Trump showed Kostin Otkritie

The arrest in the United States of the former co-owner of Otkritie FC Bank Vadim Belyaev, and possible ties with Donald Trump may cost the chair, and possibly freedom, to the head of the VTB board, Andrei Kostin.


The arrest in the United States of the former co-owner of Otkritie FC Bank Vadim Belyaev, and possible ties with Donald Trump may cost the chair, and possibly freedom, to the head of the VTB board, Andrei Kostin.

The Moscow Post correspondent figured out how they could withdraw state money for yachts and mansions.

Unsinkable financier Kostin, who has a stake in the state bank VTB (0.00036% in the authorized capital), has repeatedly become a defendant in scandals in Russia, but so far he has managed to stay afloat. But the arrest of Vadim Belyaev (changed his last name to his father's - Wolfson) and his partner Gennone Bond, who revealed the financier's numerous foreign assets in the United States, may be the last straw.

Of course, Kostin has already refuted the claims. It would be strange if I admitted.

The story looks especially cynical against the background of Kostin's statements about the need to build a "different world," a financial system separate from the West (read - USA).

According to the US Department of Justice, it was in the "rotten west" that the head of the state bank allegedly chose to spend millions of dollars.

Shell firms for the "Mr. K" fleet

In a statement, Vadim Wolfson (Vadim Belyaev) and Gannon Bond are called intermediaries Andrei Kostin, who participated in the laundering of funds.

The money, which went through the defendants, was intended to support two Sea Rhapsody and Sea & Us superyachts with a total value of more than $135 million and maintain an elite house in Aspen Resort (Colorado). According to the investigation, the house was bought in 2010 for $13.5 million.

According to the American investigation, the luxurious yacht Sea Rhapsody with a pool, simulators, a club area and a jacuzzi, from 2012 to March 2022 was used mainly by Kostin and his immediate family.

If you believe the materials of the court, then Sea Rhapsody, which was estimated at almost $70 million, was registered with a chain of shell firms, which began with Solston Shipping Limited, created in Belize in November 2007.


The Moscow Post found out that a yacht with this name, built in 2012, flies the flag of Malaysia (according to other sources - under the flag of the Marshall Islands).

The yacht is serviced by DEAN&WATERS LTD. The latter is a British super yacht management firm, headed by Nicholas Dean, a former managing partner of the brokerage firm Ocean Independent. The yacht was previously operated by Ocean Management GmbH of Kusnacht, Switzerland.


As for Solston Shipping Limited, there really is such a company in the register. It is operational and affiliated with the head office in France.


The French register only indicates that the office is also operational, but its owners are hidden.


The second yacht - the 205-foot The Sea & Us - is also, according to American investigators, registered offshore - Pasithea Shipping Limited, which was created in July 2016 in the Marshall Islands. He used the yacht, according to the investigation, Kostin with the lady of the heart (his mistress).


From open sources it is known that the second ship was built in 2018, goes under the flag of Malaysia. The Swiss Ocean Management GmbH also manages the yacht. Moreover, just a couple of weeks ago, the yacht was seen off the coast of Turkey, near the resort town of Ortakent.


American investigators said that both offshore yacht owners allegedly controlled Kostin - "through a number of additional shell companies, nominal owners, trust and investment funds." Testimony against the owner, according to the document, was also given by the crew of yachts, calling them part of the fleet "Mr. K."


Dacha in Aspen

As for the house in Aspen, it was registered for the Colorado company 40 North Star, established just for purchase in 2010.

The deal for this house was called the most expensive deal in a week in the district, so the house itself was even in the photo.


It is clarified that 40 North Star owned the house until 2020.

The Moscow Post found out that the company itself was eventually liquidated in July 2021. The agent of the company was a certain Herbert S. Klein, related to a whole bunch of companies in the United States.


Investigators claim that the house was bought not only as an investment, but in 2010-2017 the owner personally used it, and annually for several weeks, and acquired several works of art worth more than $1 million there. Ostensibly in 2011, Kostin even personally wrote a welcoming letter to neighbours indicating that "the organisation I control [i.e." 40 North Star "] acquired Lot 6 [i.e. Aspen House] last year."

In addition, Belyaev and his family allegedly entered the house and also sometimes used it (from 2018 to 2020).


Approximately in May 2014, the house was nominally sold to Altamonte Holding Limited, which was created a month earlier in the British Virgin Islands. The money, $10 million, for the purchase of a house was provided as a loan by a certain firm Capital Business Finance.

It was reported that the shares of Capital Business Finance are owned by a nominal shareholder in the trust management of the shell company Gesford Holdings (liquidated in December 2022), the real beneficiaries of which are hidden behind nominal legal entities - Atkien Enterprises and Ionic Nominees Limited. At the same time, the money, according to the investigators, was thrown along a long chain that began in the Cypriot account of Mr. Wolfson (aka Belyaev).



Interesting: the director of Atkien Enterprises at one time was the Cypriot lawyer Pampina Votsi, which also appeared in the PIK Group of Companies Andrei Gordeev and a number of other large Russian legal entities. The Moscow Post connected this lady with the interests of the tobacco lobby and even former American President Donald Trump.


As we can see, the participants in this story very skillfully entangled the tracks, winding like a hare in the snow. And, if the mentioned assets and firms really belong to Kostin, then a reasonable question arises on what money the head of the state bank allowed himself such luxuries. Isn't it the money of the state bank?

The personality of the "liaison" Kostin, the founder of Otkritie Bank Belyaev, also adds to the severity of the situation.

Recall that this bank and its "daughter" - "Trust" fell under reorganization. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation invested 555 billion rubles in the reorganization of Otkrytie alone, having received a refund by dividends of only 352 billion rubles, that is, the loss from the reorganization alone was 203 billion rubles. But, as it turned out, there could be fraud in the withdrawal of hundreds of millions of dollars for the perimeter of Otkritie Holding. Trust and Otkritie filed relevant lawsuits against Belyaev in 2020. In Russia, Belyaev, as well as a co-defendant, lost a lawsuit for almost 300 billion rubles, they were charged as losses.

That is, a person who participated in such a schematosis simply went to live abroad, and the question of who will actually compensate for the billions of dollars in losses hung in the air.

It is worth recalling here that Belyaev Kostina is by no means a stranger: VTB was even before the reorganization as part of the beneficiaries of Otkritie Bank, along with a huge network of offshore companies. And it was VTB that eventually sold Otkritie FC Bank in 2022.


So maybe in the history of the Opening schemes a successful financier was noted, set in 2023 to steer the whole United Shipbuilding Corporation? By the way, Kostin Bank has already poured the first loan for 50 billion rubles into the unprofitable USC.

And this is not the first time Kostin has been associated with offshore companies. Back in 2015, The Moscow Post talked about a possible withdrawal scheme.

Or here: in 1997, Kommersant reported on the financial fraud of the National Reserve Bank (NRB), where American citizens were also involved. The publication clarified that Kostin could also inherit in history, since part of the amounts were withdrawn to a certain company Lebec, which is allegedly formed from elements of two surnames - Lebedev and Kostin. Then at least $100 million was spent through the NRB scheme. Kommersant reported that allegedly in the NRB control over these operations was carried out by the first deputy chairman Andrei Kostin, who later became the head of Vnesheconombank. The autographed documents then disappeared in an unknown direction. Kostin, of course, denied any connection with this scam.

Whether the new information will shake the position of a successful financier, time and what Belyaev wants to "sing" will show. Quite possibly for the promise to shorten the term, the former banker will be very eloquent.