2014 became one of the most eventful years and respectively the hardest for me and my family. My persecutors changed their tactics from the slow-paced and abrupt actions to an incredible pressure. Forgeries, made-up accusations, false testimonies, searches etc. However these actions also attracted the attention of Russian federal media outlets, who carefully examined the case, along with the set of arguments of the prosecution, and found a number of major flaws, conflicts and falsifications! This is definitely one of the best articles on the subject, highly recommended for reading!

Lawlessness “quite within the law”

 It's no secret that after announcing the procedure re-certification of police officers, reorganizing law enforcement structure, with renaming the militsiya into the police in 2011, a lot of businessmen decided to stop paying “protection” tribute to the new police chiefs.

In many regions of Russia, this process went smooth and generally, the business managed to get rid of the siloviki racket, which haunted their activities and took away their money. However, KhMAO and its capital Nizhnevartovsk seem to be one of the exclusions, as there is still an organized criminal group in the region, operated by former and acting law enforcement service members.

0These “security officers” engage in the taxation of businessmen and in extortion of their money. In cases when victim disagrees with the imposed conditions, they are able to do anything to eliminate that entrepreneur’s business including official pressure tools with a help of Persecutor’s office, Investigative Committee, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Tax police, Audit Control Department, the Police, as much as the unofficial ones – setups, examinations, and arsons. Of course, provided with “regular cooperation” they help to solve all the listed problems.

Nizhnevartovsk Tax police is surrounded with legends about the level of corruption in its ranks.

One of these is, apparently, the story when they were trying to criminally charge an ex-director of an organization for being paid a salary when he wasn’t actually present at his office for some time. The investigation wanted to prove that the director, by receiving a salary, illegally "enriched" at the expense of the company, because he allegedly did not carry out his duties! Investigators cared neither about the nature of the director's work, who was often going on business trips, nor did they care about the true reasons for his absence.

But their zeal in the search for evidence of his guilt even made them travel from KhMAO to Belgorod. They conducted a search in the apartment of the person under investigation, while the point of the search is unclear as is what they were looking for. Overall, for such a minor incident the pressure was incredible (source).

It is especially interesting that the organization which demonstrated mentioned zeal is the Department of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian Federation in KhMAO-Yugra. Here is, probably, the most interesting. The fact is that the said Department, considering all the reorganizations conducted in law enforcement system from 2003 to 2011, is the heir of the tax police of Nizhnevartovsk, which is, as we know, legendary for its corruption. Its head for until June 2003, was the well-known individual, Brykin Nikolai Gavrilovich (on the picture), Major General who was transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and soon after, honorably retired. General’s "right hand” has always been Laskin Gennady Sergeevich (on the picture) – the head of Nizhnevartovsk tax police. In most cases, he was the one who helped to bring Brykin’s plans for “activities” and raids.

Many people agreed to talk to us about the facts of corruption in KhMAO only because most of the characters described in this article no longer occupy their posts, after the cleaning of the police and "honorary retirements" of the high-ranking officials. However, few still dared to talk openly, because the potential threat is not gone. The history of raiding and corruption in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District and Nizhnevartovsk is, overall, quite typical for what was happening in the past years in the country. Some of the stories last up to this day.

During our investigation of corruption in the law enforcement agencies of KhMAO (Nizhnevartovsk), we found some curious details of another story. It is an example one of those stories which are still not ended. Let us tell you the whole story here.

Pay tribute or be in trouble.

OOO “Samotlor Trading company" (founded by Dyulgerov Konstantin Ivanovich) first started to have problems with the siloviki back in 2000. At that time Brykin Nikolai Gavrilovich was still in charge of the tax police of the region, and Laskin Gennady headed the tax police of Nizhnevartovsk.

Everything began when the only founder of the OOO “Samotlor Trading company" Dyulgerov Konstantin Ivanovich was invited to a meeting where he was “accessibly explained” that he has to pay a “tax” of 1 million rubles every month, “or there will be problems."

Back then, at the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, the extortion by the siloviki-policemen in the region became widespread. There were numerous schemes of putting pressure on business and entrepreneurs in order to obtain money or other benefits. Entrepreneurs knew what might happen to those who did not agree to "get under the wing" and refused to pay. In case of refusal, their businesses were destroyed in all possible ways. On the other hand, by paying these amounts, entrepreneurs were buying themselves a guarantee that they could work quietly, not fearing any inspections, and in case of any problems from organized crime, thefts and raids of any “hostile” department - they could turn to the siloviki for help.

The times were such, and not only in KhMAO and Nizhnevartovsk but also in other regions of the country. The majority of businessmen agreed with these conditions, had to agree, and the founder of the said OOO was no exception. Our sources from the former colleagues of Brykin and Laskin (on a picture) claim that, according to rumors, this scheme was streamlined, with dozens of major businessmen of the region paying the tribute. The amounts of money for each businessman were different, the siloviki probably evaluated the level of financial success of the victim. It should be noted, that none of the entrepreneurs asked the law enforcement structures for help, because of the high status of racketeers.

Decided to cut ties with “protection” – problems began.

Since July 1, 2003 the Federal Tax Police Service has been disbanded. Many specialists connected this with the fact of corruption widely spread in the department by this time. Most of the responsibilities and personnel were transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Brykin and Laskin were among those transferred to the MIA structures. The “protection” of businesses continued – after all, the connections and tools for pressure remained.

In 2007, the founder of the OOO “Samotlor Trading company" received new forced conditions, and 49% of the authorized capital of the successful company, was transferred to a certain person, Sergei Kiryanov, who was the son-in-law of Major General Brykin. The share was transferred for free, Kiryanov has not paid anything in exchange and even wasn’t present at the signing of the contract. At the same time, businessman still continued to pay a “tribute”.

In 2008, when these high-ranking siloviki had already lost their jobs and were honorably retired, Konstantin Ivanovich Dyulgerov decided to impose his own terms on them, by claiming that he would continue to pay only if they exclude their “blank” founder from the company’s owners. They accepted this condition, and the entrepreneur received a contract of sale a stake in the company. We should especially note that Kiryanov was, again, absent at the signing of the contract, the fact which has later played its sinister and important role!

In 2009, Konstantin Dyulgerov finally decided to break with his “protection" and refused to pay a monthly "tribute." This decision started a number of problems, and the "siloviki" have always hinted that it all happened not without their "help." His furniture salon, a warehouse, and a shop were burned down, which caused huge material damage. The criminal case of an arson remained unsolved and was suspended. Businessman had to leave Nizhnevartovsk because of the continued threats and problems, and move to another region of Russia.

Realizing that the businessman "escaped", and it is necessary to find new ways to influence him, they have increased their pressure on Dyulgerov in 2010. For example, they initiated a criminal case of fraud (Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), due to the fact that Dyulgerov illegally removed Kiryanov S.K. (Brykin’s son-in-law) from the list of founders of OOO “Samotlor Trading Company". We draw your attention to the fact that, such disputes, first of all, should be resolved in the Arbitration Court, and not by the police, prosecutor's office or the investigation committee. This story has seen several lawsuits and number of directly opposite decisions of the Arbitration Courts, both in favor of one party and the other. As a result of litigation, Kiryanov's 49% share was returned back to him.

Investigator with criminal habits.

Usually, in case of such judicial contradictions, when the alleged victim is restored in his rights, there can be no criminal prosecution. After all, the matter of the question is the economic dispute between the subjects, the point of the dispute has already been examined by the court, and the judgment has been made. We believe, that the fact that the criminal case was initiated in these circumstances, indicates that the whole goal was to press the businessman, intimidate him by criminal charges and force him to continue the payment of the "tribute”. That 49 % did not bring much profit since the company was deep in the debts. On the other hand, previously the "tribute" was steady, despite the financial performance of the company.

On May 27, 2011 the criminal case was reopened. Dyulgerov’s case is currently under investigation headed by Ustyuzhaninov Maksim Nikolaevich, a former subordinate of Brykin and Laskin, again, from the time of their service in tax police. According to our interlocutors, Ustyuzhaninov M.N. is Brykin and Laskin's combat dog, who has long stayed on their paycheck with bonus pays for following the “orders”.

Surprisingly, the case has still not been sent to court. But apparently, the apogee of this story is very close. In early August 2014, the founder of OOO “Samotlor Trading Company” was told that all the charges against him would be dropped if he paid an “apology" of 60 million rubles. Just imagine this amount of money! Simply put, "you pay, or you get behind bars." Provided with money, they promised to forget about him, and stop the criminal case. Since the businessman did not have that much, siloviki decided that he would give them what he could collect, and write a promissory note for the rest of the amount.

They started to prepare documents to arrange the "closing of the case”. In order to do that, according to investigator Ustyuzhaninov, they needed to conduct a number of investigative measures: to re-register and complete the testimony of the victim, witnesses, third parties and the accused person himself, as well as to arrange a series of personal dialogues between them. This entire circus called "procedural actions", took place at Korston Hotel (why here is unknown) in Moscow on August 6-7, 2014. The role of the "pocket" investigator Ustyuzhaninov, at this stage, can not be overestimated. During the two days of the investigation, he has constantly told Dyulgerov, 5-6 times a day: “You should solve the issue with Mr. Laskin and Brykin quickly. The sooner you decide, the sooner I will close the case!”. Investigator with criminal habits.

But the siloviki made a mistake and they had an unexpected surprise waiting for them!

Based on the new testimonies and face-to-face meetings, it turned out that the founder of OOO "Samotlor Trading Company" has actually paid for the share of the "ex-co-founder" Kiryanov. The situation was arranged as if Kiryanov had earlier asked his friend to act as his representative in the deal and to withdraw money for a share in the company. In turn, the representative who took money at the request of Kiryanov did not bring them to him, but took money himself, as Kiryanov owed him.

Thus, Kiryanov allegedly realized that he went to the police by mistake, and he realized that he has no rights to the ownership of the share, and does not insist on continuing the criminal prosecution. Isn't that a farce? So the case can be closed, according to the law. Now is a turn for the racketeers to get their "compensation" of 60 million rubles! Apparently, the siloviki have already "lost their grip", miscalculated and now there was an unexpected surprise coming for them! The businessman managed to catch the right moment and took all the documents that confirm his innocence, after which he refused to pay!

By a strange coincidence, at the same time, the district prosecutor, Mr. Kondratiev Alexander Filippovich, writes an official letter addressed to the head of the Investigative Department of Nizhnevartovsk, Mr. Mezrin V.A. (in the photo) and asks that the investigation took all the necessary actions to bring charges of fraud to Dyulgerov K.I.

The siloviki decided neither to give up nor to back down! Already on August 08, 2014 a businessman is put on the wanted list and charged with fraud! To find the ill-fated documents, investigator Ustyuzhaninov M.N., under the pretext of the need for further investigation, gets the court's permission signed by Judge Khayarova Alfiya Rasimovna (according to one of our interlocutors, she is "on the hook" of the law enforcement bodies and she repeatedly carried out such decisions). Ustyuzhaninov personally arrives in Moscow Oblast to head the procedure of search in the house of an entrepreneur in order to find, capture and, likely, destroy dangerous documents! During the search, the investigators cracked iron doors and a safe, despite the fact that the keys had to be brought within 10-15 minutes. Much has been done specifically to instill fear and create psychological pressure. They searched everything, damaged the surroundings as much as possible, and broke what could be broken, however, haven’t found any documents.

Due to persistent and repeated complaints filed by Dyulgerov’s lawyer, an entrepreneur’s wanted status has been canceled on September 16, 2014. But the investigation still continued its "tricks of the trade”.

To get out of the situation after the loss of the documents, a new interview with all individuals involved in the case has been initiated. Based on the new testimony turned out that Dyulgerov Konstantin Ivanovich bribed witnesses. With the use of the new testimony on September 18, an additional criminal case was brought against Konstantin Dyulgerov under art. 309 of the Criminal Code (bribery or coercion to testify).

Investigator Ustyuzhaninov M.N. at that moment did not take into account that it was he who interviewed witnesses and victims who denied Dyulgerov's guilt himself and that the documents made up for closing the criminal case and excluding Dulgerov's guilt are still at his disposal bearing his signature. However, in order to initiate a case under an article of bribery, they had to procedurally exclude the accused's guilt, ie, the documents should be included in the case, they should not be in the hands of the accused. The very fact that the accused has these documents breaks the whole scheme. Which means that the main task of Ustyuzhaninov and Co. is to find and destroy any potential evidence. The businessman has been put on the wanted list again, where he still is up to this day!

“Booze away everything except corruption!”

So this is our Hydra: ex-policemen, the investigator, and the district prosecutor, all together in one boat against a single businessman who has actually done no harm to anyone! That is why the orders for raider attacks on business and “protection" system still exist in KhMAO in such numbers up to this day.

Many of the KhMAO departments and their heads are legendary for the level of their wealth, bribery, and corruption. The saying popular in Prosecutor’s office of KhMAO is: “Booze away everything except corruption!” The editors of our website will certainly try to reveal this information to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry's leadership.

Certain individuals should also think about the personal honor and pride of the uniform. For example, the head of the City Investigation of Nizhnevartovsk Mezrin V.A. or the head of the District investigation of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, Mrs. Pastukhova Nadezhda Pavlovna (in the photo), who turned a blind eye on such actions! Sometimes it is your job to observe and control how your subordinates conduct their business. Five years of investigation of such a strange case is a big deal. If the chiefs do not notice anything, then some extra questions arise not only to Ustyuzhaninov but also to the Prosecutor of District who writes such "magic" letters to the investigation!

The story with OOO “Samotlor Trading company" is revealing, but far from unique. A similar situation has developed with the business of a local entrepreneur Lizunova Lyudmila Konstantinovna, who owns the store "Orion" and leases large areas of the property in Nizhnevartovsk. She refused to talk to our reporters about the issue with “protection” and “tributes”. However, according to our sources, she has been among those "protected" for many years, and also had a “blank" person in the list of co-owners of her company. Likewise, when she decided to abandon the services of “protection” and stopped paying, she began to have problems. Sources say, that in the end, she managed to get rid of the imposed conditions, but how exactly remains a mystery.

The “wild 90s" still continue in Nizhnevartovsk.

Circus magicians pale in comparison with the investigator’s tricks and schemes of the ex-silovik racketeers. Dyulgerov has to hide because now it's not just about paying tribute or showing respect. He poses a real threat for both the former and the acting siloviki. And this, in turn, is a direct threat to the life, health, and well-being of both the businessman and his family. We’ve already discussed the hints in the form of arsons above. As we said, the “wild 90s" seem to continue in Nizhnevartovsk, so the disputes are resolved harshly and decisively. In 2013 an SUV belonging to criminal leader's wife was blown up in broad daylight in the center of the city. And the most important thing here is not even a way of solving problems, but the fact that locals have accustomed to such things in Nizhnevartovsk and they do not seem to surprise anyone.

Many businessmen in KhMAO refuse to speak publicly about the ex-general Brykin N.G. or the ex-head of Nizhnevartovsk the tax police Laskin G.S (in the picture). Everyone knows that, despite their retirement, they still have a wide circle of not only acquaintances but also loyal people in law enforcement agencies – whether it is the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the prosecutor's office or the region’s courts. Even the very rich and influential people of the region are trying not to cross the road of these gentlemen or refuse them in some way.

However, recently, despite all the difficulties, there is a growing number of people who are not afraid to speak not only about the corruption and raids in the KhMAO, but who also agree to publicly expose these problems through the media or to make statements in the courts.

When our investigation was almost complete, we managed to get a reply to the complaint sent to the prosecutor's office. According to the reply, it turns out that all the lawlessness described above is "completely within the law".

But again, repeating ourselves, the local prosecutor's office works within the reach and interests of corrupt officials. The only way for us is to appeal to a more objective view of The Prosecutor General's Office, the FSB of the region or the Russian Federation, as well as the Department of the MIA of the Urals Federal District or the ministry itself. As part of the fight against corruption announced by the President of the Russian Federation in 2000, a lot of heads have already rolled, many siloviki and officials have either been under investigation or got imprisoned. There are good results in a number of regions. We really hope that the Urals will also catch up on the pace of fighting corruption and bribery.

The corruption has to be fought systematically, with the help of enthusiasts, journalists or victims who are not afraid to come out and expose the corruptionist criminals, siloviks, etc. This is necessary to prevail in this struggle.

With a separate note, we appeal to the media, websites, and bloggers to help us with sharing this article.

From Wikipedia: Racket (English racket from Italian ricatto - blackmail) - extortion, usually taking forms of an organized crime with the use of threats, brutal violence, hostage taking. In English language, the word racket could mean any organized criminal activity, in particular a “protection” racket, but also, for example, a numbers racket (illegal lottery). By collecting a tribute, a criminal organization usually guarantees businessmen their protection against extortion from other criminal groups or single criminals. In order to guarantee a stable flow of payment, racketeers tend to take on the role of the supreme arbiter in any disputed situations related to property which arise between their clients (debt obligations, execution of contractual agreements).

This version of the article is published on wek.ru