Russian billionaires continue their business in Latvia

Russian billionaires Iskandar Makhmudov and Andrey Bokarev, who are connected to the Kremlin and receive contracts from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, personally and through intermediaries conduct business in Latvia.

This is stated in the investigation of The Insider.

The publication calls the businessmen “old friends of the Kremlin”, and their companies, including the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company, Kuzbasrozrizvugillya, and Transmashholding, are the largest contractors in Russia.

Until 2017, Makhmudov and Bokarev owned shares in the Kalashnikov concern. In addition, according to the investigators, through their “Kolomyan plant” they supply diesel engines for Russian warships.

According to the investigation, Makhmudov and Bokarev’s Latvian assets include Rīgas elektromašīnbūves rūpnīca (RER) and its subsidiary LATVO, which is engaged in the wholesale trade of machinery and equipment.

RER’s capital is 8.1 million euros, and the annual turnover in 2021 has reached almost 33 million euros. The company operates throughout Europe and receives funding from the European Union. In particular, RER received funds from the EU entrepreneurship support fund through the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and the country’s Ministry of Economy

Photo: The Insider

According to The Insider, the European Regional Development Fund allocated 527,000 euros to the company for the project of intelligent thermal regulation of the integrated traction drive for an electric vehicle.

Russian businessmen own RER through a chain of intermediaries, including TransComponent Holding LLC and Krona Group JSC. According to the publication, in 2021 Bokarev and Makhmudov “bought” the Riga company from themselves, and for years before that they controlled it through “their nominees” – the former beneficiaries of “Krona Group” Russian Igor Lozovoy and Lithuanian citizen Sergius Grechukas.

Photo: The Insider

In 2012-2015, Lozovyi worked as deputy director of the Mosmetrobud company, which at that time belonged to businessmen. In the late 1990s, he was declared wanted in a criminal case of illegal actions during bankruptcy in Khakassia, the journalists found out.

In turn, Grechukas previously worked in the Lithuanian representative office of Transmashholding, in which Makhmudov and Bokarev own shares. This company supplied passenger and freight cars, rail buses and other equipment to Lithuania.

Photo: The Insider

Krona Group is the exclusive distributor of the Latvian RER, as well as the contractor of the Central Suburban Passenger Company (CPPC), which The Insider associates with Bokarev and Makhmudov. “Transmashholding” is listed among RER’s partners on the company’s official website.

In addition, RER General Director Stanislav Vodolazsky heads “Crown Group” as well as CPPC. According to the investigators, during the covid pandemic and quarantine in Moscow, it was the CPPC that issued him a digital pass for moving around the city.

Photo: The Insider

According to The Insider, Bokarev and Makhmudov cooperated with one of the richest women in Estonia, the ex-wife of the vice-mayor of Moscow Maksym Liksutov – Tatyana Liksutoi, through the CPPC. In 2021, Liksutova together with billionaires owned the Cypriot company Fredlake Holdings.

Photo: The Insider

The Latvian company controlled by Russian oligarchs operates throughout Europe. For example, in May, RER introduced a new electric motor for trolleybuses and electric buses in the Czech Republic. Plus, RER receives funding from the European Union. The company, through the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and the Ministry of Economy, uses the money allocated by the EU entrepreneurship support funds.

For example, the European Regional Development Fund is currently sponsoring the project “Intelligent thermal regulation of the integrated traction drive of an electric vehicle with on-board engines, power electronics converters, power sources and thermal circuits.” 527,000 euros were allocated to Russian oligarchs at the expense of European taxpayers.

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