Shadow merchant from Kaliningrad proves to be partner of criminal kingpin from Kazan. Criminal laundering scheme includes Swiss banks, Cyprus companies and famous British jewelery brand Graff.
GRAFF LAUNDROMAT IN CYPRUS
On June 27, 2018, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper published an article about a controversial investigation under the headline "Diamonds and Mafia". The article was about the relationship between the British jewelry company Graff Diamonds Ltd and members of an organized criminal group from Tatarstan who were laundering their criminal revenues through investments and sales of diamonds in Cyprus.
The scale of what happened was difficult to overestimate. For example, Graff made a final and irrevocable decision to terminate the relations that had been defaming its business reputation. The company deleted all information about the Cypriot shop from its website within a few days.
Nevertheless, the publication has unveiled not only shady schemes of Russian mafia mobs in the transparent European business, but also revealed the involvement of a number of figures in them, whose names had remained in the shadow for a long time.
As it turned out, one of the main beneficiaries of the fraud scheme in Cyprus was an inconspicuous entrepreneur from Kaliningrad, Alexei Streletsky. Unlike his "partner" in the criminal world, Tatar mobster Rustem Magdeev, aka Broiler, whose name has repeatedly appeared in Russian and foreign media in connection with high-profile scandals and revelations, Streletsky did not at all expect that his activities would receive an extensive coverage in the press.
We established that Mr. Streletsky prefers to introduce himself as a modest entrepreneur who owns the Gvardeisky Meat Factory in the Kaliningrad region, and who also has interests in the development business in Russia and Germany.
However, the man hiding behind this mask is a completely different person. He is the head of an organized criminal syndicate, through which billions of shadow money are laundered. The money from this syndicate flows to the West, mostly to Switzerland, to the world-famous bank UBS Switzerland AG, where the money is invested in stocks, bonds and other securities and financial instruments known as "blue chips" on the international market.
Alexey Streletsky, his wife Natalia, and their offshore companies, such as Stream Ventures Ltd and Zolovery Holdings Ltd, which do not provide their accounting reports, have long and firmly established themselves in the Zurich branch of UBS Switzerland AG bank. Frankly speaking, the managers of the Swiss bank turn a blind eye, perhaps for a compensation, to the origin of the funds of their clients. They do not even think that those capitals are shady, let alone the fact that they belong to other more prominent representatives of criminal and bureaucratic circles of Russia.
ZURICH AND GENEVA
The shadow entrepreneur from Kaliningrad turned out to be a partner of a criminal kingpin from Kazan. The reasons, for which the authorities of the country known for the quality of its watches and chocolate do not seem to notice thuggish actions of such clients from Russia are easy to explain.
A small but successful Zurich-based law firm Dietrich Baumgartner & Partner keeps shady entrepreneurs from Kaliningrad under the patronage of its partners in Switzerland - Andres Baumgartner and Fabio Delco. The latter are known for their "heavy" list of "sanctioned" customers from CIS countries, most of whom rarely get along with law.
In another Swiss canton, in Geneva, Mr. Streletsky and his friends receive priceless services to launder dirty Russian capitals from another law firm, Froriep Legal SA, one of the partners of which, lawyer Dmitry Pentsov of St. Petersburg, already established a strong "business relationship" with a businessman from Königsberg (former name of Kaliningrad) in a hope to receive regular income and generous "tips."
As for the offshores controlled by the criminal Kaliningrad clan, one could not do without Cyprus there either.
Business interests of Alexei Streletsky's companies never pass by the partner of a little-known company from Larnaka, Harris Kyriakides LLC, - lawyer Michalis Kyriakides, who manages to "serve" two "bosses" at once. Michalis Kyriakides represents "legitimate" interests of Mr. Magdeev, aka Broiler, and the infamous Graff boutique in Limassol.
Curiously, it has been reported recently that another British company, Halcyon Gallery Ltd, has also terminated its ties with Magdeev and Streletsky's Cypriot company Equix Group Ltd (Magdeev's son Ernest was involved in Equix operations as well, though he has Swiss passport). Strangely enough, such a development played into the hands of Mr. Kyriakides, who managed to replace his shabby furniture with luxurious armchairs and sofas that were previously used for respectable customers of the contemporary art gallery.
The cooperation of Harris Kyriakides LLC with the criminal tandem of Magdeev and Streletsky opened new opportunities for Michalis. Today, as it turns out, he openly promotes his "partnership" with Dietrich Baumgartner & Partner and affectionately calls Mr. Delco his "friend."
It seems that the firm ties between Alexei Streletsky and Rustem Magdeev and organized criminal groups associated with them do not confuse the Swiss-Cypriot alliance of lawyers. Unfortunately, such clients remain the main source of income for them. One is left to wonder how long this criminal mayhem is going to last, and when law-enforcement authorities are going to pay attention to it.