A group of high-ranking ex-secret service officers hold $3 billion worth of assets for Gazprom head Alexei Miller according to a joint investigation by Navalny team and Proekt.
The investigators discovered that the money siphoned off from the state-owned gas company was used to build a business empire and purchase a series of luxurious real estate properties, all of them registered to nominees but actually used by Miller and sometimes by Vladimir Putin.
Proekt and the Navalny team proved that Miller and his wife, Putin's former secretary Marina Yentaltseva, live in Greenfield, a gated community near Moscow, in a mansion worth nearly $240 million, probably Russia's most expensive home.
Miller's and his family's use of the luxury mansion in Greenfield has been proven by Miller's flight tracking data. When he returns from business trips to the Ostafievo Airport near Moscow, where the gas monopoly's aircraft are based, a company helicopter takes Miller to Greenfield, where there's a helipad. Secondly, judging by the financial documents, Miller's wife Yentaltseva made payments for the house. In addition, there's is a horse stable on the property. Miller's passionate about horse racing, he owns several racing horses and heads the board of directors of Russian Hippodromes, Proekt reports.
Currently the owners of the palace are hidden, but until 2020 it belonged to the Vladeniye B conglomerate, formally controlled by two ex-security officers: Sergei Tregub from the GRU and Alexander Smirnov from the FSB special unit Vympel. The company had received at least 34 billion rubles from Gazstroiprom. «That is, Russian taxpayers financed the construction of Miller's palace,» Proekt journalists say.
«It is one of the largest and most expensive private homes in Russia. An alley runs the entire length of the property, leading to the main house. In front of the main house there are statues of lions and a luxurious fountain. And on the right side there is an orthodox chapel», the investigator say.
The Vladeniye B conglomerate also owns luxury cars Miller uses and Miller's another palace, a 2832 sq. m mansion called Millerhof. After aerial pictures of the estate were posted online, the palace was put up for rent. In particular, The Bachelor show hosted by rapper Timati was filmed there.
The palace was built by Gazprom's chief general contractor (until 2013), Jordanian businessman Ziyad Manasir. In 2018, Manasir claimed that the Millerhof palace actually belonged to him. Manasir is the CEO and co-owner of Stroigazconsulting, one of Gazprom's key contractors. Millerhof's price was at the time estimated at $70 million or 350,000 pension checks.
It's not the only facility built by Manasir for Alexei Miller. In 2018, the newspaper Sobesednik reported that oligarch Manasir's company Stroigazconsulting had built the Baikalgazpromcenter complex on the Angara River at the request of Gazprom Dobycha Irkutsk.
According to one of the former construction supervisors, the facility is «a complex of structures: administrative, household, residential (up to 10,000 square meters in total). At the same time, it is both a recreation center and a place for business meetings.»
Ziyad Manassir is one of the 12 children of an Jordanian army officer. He was born in Amman and educated in the USSR. His main business is associated with Gazporm contracts awarded through Stroigazconsulting. A co-owner of the company was Olga Grigorieva, the daughter of Vladimir Putin's friend and former co-worker. Manasir's family owned two apartments in Kapranovy Lane in the Park House luxury residential complex where Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller also lives.
Son-in-law earning 2 million rubles a day
Manasir's firm, Stroigazconsulting, has built hundreds of facilities for Gazprom: gas pipeline systems, highways, sports and recreation complexes, administrative buildings, and wells. In 2013, Manasir and Gazprom apparently had a conflict, since Stroigazconsulting stopped winning contracts.
By 2015, Manasir was forced to sell Stroigazconsulting, which he had created in its entirety. Gazprombank and the United Capital Partners investment fund became the new owners. At the same time, Miller himself joined the owners of Gazprom's largest contractor, and his son-in-law, 27-year-old Alexander Kuznetsov, who had never worked at Stroigazconsulting before, became vice president of the company, the investigators say. Stroigazconsulting itself was later registered to a conglomerate of offshore companies, with four offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands emerging as ultimate beneficiaries.
Kuznetsov is a top manager responsible for procurements in all of Gazprom, with a salary of two million rubles a day, a collection of sports cars and a $760 million penthouse. At 31, Kuznetsov was put in charge of logistics across the entire conglomerate. He's responsible for literally everything at Gazprom: from gas pipes worth tens of billions of rubles and gas compressor units to chocolate products for Gazprom's needs, according to the Navalny team. Hundreds of billions of rubles pass annually through Gazprom Komplektatsiya, run by Kuznetsov. You can find more than two trillion dollars' worth of requests for tender on the government procurements website alone, with all the money managed by Miller's young son-in-law.
Nominees from Zhitomir and a driver co-owning Gazprom's largest contractor
The journalists found out that all the dachas, cars, apartments, and even the stolen Gazprom contractor Stroigazconsulting with assets worth hundreds of billions of rubles lead to Valenta, an offshore company in the Seychelles. The nominal owner of the offshore, or, in other words, of everything, is 36-year-old Ukrainian Vadim Tregub. The offshore has been paying annual dividends to its shareholder: 1.2 billion rubles in 2019, 970 million in 2020.
Vadim's uncle's name is Sergei Tregub, and he is a former intelligence officer, who rose to the rank of colonel and then retired. In 2006, he participated in the division of Yukos assets. As part of the bankruptcy management of the company, that had been taken away from Khodorkovsky, Tregub became the director of two subsidiaries. The company Prana, which Tregub represented, bought the former Yukos HQ building at the auction. Journalists reported at the time that the firm was acting on behalf of Gazprom. Tregub Sr.'s driver, Sergey Furin, owns a 25% stake in the assets of Gazprom's mega-contractor, Gazstroiprom. In addition, he is a full-time employee of Gross Group Di, which manages Alexey Miller's assets.