Forum” (the partners in equal shares) — Nicholas Negodov, the General-the major of FSB in resignation. The group is diverse: from construction and restoration to production of thread.

The ill-fated cottage

In the middle of the zero of the St. Petersburg company Baltstroy has received favorable order — to build a cottage of a local businessman Mikhalchenko. The company was a middling player in the regional construction market: connections owner Paul Sinelnikova allowed to receive orders from traffic police, police and, for example, from the Director of the Mikhailovsky theatre Vladimir Kekhman.

He worked in “Baltstroy” Nikolai Antonov, the company received a good advance. But soon the problems started: the customer was unwilling to accept the performed works and demanded to return the money. “Over the fact that about 2007 and then decided to transfer the company to the people around Mikhalchenko — I don’t know, he received something or was it on account of the advance payment (in 2010 and then shot himself. — ) “—says Antonov.

According to him, the scheme looked like this: Sinelnikov has established a new company, where did all the staff. And still Baltstroy, rewritten on the new owners, in fact, was empty, but with good momentum and a portfolio of completed projects.

By the time Mikhalchenko and his partner Nikolai Negodov, former Deputy head of the FSB in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, already were wealthy businessmen. The first money they made in the beginning of zero, receiving from the Railways in the management of retail space at train stations in St. Petersburg. Then bought Spinning-thread combine them. Kirov — a set of eight 5-6-storey buildings near to the Smolny and began to rent out part of their space.

Why did they need restoration and construction company?

Beautiful orders

In 2007, the decision of the government of the Federal state unitary enterprise with the inconspicuous name of “Atecs” was taken over by the Federal guard service (FSO). This enterprise was to serve as the General contractor for the construction and repair of objects of Federal significance (many of them are administered by the SSF). The CEO of the new structure was Andrew Fireplaces, a good friend Mikhalchenko, who previously headed a number of firms associated with the “Forum” (the scheme of the business “Forum” in the infographic).

It’s not the only connection “Alexa” with the St. Petersburg businessmen: standing at the head of the SSF Evgeny Murov worked for several years with Nicholas Narodowym in the regional Department of the FSB. Finally, they Murov, Mikhalchenko, Negodov and a dozen senior officers FSO — lived fence to the fence in the exclusive village on the shores of lake Valdai in the Novgorod region.

The head of the SSF Evgeny Murov familiar with Nicholas Narodowym since the work of the FSB in the Photo: Maxim Shemetov/TASS

Already in 2008, the “Ateks” concluded with the FSO 28 contracts worth more than 3 billion rubles, having started to distribute orders among subcontractors. For example, drew Baltstroy for the repair of the building the FSO on Ilyinka, 21. “My ex-husband Stanislav kuner worked in structures Mikhalchenko, including “Baltstroy”, — says Yulia Pazova (wife divorced). — When Andrew Caminova, old friend Mikhalchenko, seconded to Moscow, “Atecs” Baltstroy and associated offices was showered with orders for construction and restoration”.

At the request of “Alexa” Baltstroy worked with the most famous Russian Palace of facets, the Grand Kremlin Palace, the towers, the stars and the walls of the Kremlin.

Beautiful buildings brought good momentum. Revenue “Baltstroj”, according to SPARK, increased from 300 million rubles in 2007 to 9 billion in 2011. And the contracts of the “Alexa” with FSO, for example, prisoners in 2011, stepped over 46 billion rubles.

Top Manager of “Baltstroy” Dmitry Sergeyev belonged to another company “Stroykomplekt”. She also got orders “Utexa”, such as the restoration of the Mausoleum of Lenin or the arc de Triomphe on Kutuzov Avenue in Moscow.

In the summer of 2011 kuner joined the “Ateks”, becoming the Deputy Director and head of tender Commission. But he maintained business relations with the former colleagues: for example, some time possessed a share in the company “Technoflot”, where co-owner was Sergeev. And in 2012, kuner Sergeeva received from a loan for 20 million rubles to buy a country house in the Istra district of the Moscow region (has a copy).

At the trial in the divorce Cunera with his wife first surfaced documents about the luxurious life of a top Manager of Federal state unitary Enterprise (the story was detailed in the magazine The New Times in December 2015). After the scandal he left “Atecs”, again getting a job in the structures close to “Baltstroy” (now he works in the firm “Stroifaza”; the investigation of the Ministry of culture connects this company with Sergeyev and Kochenower from “Baltstroj” and suggests that with her help had been stealing money during the restoration of Novodevichy convent).

Fireplaces refused to talk to , offering to submit questions to the legal service of “Alexa”. At the formal request of FGUP has not responded. Refused to answer questions and kuner. Official representative of “Forum” Pavel Krupnik in conversation with said “company Baltstroy has no relation” to the group “Forum”, adding that the management of the holding “has been cooperating with the investigation” in the “case of the Ministry of culture”.

Since 2011 momentum “Alexa” and the sum of its contracts with the SSF began to decline. But the profits of “Baltstroy” continued to grow. The company has managed to find a new — no less ambitious — source government contracts. It was the Ministry of culture.

From the mausoleum to the monasteries

In 2008, Patriarch Aleksei II called for the restoration abandoned then Voskresensky new Jerusalem monastery near Moscow — “the jewel of the monastic era of the XVII century,” as the head of the ROC. The project was supervised in the high corridors: created to Finance the charitable Foundation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.

The work was mainly financed from the budget: for 2009-2014 Treasury through the Ministry of culture has listed a 7.5 billion rubles, and private donors — $ 1 billion by the Contractor was the group “intarsia” whose restoration division at that time was considered a leader in its market.

The operational meeting was held in the White house, says the architect Sergey Kulikov, who developed the project of restoration of the Voskresensky new Jerusalem monastery. However, in spite of famous figures, at first has not worked — contractors were arguing with the designers, and Vice versa. As a result, in 2011, the General contractor changed. According to Kulikova, Baltstroy presented personally Zubkov at a meeting in the White house (former Deputy Prime Minister did not answer the questions). Since that moment in the monastery at Istra began to come “serious young men in dark cars with the number plates ECH (they are often assigned to the FSO. —)” — with these words Kulikov described Kochenova and Sergeyev.

After working at the facility, funded by the Ministry of culture, Baltstroy has begun to actively participate and win in tenders of other departments. If in 2010 the company concluded with the Ministry contracts to 146 million rubles, in 2011-m — already at 4.7 billion rubles, and in 2012 to 6.5 billion and revenue Grew from 9 billion in 2011 to 20 billion rubles in 2014.

During the work a close “Baltstroy” company “building complex” in the bell tower of the Novodevichy convent was on fire

Photo: Anton novoderezhkin/TASS

In the register of the owners of “Baltstroy” still Nikolay Antonov and Alexander Tests received a small percentage more in Synelnykove, who wrote the rejection of its shares and for many years not related to this company. The present owners in the “Forum” is not open. However, managed to read an extract from the register of shareholders of “Baltstroy” as of March 2013. Then 49% of the company belonged to the top Manager Dmitry Sergeyev, 51% — Natalia Krylova (she works in the structures of the “Forum”: it registered several companies of the holding).

Why Baltstroy not disclose the owners? In tenders of the Ministry of culture and “Alexa” only rival “Baltstroj” frequently “Stroykomplekt”, partially owned by Sergeyev. Participation in the competition of affiliated persons is a gross violation of the law, stressed the Chairman of the Collegium of advocates “starinsky, Cartago and partners” Eugene Cartago. According to him, to affiliated entities, bidders, may be fined, and in some cases, officials of these organizations can be prosecuted.

But business interests Mikhalchenko and Negodov not limited to one restoration.

FSUE help

Turn to capital Department of the Federal migration service (FMS) on Novoslobodskaya, 45, goes around the building several times. Foreigners subject to a residence permit, and Russians interested in an expedited manner to get a passport, are from six in the morning on the roadway, write the room and fight for the place closest to the entrance. Daily the queue of several hundred people is given not more than 60 vouchers; those who lacked them, forced to come the next day or to use paid services.

The latter provides Passport and visa centre, located in the same building as the office of the FMS. The design of the residence permit will cost 40 thousand rubles., the extension is 27 thousand

The contract on rendering paid services, as found , is with the LLC “Agency “Integral”, it gives out a cashier’s check. This company (according to the spark database, the revenue for 2014 to 53 million) linked to business Mikhalchenko. CEO and owner of the “Agency “Integral” Ganicheva Tatiana also heads LLC “Pandora” owned by LLC “Centerfinance”, one of the key companies inside the “Forum”. When the correspondent called “Forum” and asked to speak with Aniceboy, the operator wrote down the contact and promised that she “will call back”. However, this did not happen.

The Passport and visa center has a website. Judging from the posted information, a legal entity, rendering services on registration of passports, is open company “the Center” is another structure of the Forum.

The employee of the press service of the FMS said that doesn’t know anything about “Agency “Integral” and the Center of preparation of documents and no contract with them has not concluded. Novoslobodskaya, 45, the company “Passport and visa service”, having the form of FGUP (and established the Federal migration service. — ) from the written answer of the FMS. All further questions to the service representatives forwarded in this enterprise.

They confirmed that on Novoslobodskaya, 45, is their separation. Explain why the payment for the services goes to address foreign business concerns which are unable.

Interestingly, one takes the premises and the branch of the FSUE, and office of FMS — according to the extract from Rosreestr, the owner of the building at the address Novoslobodskaya, 45, korp. B, is the already mentioned “Atecs”. The room rented until 2026 company “synergy”. It belongs to Nadezhda Stepanova — it also listed more than a dozen companies associated with “the Forum”.

In other words, the Federal state unitary enterprise belonging to the Federal security service, rent the migration office and the Federal state unitary enterprise subordinated to their building. The mediator acts as a commercial firm, close to the band “Forum”. And other commercial firms from the group of “Forum” — are there paid services.

Have written previously about similar schemes in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Everywhere FSUE “PASPORTNO-visa service” involves companies included in the group “Forum”.

Poured the port

If you look at the map of St. Petersburg, Krasnoflotskaya highway intersection with the Beltway, you can see a neat rectangle of land, jutting into the sea. This bulk area — container port Bronka — favorite child, the most important project Mikhalchenko and Negodov (retired General, by the way, until 2006 was the head of the FSUE “Rosmorport”, so that the management ports are familiar not by hearsay).

Nikolai Negodov, partner Mikhalchenko on the “Forum”, had previously worked in the FSB and head of the FSUE “Rosmorport”, 2003

Photo: PhotoXPress

“The idea of gradual removal of port facilities from the Central part of St. Petersburg hovers for a long time, in my opinion, bronchi extremely good location”, says the founder of the analytical Agency “Dorn”, who previously headed the Committee for transport and transit policy in the government of St. Petersburg Andrey Karpov.

Initially, the idea of a future port belonged to the company “Baltic transport systems” (BTS), but in 2006 two co-owners, former sailors, Leonid Timofeyev and Alexey Andreev, were crushed by a truck, when traveling together by car to Finland. Then became interested in the project Mikhalchenko and Negodov: for the construction of a transshipment complex at the port of Bronka, they created the company “Phoenix” (partners — through a series of companies own it in equal shares). Executive Director of “Phoenix” became Aleksey Shukletsov, the former partner is killed by the BTS.

In 2009, Bronk was in the Concept development outposts (outside the main port city limits), approved by the government of St. Petersburg. Required investment was estimated at 118 billion rubles.

31 January 2016 for unloading at the port stood first container vessel “Voronezh” deliver the goods from China. By the time of the budget investments into the project amounted to 16 billion rubles. About 16 billion rubles invested and “Phoenix”.

However, the company “Forum” and has participated in the development of the Federal budget, i.e. the part attached back Mikhalchenko and Negodov. The competition Rosmorport for dredging of won Baltstroy, previously not involved in anything like that.

Bronk appeared on the market, which is experiencing one of the worst moments. By the end of 2015 the transshipment of containers in ports of St. Petersburg (including Ust-Luga), according to the analytical Agency PortNews has decreased by 30%. The reason for the collapse of the ruble and sanctions, has sharply reduced the imports, because the main cargo in the containers — food products, consumer goods, building materials. “Of course in a falling market, competition is escalating dramatically,” — says commercial Director of CJSC “Container terminal Saint-Petersburg” (included in UCL Holding Vladimir Lisina) Igor Pukhov (key market players presented in the infographic).

Bronchi capacity of 500 thousand TEUs (unit equivalent container) per year, by 2018 it is projected to reach 1.9 million TEUs. “This is more than 2015 has processed all container terminals of St. Petersburg, and wait for serious improvement market in the coming years, there is no reason,” emphasizes Pukhov.

Phoenix, wanting to lure customers away from other ports, desperately engaged in predatory pricing, says the head of Agency Infranews Alexei Bezborodov. Pukhov said that information about the rates of the Bronka not publicly available, but according to the published cost of additional services, new port truly offers rates slightly below market.

Maybe dumping is not the only weapon of bronchi. In early February, the market of port St. Petersburg has shaken the letter of the head of the FCS Andrei Belyaninov addressed to the Governor of the region Georgy Poltavchenko and the President’s Plenipotentiary in the North-West Vladimir Bulavin. The officer offered to remain in the customs posts in separate terminals only cargo inspection, and the whole documentary check to send two posts in Bronka and Ust-Luga. In other words, the containers can still come to the selected port, but the documents should be addressed to the City, where will be customs Declaration. Thus Belyaninov wants to fight corruption, which is now where the powers have each separate post.

“In our view, given the existing workflow that could give undue competitive advantages to the city”, — said Pukhov. He explains that during customs procedures, it is often necessary to provide additional documents, and the originals. This means that couriers have to travel between the port of arrival of the goods and Bronka. Customs clearance will be delayed in time, for many goods, such as refrigerated, it is critical. Therefore, the consignee just initially choose the Bronka port.

The Global Ports are unable to provide a comment about the appearance of bronchi. The main parts in the command of the Dutch group APM Terminals (part of A. P. Moller-Maersk A/S, a world leader in container shipping) and Russian businessmen Nikita Mishin, Konstantin Nikolaev and Andrey Filatov.

On photo: construction of sea port Bronka. Installation of port equipment, 2015

Photo: PhotoXPress

Intrigues of competitors or the struggle for power

Several interlocutors in the port business and government bodies of St.-Petersburg suggest that the outcome of the attack on Mikhalchenko can be a change of ownership of the port. “There (in the port of Bronka. — ) such prospects, what may not one Deputy “to eat,” says one of them. Another version of “the things promised” the newspaper “Vedomosti” called human struggle between the security forces, which this week ended with the re-subordination of the Federal migration service Ministry of internal Affairs, as well as the creation of the National guard headed by Viktor Zolotov.

Anyway, the dirt on Mikhalchenko was looking for a long time, tell two sources familiar with his case. On September 25 of last year the FSB applied to the Moscow city court on carrying out quickly-investigation actions (“wiretaps”) in respect Mikhalchenko for a period of 180 days. The request was satisfied, the interlocutors confirmed (though did not specify what it was then suspected businessman).

“The FSB has accumulated a lot of material on Mikhalchenko, but the command “bite!” came a month ago,” says a source close to the St. Petersburg Department of the FSB.

March 30, dressed in blue suit and coat in the tone Mikhalchenko pacing the floor of his cage in the building of the Basmanny court. He explained that all history is connected with intrigues of competitors who want to take away the Bronka. “It will undermine reputation of Russia,” in vain cram a businessman the judge. Now he sits in jail “Lefortovo”.

Negodov not talked to for this article. Influential St. Petersburg politician says that companions are already not close with the head of the FSO Yevgeny Murov. With cottages on the shore of Valdai Mikhalchenko and Negodov too had parted.

* * *

As for brandy and wine for €600 thousand, they said Mikhalchenko on the court, the businessman bought for their own use.

With the participation of the Novel Badanina, Elena Mesinai, Anastasia Napalkova.