Vladimir Savov, Newest Member of the Financial Supervision Commission Has a Background in a Russian Bank Financed by VTB and Accused of Raiding

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Vlarimir Savov Photo http://finparty.ru/

The Bulgarian Parliament voted today the nominations of Ralitsa Agayn and Vladimir Savov for members of the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC). The Members of the Parliament from GERB, DPS, and BSP approved them with practically no debates or introduction of these candidates.

Vladimir Savov is the less-known character from the two new members of the Committee headed by Stoyan Mavrodiev. From his biography we learn that in the last four years he served as Director of the Analytical Department of the Russian Financial Corporation “Otkritie” (Discovery). A review of Russian business press shows that this Corporation is associated with the Bank of Kremlin, VTB, and with raiding scandals.

Government support in the midst of crisis

Russian business press monitors closely the development of corporation “Otkritie,” which in recent years has successfully expanded and acquired new banks and assets. Financial markets experts see the roots of this success in the fact that in the very midst of the crisis in 2009, VTB bought 19.9% stake in “Otkritie” for 5 billion rubles ($166 million). This happened at a time when practically no one had any money and allowed “Otkritie” to begin aggressive increase of its assets, writes the Russian weekly “Ruskiy Reporter” (Russian Reporter).

The Bulgarian analogue of this undisguised state protectionism, (the Russian state is the main shareholder in VTB with 60.9%), is Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), which is sustained with public money. Up to 70% of deposits of large state companies were concentrated in KTB during the rule of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB). This allowed the bank to increase its assets aggressively and, through its partnership with the Russian VTB, to buy strategic companies such as Vivacom and Bulgartabac.

Raiding schemes

VTB was removed from the capital of “Otkritie” in April 2013 after it sold its remaining 7.96% stake to Russian “Raider Number One” Sergei Gordeev. Gordeev’s company “Rossbuilding” has specialized in years past in the acquisition and closing of companies and the sale of their tangible assets. Gordeev has become so infamous with these deeds that even the former Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, known for his corrupt practices, accused him of “undermining the industrial potential of Russia,” Russian publication “Vek” (Century) asserts.

“Otkritie” was involved in a major raiding scandal at the end of the last decade. In 2008, a company from within the Corporation became partner-investor in the House of Culture “Kirov” in Sankt Petersburg, which belongs to trade unions. The idea was to repair the building and investors to build an elite residential district and business center on the adjoining land.

For this purpose, a joint company was established, in which the trade unions made a 20% contribution in-kind in the form of real estate property – the “Kirov” building. Instead of fresh investments for the remaining 80% of the company’s capital, “Otkritie” contributed in the joint venture suspicious debt securities.

In April 2009, the director of the newly-founded company sold the building for $2 million to a Cyprus offshore firm. One year after the sale, the Leningrad Federation of Trade Unions has been shocked to find out that they no longer owned the House of Culture. Court proceedings were launched and ended with proven abuses and dissolution of the sale’s contract. Criminal proceedings against the director of the company, who sold the property to the offshore company, were initiated as well, but were subsequently terminated.

Who nominated them?

Agayn’s and Savov’s nominations were tabled hastily Thursday evening by the Head of FSC, Stoyan Mavrodiev. On Friday morning, using the model “Peevski’s election to lead the State Security Agency,” the proposal was placed on the Parliament’ agenda and was speedily voted by the Members of the Parliament, receiving mass support from GERB.

As Bivol wrote, the Head of the Financial Supervision Commission, Stoyan Mavrodiev, is not only close to GERB (he is a former GERB MP), but has been involved in property deals with a key figure from Boyko Borisov’s circle – that of Rumen Nikolov The Pasha, a former partner of Borisov in an illegal cigarette factory in Kraymorie.

On August 8, 2006, Mavrodiev and his wife Iva have purchased from Rumen Nikolov The Pasha a 173 sq/m apartment with two 20 sq/m garages in Sofia’s upscale Losenets district. The family has paid 200 000 for the luxury property.

Stoyan Mavrodiev was among witnesses summoned to testify in the trial against Evelin Banev Brendo, Desislava and Vladimir Dishlievi, defendants in an international drug smuggling channel case in Italy and in a case for money laundering in Sofia. He failed to appear. Another witness in the trial explained that Mavrodiev had represented companies for offshore registration.

“I insist on questioning witness Mavrodiev as far as his signatures appear on documents submitted by “Quilin Ventures”and” Fidelity Enterprises,” including documents authorizing Desislava Dishlieva and Vladimir Dishliev to represent the company in its bank accounts in Euram Bank,” the prosecutor in the case said in the courtroom, quoted by the newspaper Capital.

Following the publication of this information, Mavrodiev sent a right of reply, in which he categorically denied knowing in person Rumen Nikolov The Pasha. He asserted that he had bought the apartments through a real estate agency. Regarding the case “Brendo,” Mavrodiev commented that the prosecution and the court unanimously decided that he had nothing to do with it and he was removed from the witness list.

“The grounds for the removal are described in the court record and it is public. They specified that my subpoena for this trial had no relation to what had to be proven in this case,” Stoyan Mavrodiev insisted.


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