In Britain there were “clones” of the largest Russian oil companies

In the public register of UK companies revealed firms are not distinguishable by their appearance from “daughters” the Russian oil majors, including “Rosneft”, “Gazprom Neft” and LUKOIL. found in the registry at least seven companies registered from March to July 2016 as a “daughter” of Russian oil companies. Is Rosneft Oil Company Ltd, PJSC Tatneft Ltd Ltd JSC Transneft, LUKOIL Oil Company Ltd, Ltd Surgutneftegas, Bashneft PJSOC Ltd, Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom Neft Ltd.

Surgutneftegas and Rosneft were registered in March, three companies (Tatneft, LUKOIL, Bashneft) — in a single day, July 11. The founders in all cases listed Russian companies or their shareholders: for example, “Rosneftegaz” and “Rosneft”, “Gazprom”, LUKOIL, the Federal property management Agency, the national settlement Depository as the nominal holder. And the names of the Directors coincide with the names of Russian top-managers, including Igor Sechin, Vagit Alekperov, Alexander Dyukov, Nikolay Tokarev, Vladimir Bogdanov, etc.

Clone army

Sources from at least two Russian companies said that the British “clones” do not have to these companies nothing. The majority of surveyed companies did not know about the existence of such “twins”. “We were not aware of the fact that there is such a company and as Directors specified executives “Tatneft”. Like all public companies, we disclose the list of affiliates in which the company Tatneft Ltd. We will investigate,” said a source in “Tatneft”. He acknowledged that there is a risk that the owners Tatneft Ltd will be on behalf of Tatneft to negotiate or make deals. “This is a provocation”, — said a source close to another company.

The representatives of LUKOIL and “Gazprom oil” has refused comments. Representatives “Surgutneftegaz” and “Transneft” did not answer the queries . The representative of “Rosneft” noted that Igor Sechin and other top managers of the company do not hold any seats in other companies, except those that are listed on the website of “Rosneft” (Rosneft Oil Company Ltd is not there).

Call it what you want

It is possible that someone else has really established British company, deliberately using the English equivalents of the names of known Russian companies, said a spokesman for Companies House — the state registration chamber of great Britain. But the law is not prohibited, the chamber does not have the right to refuse registration of the firm on the grounds that chosen for it the name corresponds to the name of a foreign company, he says. “We also do not conduct inspections to determine the presence or absence of connections with a foreign company, because we have no such powers,” — said the representative of Companies House. “If the affected Russian companies are concerned that their names are used by these British companies, they can seek the assistance of lawyers,” he said.

“Tatneft” on Thursday evening the first of the seven Russian companies officially commented on the existence in the British company register-double. “The company officially announces that PJSC TATNEFT LTD, incorporated in England and Wales <…> has nothing to do with PJSC “Tatneft” im. V. D. Shashina or its subsidiaries and affiliates,” said Tatneft in the press release published after the request . The members of the Board of Tatneft has not given consent to the inclusion in the composition of the Board of Directors of PJSC TATNEFT LTD and, accordingly, are not Directors, emphasized in a press release.

Although, under British law, nothing prohibits to register companies with names similar to the names of foreign companies to appoint Directors without their consent, and submission of false information in the register is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years and/or a fine, from the British companies Act 2006. According to Companies House, appointment of Directors/secretaries without their consent is one of the most common violations in 2015 year, there were 568 such cases.

The standard model

That check clone companies were probably unfair, and integrated schemas, points to the fact that six of the seven companies were originally registered at the same address (27 Old Gloucester Street London WC1N 3AX), which, according to the site share more than 970 companies. And soon each of the six companies-twins changed the registration address for less mass. But Rosneft Oil Company Ltd is registered at the address where registered more than 7.6 thousand legal entities. All companies registered as “private limited companies” (private limited company) with a standard Charter that allows you to register online. It takes 24 hours and costs just £12. That is, the registration of seven such firms could do a potential fraud of £84 (6,5 thousand roubles).

Such fraudsters may attempt to acquire financial products on behalf of a company with which they want to identify themselves, order goods or services on credit, to access Bank accounts of victims, to deceive counterparties, can be seen from (.pdf) British antimodernism organization’s Fraud Advisory Panel.

with the participation of George Peremitina