$5 billion were frozen. Searches in the office of the company “Petroval SA”. $100 million were written off on “marketing” and cashed in. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 27, 2004.
On this day, on July 27, 2004, the Moscow City Court upheld the ruling of the Basmanny District Court of Moscow on the arrest of Swiss accounts connected with Yukos. A big sum of money, about 5 billion dollars, belonging to a couple of dozens of Russian citizens, including shareholders of the oil company NK Yukos and the group “Menatep”, was frozen upon the motion of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia in the middle of February 2004, and this was done after a series of investigative actions of the Swiss police in a number of offices in Zurich, Geneva, and Schwyz in Switzerland. The freezing of assets was conducted in following banks – Banque Indosuez (Geneva), Dresdner Bank (Switzerland) SA (Geneva), CBG Compagnie Bancaire Geneve (Geneva), and UBS AG (Zurich). According to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, the question was not about stocks of shares, assets and other securities, but about personal accounts of physical persons.
THIEVISH SCHEME OF SELLING STOLEN ASSETS
Names of the “affected physical persons” were announced: Mikhail Khodorkovsky*, Platon Lebedev, Leonid Nevzlin, Vladimir Dubov, Mikhail Brudno, Alexander Temerko, as well as some other names which were left off-screen. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who had been arrested and was on remand, made a statement saying that the information about the arrest of 5 billion “is an absolute lie”.
In May 2004, Khodorkovsky poured banana oil in the ear of the court assuring it that he had no bank accounts abroad. Yet, according to lawyers’ acknowledgement, in the materials presented to the court, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia had stated that “due to charges against the former head of the oil company NK Yukos and head of the International Financial Association MFO “Menatep” Platon Lebedev, the investigation has reasons to assume that part of the assets acquired by illegal means, are being laundered in Swiss banks on accounts of more than two dozens of companies and of 24 physical persons, including on accounts of the lawyers Anton Drel and Vasily Aleksanyan”.
(The sum of $5 billion found in Switzerland, turned out to be symbolic for Yukos. $5 billion 541 million – so turned out to be the amount of the tax arrears indicated in the decision of the Ministry for Taxes and Levies No 52/985 on bringing to tax responsibility for 2003 the OJSC Yukos).
Lawyers of Yukos swindlers, both Russian and foreign, attacked courts in Russia and Switzerland trying “to pull out” the stuck billions. Part of this money was connected with schemes that had been created by the swindlers around the JSC “Apatit”
(See also the article “On this day, a Swiss trace of Khodorkovsky was found”).
Another part of the money was connected with fraudulent selling of oil. Together with this money, in the crosshairs of law enforcing agencies ended up also the company “Petroval SA” (Switzerland), in the office of which searches were carried out.
For reference. The firm “Petroval SA” (Switzerland) during several years had been the main oil-trader of Yukos. Its only shareholder was the Dutch company “Yukos Finance BV”, which was directly owned by the firm “Yukos-Moskva”. The gray scheme of oil-trading through the company “Petroval SA” replaced the scheme “Jurby Lake”, worked out by Stephen Curtis.
(See also the article “On this day, Stephen Curtis came out of the offshore shadow”).
In the renewed scheme appeared “Routhenhold Holdings Limited” and “Pronet Holdings Limited” which had signed with “Petroval SA” rather peculiar contracts – agreements of sale on commission. “Petroval SA” shall be obliged to sell oil in its own name, but at the expense of “Routhenhold Holdings Limited”, receiving commission for sales. The list of obligations of “Petroval SA”, apart from selling oil abroad, included also a set of measures to provide administrative, bookkeeping and consulting services, as well as services on asset management of the Cyprian company “Routhenhold Holdings Ltd”, on behalf of which acted Vladimir Pereverzin. Similar agreement was concluded with the firm “Pronet Holdings Limited”.
(See also the article “Fargoil”, “Ratibor” and “Petroval” – who do we know about them?” and the article “On this day, Khodorkovsky's henchmen were adjudged guilty of stealing $13 billion”).
The Cyprian companies “Routhenhold Holdings Limited” and “Pronet Holdings Limited” that were under control of Vladimir Pereversin conducted “production activities”. They sold products of Pereverzin’s companies, but on accounts of “Petroval SA”, what, seemingly, “was helping” them in their work, remained up to 5% of takings alienated in such a way.
Apart from that, on “services” related to finding “new traders” was spent from 70 to 100 million dollars which, under the guise of “marketing researches” payments and payments for certain “consulting services” were included in Yukos commercial expenses (i.e. expenses were “hung” on all shareholder of the juridical person). Then a packet of fictitious reports was created as a ground to pay for “works conducted in accordance with the agreement”, then these pecuniary means were converted into cash. The court, having studied the materials of the case, came to the conclusion that the money had been transferred to the benefit of the robber-barons – to the benefit of Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The court pointed out that the scheme of oil trading through “Pronet Holdings Limited”, “Routhenhold Holdings Limited” and “Petroval SA” had allowed the defendants to use money at their own and sole discretion.
From the materials of the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow: “By testimony of the defendant Khodorkovsky M.B. is confirmed that the companies – export buyers of oil and oil products, namely “Pronet Holdings Limited”, “Routhenhold Holdings Limited” and Petroval SA”, were part of the perimeter of consolidation of the JSC oil company Yukos, and were under his control in his capacity of manager and owner of the JSC oil company Yukos”.
“Taking in consideration the circumstances of the activities of these dump-firms in accordance with gray schemes exposed by the investigation, Khodorkovsky denied in vein that he had directed the organized group, which had been conducted criminal activity in the oil complex of the country, and the Swiss firm “Petroval SA” was in vein indignant at investigative actions in its premises”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, Khodorkovsky found his way to British “waste management system”. The firm “International Waste Management Systems plc” proposed to buy out Yukos. Anti-Soviet person from agents’ network of the organization “National Alliance of Russian Solidarists”. The website Progovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 26, 2004).
*On May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of physical persons executing functions of a foreign agent.