From $2 billion declared dividends, $1.4 billion they siphoned to the offshores – “Hulley Enterprises Limited”, “Yukos Universal Limited” and “Veteran Petroleum Limited”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on February 27, 2004.
On this day 18 years ago, on February 27, 2004, it became known that the company Yukos was going to start to pay interim dividends for the nine months of 2003 to the amount of 29.9 billion rubles or about 2 billion dollars.
The decision of such unusually high for Yukos payments had been taken at the Extraordinary meeting of shareholders of the oil company as early as in November 2003, a month after the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky against whom an accusation had been brought on seven Articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Among other deeds of the “borehole swindler”, tax crimes were also itemized – Article 199, paragraph 2, of the Criminal code of Russia (Evading Payment of Taxes and (or) Fees Collectible from Organizations), Article 198, paragraph 2, of the Criminal Code of Russia (Evasion by a Natural Person of Paying a Tax and (or) Fees) with preliminary damage amounting to 1 billion U.S. dollars.
And against such a backdrop, Yukos, instead of cautious concentration of capital for solving the emerged and potential problems with the Tax Agency, expressed sudden generosity. And after it became clear that the large-scale scheme of "borehole" stealing had come to an end, nobody canceled the decision about the inappropriate payments in a crisis situation.
On the contrary, at the behest of the main shareholders, executives received instructions on changeover of shareholders’ structure of the Gibraltar “Group Menatep Ltd (GML) with the purpose to hide physical persons behind anonymous trusts. This operation, by the way, was presented to the press as a “certain renovation”. Yet, the “new structure” GML turned out to be an old scheme. On February 26, 2004, it was announced that “the company now belongs to eight trusts the beneficiaries of which are not disclosed”.
And on February 27, 2004, it was announced about the payments to the total amount of 2 billion dollars. It turned out that, from $2 billion, the sum to the tune of $1.4 billion went under the guise of the "intermediary dividends" at the address of Yukos own offshores – "Hulley Enterprises”, “Yukos Universal Limited” and “Veteran Petroleum Limited”, After that, the money was transferred to the parent company – Group Menatep Limited.
It is important to point out that, before their arrests, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were directors of the mentioned shell firms, and that corroborates the connection of the shell offshore firms with the criminal from the Oil company Yukos.
(See tables pp. 57-65)
Moreover, the siphoning of money from Russia under the guise of payment of the intermediary dividends, means that the “borehole swindlers” didn’t intend to pay taxes, still less to save the company – they wanted to siphon off as much money as possible out of Russia, using the tactics of “scorched cash register”, noted the website Prigovor.ru
(See also the previous article “On this day, insurance companies gave up on Yukos”. “Yukos directors didn’t provide the insurance company with full information about paying taxes and mislead it”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on February 26, 2005.