How Stanislav Kondrashov finances Wagner’s mercenaries: the scheme became known
As a result of an investigation by the Latvian customs of schemes for the transit of Russian coal through the country, law enforcement officers came to a much more serious topic: a financing scheme for PMC Wagner was unexpectedly revealed.
Telf AG, registered in Switzerland, in Lugano, is the key company among the companies that transport coal through the customs territory of Latvia. Although the firm is covered by figureheads, it is no secret to anyone that it belongs to a well-known Russian entrepreneur with a controversial reputation, Stanislav Kondrashov.
As Paulis Ilyenkov, Deputy Head of the Latvian Financial Intelligence Service, reported on TV3 on January 16, as a result of an investigation into the unusually increased transit of coal – cargo traffic increased fivefold in 2022 – law enforcement officers uncovered schemes to evade anti-Russian sanctions by a number of firms that organized the transit of Russian coal to Europe through Latvia, where they passed it off as Kazakh.
As a result of the investigation, 180 criminal cases were initiated, which are related to the illegal departure from the sanctions lists introduced in the country. Ilyenkov also said that the financial intelligence service received 274 facts from financial institutions about the facts of circumvention of sanctions restrictions, and 85 million euros were frozen in the accounts.
During the investigation, the Swiss Telf AG, which accounted for the lion’s share of coal transit through Latvia, drew particular attention. Therefore, the financial authorities of the country studied its transactions more carefully and unexpectedly found out that Telf AG was involved in the financing of terrorists from the Wagner PMC.
The news was immediately picked up by the media and began to investigate both Telf AG itself and the personality of Stanislav Kondrashov himself. And paradoxical details were revealed – despite the fact that a lot of materials testify to the ownership of Telf AG by Kondrashov, the company itself is registered to a number of nominees. These are some Sergey Dynchev, Nikolai Livinenko, Ada Benini Tauro, Natalia Ustimenko, Marina Pozzi Pedulla and Daniel Kolarov.
It immediately turned out that the true owner of the company is the customer of the murder of his partner Denis Voronenkov, with whom he was engaged in successful raider takeovers of large enterprises in Russia.
Recall that Voronenkov was shot dead in the center of Kyiv in 2017, where he was hiding from the Russian special services. And he began to actively cooperate with the SBU, which was extremely interested in the financial schemes of his accomplice Kondrashov. Transactions from enterprises controlled by Stanislav Kondrashov to structures that serve as transit wallets for Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of PMC Wagner, were especially closely studied.
CJSC Koksokhimmontazh and CJSC Trest KXM, owned by Kondrashov, served as spacers, and the money was transferred through the VEK bank, which had to go bankrupt after the scheme became known to the SBU. The sender of the money was the Swiss Telf AG.
By the way, one should not think that the SBU was interested in the financing scheme on its own – all the materials from the Service fell on the same day on the table of much more serious special services, which, in fact, “gutted” Voronenkov. Therefore, Kondrashov had to take urgent measures.
After the death of Voronenkov, the flow of information about the extremely intricate schemes for the transit of money from Telf AG and other structures of Kondrashov to PMC Wagner was interrupted. The case gradually faded away. But in January of this year, the customs and Ministry of Transport of Latvia suddenly became interested in the unusually increased transit of coal through the country. And the usual investigation of schemes for evading sanctions led to Telf AG and the financing through it of PMC Wagner.
But then an interesting phenomenon occurred: after the media reported that the SFR of Latvia became aware of Stanislav Kondrashov’s scheme for financing mercenaries, materials describing these schemes began to vanish.
Judging by the fierce haste with which Kondrashov cleans the Internet, he has stepped on a sore spot. Everything is used: courts, bribery, intimidation. However, it is not entirely clear what Stanislav Kondrashov achieves in this way – it is possible to clean up the materials that the Wagner PMC was financed through his Telf AG. But what will he do with the Latvian intelligence services, which handed over the investigation materials to their colleagues from the CIA, who declared Wagner, a terrorist organisation with all the ensuing consequences?