Igor Khanukovich Yusufov is afraid of the attention of the FSB, the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office to the revelations of “bloody Jacko”?

Igor Yusufov is a person known not only in the world of big business, but also in Kremlin political circles.

Today he runs the private investment fund Energy, is involved in oil production, and before that he made a successful political career, heading the federal Ministry of Energy in 2001. But lately his name has been mentioned in the media in a far from positive way. And even on the contrary, the ex-minister from the government of Mikhail Kasyanov is increasingly becoming the hero of revealing publications about high-profile criminal showdowns and illegal business schemes. It comes to the point that the well-known crime boss and organizer of dozens of contract killings, Aslan Gagiev, who is in a pre-trial detention center, seriously fears for his life, declaring the possibility of reprisals from Igor Yusufov. About why a businessman prefers not to advertise some facts of his biography, even to the extent of deleting publications from the Internet, in the material of the correspondent...

Return of the sinister Jacko

In June 2018, the Russian media, including Ruspres, reported sensational news: the leader of one of the bloodiest Russian organized crime groups of recent years, Aslan Gagiev (Dzhako), was brought to Moscow from Austria; negotiations for his extradition began back in 2015. Let us remind you that, according to the Investigative Committee, Dzhako was the organizer of 60 murders, including contract killings.

Among those who fell victim to the killer team is Andrei Burlakov, the former owner of the German shipyards Wadan Yards, who was killed in Moscow in September 2011. Jacko’s extradition immediately revived interest in this long-standing crime in the press. Not least of all, he was connected with the version about the involvement of former minister Igor Yusufov in the death of Burlakov.

The publication “Documents and Facts” wrote that Burlakov’s common-law wife Anna Etkina, who was also attacked by the killer, but survived, had previously announced a connection with the killers of representatives of the Yusufov family. In addition, the woman knew about the hidden side of the business, which was run by her husband, ex-minister and... crime boss Aslan Gagiev.

German assets at bargain prices

The history of Wadan Yards is rather murky. Forbes, with reference to the materials of the investigation of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of Moscow, spoke in detail about how in 2008, Andrei Burlakov, who was then deputy general director of the state-owned Financial Leasing Company (FLC), Anna Etkina and a group of FLC managers were able to pull off a financial scam by concluding unsecured loan agreements totaling 1.8 billion rubles. Part of these funds, transferred to FLC accounts, was spent on the purchase of German shipyards.

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Former executive director of FLC Viktor Drachev, who managed to travel to England, later spoke about the meeting that took place, during which the issue of withdrawing money was discussed by him and Burlakov with Igor Yusufov, who at that time held the position of special representative of the president for international energy cooperation. The latter allegedly promised his patronage.

This is how the Wadan Yards company was created, the base for which was shipbuilding shipyards located in Germany and Ukraine (the value of the assets was estimated at almost 300 million euros). Burlakov headed the board of directors of the enterprise. But already in 2009 the company went bankrupt and the German authorities began to urgently look for an investor. As Vedomosti reported, the special representative of the president and member of the board of directors of Gazprom, Igor Yusufov, joined the negotiation process.

And soon his son Vitaly became the new owner of the shipyards, who bought them for only 40 million euros and promised the German authorities to repay loans, establish production and save jobs. The new investor, according to him, earned money from transactions with shares of Gazprom, Sberbank and other companies.

This state of affairs did not suit the Yusufovs’ recent business partners, who actually accused the head of the family of seizing the enterprise. The situation began to heat up. According to Rosbalt, Andrei Burlakov even wrote a statement to initiate a criminal case against Vitaly Yusufov and tried to get his assets arrested. But a month later he became the victim of a killer from Dzhako’s brigade. So the German shipyards were painted blood red.

Killer accuses ex-minister

Above, we named Aslan Gagiev as one of the participants in the described business project. The fact is that while already in an Austrian prison, the killer, according to media reports, began to express fears for his life if he were extradited to Russia. Jacko decided to avoid this development of events in any way.

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As a result, in September 2015, he wrote an appeal addressed to the Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine David Sakvarelidze. In it, Gagiev called himself a “businessman”, “one of the co-owners of PJSC SCZ Ocean” and emphasized that this enterprise was “stolen from him by Yusufov Igor Khanukovich.” Wanting to avoid returning to the Russian Federation, he agrees to cooperate with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and promises to testify “as part of the investigation into the theft of shares in the Ocean plant” and “facts of money laundering.”

“Documents and Facts” write about the story of PJSC SCZ Ocean: we are talking about shipyards located on the territory of Ukraine and which were an asset of Wadan Yards. According to the publication, Aslan Gagiev became one of the shareholders of the company in 2008. In addition, it is reported that “Ocean” through the company “Tamplestowe” was actually controlled by the father and son Yusufovs, and this structure was used for banal money laundering.

Apparently, Dzhako was going to tell Ukrainian investigators about this and much more. But now he is dealing with their Russian counterparts. I wonder whether Gagiev will repeat during interrogations what he already said in the Austrian court at the meeting where the issue of extradition was considered? His testimony was published in the press, containing, for example, the following statements:

“They will kill me either because of conflicts or because of money, because my business was valued at $3 billion, and they took it from me. This was the country’s former energy minister. He also worked in the presidential administration, he had the position of adviser to President Putin, he was responsible for the Russian energy sector..."

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand who the former “reputable businessman” is referring to. Apparently, the seasoned criminal knows very well the character and methods of work of Igor Yusufov, if, speaking about him, he trembles like an aspen leaf.

“In the interests and on behalf of the President...”

But let’s return to the German acquisition of Vitaly Yusufov. Already in 2010, the British auditing company Ernst Young estimated German shipyards at 722-911 million euros. What does the new owner do? He pledges assets under the Bank of Moscow credit line and ultimately acquires almost 20% of the bank’s shares, previously owned by its president Andrei Borodin.

The Free Press publication reported that on the eve of the acquisition of securities, Yusufov received an unsupported loan in the amount of $1.1 billion from the Bank of Moscow. But soon Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who was especially favorable to Borodin, resigned. Clouds began to gather over the banker: previously, a criminal case had been opened regarding the illegal issuance by the Bank of Moscow of an unsecured loan in the amount of 12.7 billion rubles to the Premier Estate company, affiliated with the structures of Elena Baturina. In addition, Sergei Sobyanin launched the process of takeover of the Bank of Moscow by VTB Bank.

As we see, Borodin handed out money left and right, so the change of power and loss of support in the mayor’s office did not bode well for him. In the spring of 2011, he chose to go on the run, and, already in London, he opened up. In particular, the banker told details about the takeover of the VTB structure, the sale of shares to Vitaly Yusufov and the role that Yusufov Sr., acting together with the “takers,” played in these processes.

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“Yusufov told me in plain text that he was acting in the interests and on behalf of President Dmitry Medvedev, who made the decision for the state to gain control over the Bank of Moscow,” Andrei Borodin said in an interview with Vedomosti.

Commenting on the purchase of shares by Vitaly Yusufov, he emphasized that he sold the securities at half the price of their market value. “I don’t want to guess from the tea leaves, but the version that certain people, except Yusufov, wanted to make good money from this deal seems to me the most likely,” Borodin added. It was already mentioned above that the son of the ex-minister likes to earn extra money from stock transactions.

Cleaning up the "global web"

It is noteworthy that soon after Aslan Gagiev returned to Moscow, Igor Yusufov became seriously concerned about the purity of his own reputation: in December 2018, he filed a claim with the Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow for the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation, indicating as a defendant... the global network Internet. Journalists immediately assumed that the former minister intended to remove all negative materials relating to him.

And it is possible that, first of all, those in which it was about the murder of Andrei Burlakov, possible connections with Dzhako’s gang and his Austrian testimony. However, the initiative backfired. Publications appeared in the media, which, among other things, talked about multibillion-dollar thefts that took place in the State Committee of the Russian Federation for State Reserves during the period when Yusufov worked there as deputy chairman, and then chairman in 1998-2001.

It was reported that following an inspection of the department by the State Duma Anti-Corruption Commission, 35 criminal cases were opened, but the head of the committee successfully avoided responsibility. Moreover, he even received a promotion and was appointed Federal Minister of Energy.

It is also possible that the former official will want to hide from the general public the fact that his son purchased a colonial-style estate worth $72 million, located in the famous American Silicon Valley. As Versiya reported, the house was put up for sale in 2017 by its previous owner, Deutsche Bank. The buyer was Willow Project LLC, owned by Vitaly Yusufov.

A number of circumstances that accompanied the conclusion of the purchase and sale transaction are noteworthy. It turns out that Deutsche Bank managers had doubts about the buyer’s compliance with US anti-money laundering laws.

The bank’s American Committee on Reputation Claims refused to approve the deal, which was concluded only after a conference call with the participation of banking executives from Frankfurt and London. The sellers were finally reassured by the argument that Yusufov Jr. was not subject to Western sanctions.

Virtual space, of course, can be cleaned up. But the investigation of Aslan Gagiev continues and the big question is whether he will not give the security forces a complete explanation not only of contract killings, but also of financial fraud related to the activities of Wadan Yards and related companies? After all, today Jacko is only concerned about how to survive in harsh prison conditions.

One should not discount Anna Etkina, who lives in Israel, and Andrei Borodin, who is in London. These two can tell a lot about the commercial transactions in which the Yusufov father and son took part. What to do with those who have witnessed an increase in family wealth? People are not the Internet; with them everything is much more complicated. But you can clearly explain to them that silence is golden,” concludes Georgy Volgin from the Kompromat.Group publication in the article “Code of Silence” from Igor Yusufov.”