Tri­umvi­rate ac­cused of turn­ing Odesa into per­sonal fief­dom

Kyiv Post - - Na­tional -

ac­quainted when he headed a ma­jor busi­ness in Odesa. The group that he founded was guarded by our se­cu­rity firm, like many oth­ers.”

Back­ground

Angert, who goes by the nick­name “An­gel,” was born in Odesa in 1955, and had Is­raeli, Venezue­lan and Soviet cit­i­zen­ship, ac­cord­ing to the dossier. He used to live in Lon­don and now lives in Turkey, OC­CRP re­ported in April.

In the 1980s, in the Soviet era, Angert was sen­tenced to 15 years in jail for rap­ing and mur­der­ing a wo­man, and for rob­bery, Alla Ko­rys­tovska, who worked as a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the time, told OC­CRP in 2016.

Angert’s other part­ner, Galanterni­k, is 48 years old, ac­cord­ing to Elle UK’s 2016 in­ter­view with Natasha Zinko.

In the early 1990s Galanterni­k was a small busi­ness­man who traded elec­tric equip­ment, get­ting the nick­name of Lam­pochka (Light Bulb), Alexan­der Sibirt­sev, an Odesabased in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist, told the Novoye Vre­mya magazine. In 2003, Galanterni­k co-founded Sot­skom­bank, which was liq­ui­dated in 2011.

"As far as Galanterni­k is con­cerned, that’s a busi­ness­man who is ac­tively do­ing busi­ness in Odesa. Why do we have such close re­la­tions with him?” Trukhanov said in a March in­ter­view with the Levy Bereg news site. “…There are peo­ple do­ing busi­ness in Odesa who also do some­thing for the city: hold con­certs, at­tract peo­ple, dec­o­rate play­grounds.”

Trukhanov, born in Odesa in 1965, be­came head of then-Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych’s Party of Re­gions’ fac­tion on the Odesa City Coun­cil in 2010. He be­came mayor of the city in 2014 and re-elected in 2015.

Trukhanov has Rus­sian cit­i­zen­ship, which was con­firmed by the site of Rus­sia’s Fed­eral Tax Ser­vice, although he de­nies this.

The gang is also linked to Rus­sian oil mag­nate Alexan­der Zhukov, ac­cord­ing to the dossier. In 2011, he was de­tained in Italy on sus­pi­cion of trad­ing il­le­gal weapons. An Ital­ian court ac­quit­ted him of smug­gling be­cause it was out­side of Italy’s ju­ris­dic­tion.

Angert, Angert’s daugh­ter Anya, Galanterni­k, and Trukah­nov’s com­mon-law wife and daugh­ter, Tetyana Koltunova and Kateryna Trukhanova, have all bought lux­ury apart­ments in Lon­don, ac­cord­ing to an April in­ves­ti­ga­tion by OC­CRP.

Mu­nic­i­pal con­tracts

Trukhanov’s as­so­ci­ates cur­rently own a thriv­ing busi­ness em­pire in Odesa that in­cludes com­pa­nies that win mu­nic­i­pal con­tracts and are awarded most of the prime land for con­struc­tion.

These in­clude con­struc­tion com­pa­nies So­for, Rost­dorstroy, Ekop-Piv­den, Pan­teon-Yug, Kyivshlyak­hbud, Dnestr­prud­vod, Vorontsovs­ki Vezhi, In­teko-Yug, PIK Story and SKVO, as well as Odesa Re­gional In­sur­ance Com­pany.

Ac­cord­ing to the Jus­tice Min­istry’s of­fi­cial reg­is­ter, these com­pa­nies are cur­rently co-owned or headed by Yuriy Shu­makher, a mem­ber of Trukhanov’s fac­tion; Alexan­der Zhukov, a busi­ness part­ner of Shu­makher and fa­ther of Rus­sian bil­lion­aire oli­garch Ro­man Abramovich's ex-wife, Dasha Zhukova; Maryna Lo­zovenko, an Odesa city coun­cil mem­ber from Trukhanov’s fac­tion, as well as Trukhanov’s busi­ness part­ners — An­driy Ivan­cho, Dmytro Bugeda, Mykola Bugeda and Mykola Dani­lyuk.

Trukhanov’s daugh­ter Kateryna used to be the CEO of SKVO.

Ac­cord­ing to two leaks of in­for­ma­tion on off­shore firms — the Panama and Par­adise Pa­pers — some of these com­pa­nies used to be co-owned di­rectly by Trukhanov. Shu­makher con­firmed to the Kyiv Post that he used to co-own one of the com­pa­nies’ par­ent firms Corderoy Trad­ing Limited with Trukhanov.

In 2016, the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands’ Fi­nan­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency asked Mos­sack Fon­seca, a share regis­trar, about doc­u­ments from Corderoy Trad­ing Limited as part of a money laun­der­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments pub­lished by Slidsvto.info.

Com­pa­nies linked to the Trukhanov- Angert- Galanterni­k group reg­u­larly win mu­nic­i­pal con­tracts to re­pair roads, schools and hos­pi­tals, Arkady Topov from Odesa’s Anti-Cor­rup­tion Of­fice civic group told the Kyiv Post.

Rost­dorstroy has con­sis­tently re­ceived the big­gest mu­nic­i­pal con­tracts for road re­pairs in Odesa, while Lo­zovenko’s PIK Stroy also gets such con­tracts, he said.

Topov ar­gued that mu­nic­i­pal ten­ders are of­ten rigged or ma­nip­u­lated, ei­ther by stip­u­lat­ing their terms so vaguely or mak­ing their con­di­tions so strict that only Trukhanov-linked com­pa­nies are able to take part. Shu­makher de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions.

High-end real es­tate

Since 2014 Odesa City Coun­cil, dom- inated by Trukhanov’s fac­tion, has dis­trib­uted the city’s most valu­able land to com­pa­nies al­legedly con­nected with Trukhanov, Galanterni­k and Angert. The al­leged ties to the busi­ness­men are dif­fi­cult to trace be­cause Galanterni­k and Angert own very few firms di­rectly and use place­hold­ers to own as­sets on their be­half, anti-cor­rup­tion ac­tivists say.

“When we were fight­ing to de­fend the city (from Rus­sian-backed sep­a­ratists) in 2014, and when the war on the eastern front be­gan, Odesa City Coun­cil was tak­ing a lot of de­ci­sions in fa­vor of Galanterni­k,” Usty­menko said.

Shu­makher de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions that the land had been al­lo­cated un­fairly.

But when one takes a look at the com­pa­nies that reg­u­larly win city con­tracts, a web of links be­tween them start to ap­pear — with Angert, Galanterni­k and Trukhanov at its nexus. For in­stance, Arka­dia City, a real es­tate devel­oper for the Arka­dia sea­side district, is headed by Va­len­tyna Sokolova, an aide to Bloc of Petro Poroshenko law­maker Olek­sandr Pres­man — a po­lit­i­cal ally of Trukhanov. Oleg Degt­yarev, who co-owns Arka­dia City, also co-heads Law Firm, which con­trols the UK-reg­is­tered ho­tel and ac­com­mo­da­tion com­pany Ler­a­tex Limited — the di­rec­tor of which is Galanterni­k’s daugh­ter Maria. Law Firm also man­ages the UK-reg­is­tered fash­ion com­pany Abrakadabr­a Cre­ations, co-owned by Galanterni­k’s wife Zinko. Arka­dia City did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

An­other of Odesa’s pre­dom­i­nant prop­erty de­vel­op­ers, Bu­dova, is for­mally owned by lit­tle-known Odesa res­i­dents Oleh Glushankov, Dmytro Di­marsky and Boris Rodin. Ac­cord­ing to Odesa-based jour­nal­ist and civic ac­tivist Mykhailo Meiz­er­sky, Po­la­marchuk, Usty­menko and nu­mer­ous other sources in Odesa, the firm is ac­tu­ally owned by Angert, Galanterni­k and Trukhanov. Bu­dova de­clined to com­ment.

Zevs, a se­cu­rity firm that pro­vides ser­vices to Trukhanov, is reg­is­tered at the same ad­dress as Bu­dova — 93 Bol­shaya Ar­naut­skaya.

Bu­dova’s co-owner Di­marsky owns UVGP-Sis­tema, which was pre­vi­ously co-owned by Yuriy Bugeda, a busi­ness part­ner of Trukhanov.

Mean­while, Starosen­naya Ploshchad in Odesa is be­ing de­vel­oped by a firm called Ad­vance­ment. An­driy Babko, the CEO of Ad­vance­ment, also heads Amer­i­can Group In­vest, owned by Ra­dion Lefteryov. Lefteryov was a co-founder of Sot­skom­bank with Galanterni­k and Pres­man, the po­lit­i­cal ally of Trukhanov.

Real es­tate on Starosen­naya Ploshchad was il­le­gally rented with­out a ten­der by the city au­thor­i­ties to Ad­vance­ment in 2016 and then il­le­gally sold to the firm, ac­cord­ing to in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Grig­ory Kozma. The build­ings had al­ready been de­stroyed by the time they were fic­ti­tiously pri­va­tized, he said.

Privoz mar­ket

Lo­cal ac­tivists also link Odesa’s Privoz mar­ket to the Angert-Galanterni­kTrukhanov group.

Olek­siy Spek­tor, a sub­or­di­nate of Trukhanov who has been charged in a Na­tional Anti-Cor­rup­tion Bu­reau of Ukraine case against the mayor, used to be the CEO of Privoz.

Privoz is con­trolled by Kel­mos En­ter­prise, which also owns Dara Group, headed by Ed­uard Samotkal.

A source who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity for fear of reprisals said that Samotkal is known as one of “Galanterni­k’s di­rec­tors.” Samotkal and Galanterni­k used to co-own Privoz, the source said. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Privoz de­clined to com­ment for this story. In 2012, pros­e­cu­tors opened a case into the il­le­gal pri­va­ti­za­tion of parts of Privoz, but closed it in 2014, ac­cord­ing to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Slid­stvo. info in­ves­tiga­tive show. In 2013, the Odesa city au­thor­i­ties sold Privoz, which has an area of four hectares, for Hr 40 mil­lion — much less than the value of the prime build­ing land on which it is lo­cated.

Galanterni­k’s aim “is to build as much as pos­si­ble and com­mer­cial­ize as much as pos­si­ble, and get max­i­mum prof­its for his group,” Usty­menko said.

Busi­ness­man Vladimir Galanterni­k's wife Natasha Zinko poses in a dress themed on French queen Marie Antoinette in Hyde Park, Lon­don, on May 15, 2016. Zinko's In­sta­gram ex­poses the cou­ple's lav­ish life­style. (Zinko's In­sta­gram)

Yuriy Shu­makher, a mem­ber of Odesa City Coun­cil from Mayor Hen­nady Trukhanov's fac­tion. (Cour­tesy)

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