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Dossier Center List
On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed new sanctions against 24 Russians, including businessmen and government officials from Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. We believe it would be wrong to rely solely on the opinion of a foreign government. The Dossier Center publishes its own list of possible organizers of the Kremlin OCG and their likely accomplices with brief profiles.
Andrey Leonidovich Kostin
President and Chairman of VTB
Date and Place of Birth
September 21, 1956, Moscow, RSFSR, USSR
Participation and complicity in the activities of the organized criminal community, established for the purpose of systematic commission of especially dangerous crimes against the foundations of the constitutional system and state security, state power and interests of the state service, justice, as well as against peace and security.
Based on materials previously published in the mass media, he is suspected of the raider seizure of Bank of Moscow. In 2011 VTB bought 46.5% of shares in Bank of Moscow from the Moscow government, as well as a blocking share of Stolichnaya Insurance Group, which controlled 17.5% of the bank. Instead of conducting an open tender, the Moscow City Government contributed the Bank of Moscow shares to the authorized capital of the Central Fuel Company and sold them to VTB. According to Andrey Borodin, the assessment of the bank by the buyer (180-190 billion rubles) was understated – the shareholders themselves estimated the value of the bank at 240-270 billion. Mr. Borodin believes that VTB’s indicators at the time of the deal would not have allowed him to buy out the entire package of shares in Bank of Moscow due to the fact that after the agreement VTB’s adequacy ratio would have fallen below 8% and the Central Bank would have been forced to revoke the license of the bank on the same day. The former co-owner of Bank of Moscow also claims that he twice offered VTB representatives to buy out the block of shares at a price higher than the purchase price, but they refused.
According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation, in July 2007 VTB Leasing, a subsidiary of VTB Bank, was involved in an incident connected with the purchase of 30 units of drilling equipment, as a result of which the bank incurred multimillion losses.
According to the Kommersant newspaper, VTB put up 22.5 percent of its shares for sale to private minority shareholders in 2007. At the IPO, about 130 thousand people bought the bank shares at a price of 13.6 kopecks apiece. VTB sold a total of 8 billion dollars worth of shares, of which 1.5 billion were bought by individuals. In the summer of that year, the price of shares fell below the original selling price, and by March 2009 they were worth two kopecks. At the height of the crisis, private shareholders accused VTB of overstating the original share price, failing to act, and receiving disproportionate remuneration from the bank’s managers. In February 2012, just before the presidential election, Vladimir Putin ordered VTB to consider buying back shares. Within a week, the bank developed a mechanism of compensation for private minority shareholders. From March 12 to April 13, 2012, VTB offered a buyback of shares at the purchase price in 2007 (13.6 kopecks), which is much higher than the market value of the shares at that time (7 kopecks per share). According to Forbes, the non-market price of the bank’s acquisition of shares and the haste with which the buyback process was organized points to the political motivation of the decisions made by VTB managers, who acted not in the interests of shareholders, but in order to solve the current problems of the Russian authorities.
Between 2013 and 2014, three banks (VTB, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas) raised $2 billion in loans for firms owned by the Mozambican Ministry of Defense, which entered into contracts to purchase military equipment. Credit Suisse and VTB received $200 million in fees, according to a Kroll investigation. In 2017, the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI launched an investigation into the role of banks that lent to the Mozambique Ministry of Defense in facilitating corruption in the country.
Possible violations of the law
Andrei Kostin’s actions may contain indications of the following crimes under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation:
- Art. 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Organization of a criminal association (criminal organization) or participation in it (it)”, i.e. participation in the activities of a criminal association established for the purpose of violent illegal retention of power contrary to the requirements of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the systematic commission of other crimes against the government, justice, interests of service and peace.
- Art. 158 of the Criminal Code of the RF “Theft”, i.e. secret theft of another’s property. The object of theft is the state property.