Complaint against VINCI corporation to French prosecutors

VINCI_Plainte_version-finale

French company, Vinci, established a Joint Venture with Russia — North-West Concessions Company  (NWCC) — to build an ecologically unfriendly motorway across Khimki forest between Moscow and Sankt-Petersburg. Russian banks, Sberbank and Vneshekonombank, credited the construction, officially called a “public-private partnership”. First, one section of construction cost €300 million. This means that each kilometer cost €25.3 million (to compare, in the EU, the average cost was €4.9 million per kilometer).

According to expertise from Transparency International (2010), inexplicably, the most expensive itinerary was chosen, breaching Russian legislation protecting forest territories. A protester, ecological activist Mikhail Beketov, was beaten, became disabled, and died from consequences of the attack. The aggressors were not identified.

Banwatch (an NGO) uncovered the following beneficiaries of different offshores behind the Russian part of NWCC: Arkady Rotenberg (18%), Alexander Plekhov (4%), and Konstantin Nikolaev (alleged sponsor of Maria Butina). Plekhov is a former shareholder of Bank Rossiya, to whom Putin’s friend, Sergey Roldugin, transferred shares of Sonette Overseas, as detailed in the Panama Papers.

French NGO, Sherpa, managed to submit evidence of the “bribing of foreign officials” to French prosecutors, stating that “With high probability, with the help of intricate schemes, Vladimir Putin himself received a reward for the services provided by Arkady Rotenberg to the Vinci group.” An investigating judge has been appointed and the official investigation in France is in progress.

See full description of the case as of 2017 in the article, “Offshores next to a highway” (Russian), and in the report by the Fighting Transborder Corruption group/EU-Russia civil Society Forum (English, Russian), 2017.

Shadkhan’s movie transcript

In 1991, Vladimir Putin commissioned a Russian-language documentary about himself: “Vlast” (Power), produced by “Russkoye video”, director Igor Shadkhan. Broadcast in early 1992 on St Petersburg television (for details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCzNPQsXX3I&t=246s, PBS Frontline, 2015). Asked about his achievements as vice-mayor of St Petersburg, Putin replies that they include the opening of branches of foreign banks, Credit Lyonnais and Dresdner Bank, as well as “negotiations with the American firm, Marc Rich” (later Swiss firm, Glencore). Marc Rich himself was prosecuted for tax avoidance in the US, dating back to 1983. For more details on Glencore’s suspected involvement in corruption in Russia, see the Spider Web case. In 2017, a complaint against Glencore was submitted to Swiss prosecution https://www.publiceye.ch/fr/themes-et-contexte/commerce-et-matieres-premieres/matieres-premieres/etudes-de-cas/les-affaires-troubles-de-glencore-en-rdc/ , presumably in relation to corrupt acting in the DRC.

Shadkhan movie transcript