The Ukrainian Mob feeds Rafo with petroleum and gas
The Ukrainian Mob feeds Rafo with petroleum and gas
In the night of August 20 the Ukrainian Volodymyr Rozumny was restrained by police men after a birthday party spent copious together with a fellow countryman with Romanian citizenship. Intervention troops, judicial police, secret services and whole weeks of spying in the countryside and Bucharest.In the night of August 20 the Ukrainian Volodymyr Rozumny was restrained by police men after a birthday party spent copious together with a fellow countryman with Romanian citizenship. Intervention troops, judicial police, secret services and whole weeks of spying in the countryside and Bucharest. An effort equally at the same scale with the threat represented at that moment by Rozumny, chased by Odessa authorities for terrorism and organized crime activities. The extradition request of the Ukrainian authorities was rejected by the Court because meanwhile Rozumny managed to obtain the Romanian citizenship a few time ago, even if nobody was aware of this. The Ukrainian was released after 3 days because his penal file in which he was investigated hasn’t been sent from Odessa in due course. After almost one month, in the middle of September, Rozumny disappeared under police surveillance. His girl friend left the country, she went to Moldova and Rozumny couldn’t be found anywhere. Ukrainian Authorities didn’t send even now more data about the fugitive and international investigation launched in such a short notice – stays the same.
We would like to find more about how an organized crime group from Odessa succeeds in operating in our country and the following material represents a newspaper investigation which took place in Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. We identified even a real operation involving this group. Conform to Rozumny declarations, he intermediated 2 delivery contracts from the Russian company Itera for Rafo Onesti.
Volodymyr Rozumny – the wise guyRozumny is an ex professional boxer, who became a Ukraine champion many years ago. He is now 50 years old and, as he declares, he occupies with a series of businesses far-reaching in petroleum field, on Ukraine territory and other Western countries. He didn’t want to give details about the businesses in which he was involved because, as he sustains, the Ukrainian authorities were chasing him for a while because he constantly refused to pay the dues when he was requested to give bribery.It took some time until we managed to meet Rozumny. First time we were waiting more than an hour in the settled place, period in which he called us several times saying that it won’t be long until he reached. After more than an hour we were told that he was so drunk that he couldn’t participate to the meeting. It was 12 o’clock in the afternoon.
The second meeting took place at the established time, in his lawyer office. Rozumny has no special aspect for not being ordinary. Only his look was slippery and in the same time betrayed a hunted man. In Ukrainian, his name means “wise”. He didn’t want to mention his pugilist past, although all his live he was in this background which in former Soviet states is the beginning of a career in various organized crime groups. Instead he related us about the fact that he made his debut in more significant businesses by opening in 1992 the first casino from Odessa together with some German partners. Then he diversified his businesses by making investments in oil and gases trade.We couldn’t find materials about any company that belongs or is managed by Rozumny. We found instead that he is recording his companies through which he makes his businesses on behalf of other persons from Czech Republic, Poland and Russia.His accusations addressed to Ukrainian authorities are very serious. He stated that men of Police Chief of Odessa asked to his wife 350.000 dollars to drop the charges against him and the extradition request. A part of the money, sustains Rozumny, had to reach Mrs. Persecutor Klimovici, ex-investigator of Rozumny file and the rest is for different other politicians. As he refused to pay the bribery, Rozumny said he had to suffer 2 assaults, in 1995 and 2001. The weird thing is that, sustaining his affirmations concerning the country corruption, Rozumny mentions business men names that were persecuted or even killed for not paying the protection taxes to the police or for revolt against the corrupted system. One example refers to ex Ukrainian prime-minister Pavlo Lazarenko, forced to run away in USA and to ask for political asylum. Lazarenko is one of the fewest Ukrainian officials who is in jail and hi is on trial for different crimes, being the second high class foreign citizen in USA court, after Panamanian dictator Noriega. Now he lives in USA but he spends most of his time in law courts, jails or free times for which he paid millions dollars as bail. He is responsible for the Ukrainian budget fraud of over 100 millions dollars, laundered then in USA, Switzerland and UK. Among others, Lazarenko ordered and paid the killing of some business and official Ukrainian men, especially for ensuring himself a monopoly on natural gases market.We managed to discover an important thing about Rozumny and that is his collaboration with energy company Itera. From our sources, Rozumny has more businesses with Itera. He admitted that he came in Romania to negotiate two contracts with Rafo. One of them, referring to a large amount of gas provided by Itera from Ukraine, was signed in January. The second contract was for a petroleum quantity but it couldn’t be concluded because of his arrest. Rozumny sustains that the first contract was concluded right in Russia and from Romania were obtained governmental guaranties for the gas following to be transported by Itera. Rafo didn’t want to make any comments about this information.The last crime for which Rozumny is looked for in Odessa happened recently. On last December 22, Valery Kravchenko, a powerful business man from Odessa, was deadly shot by a paid assassin. Later Ukrainian investigations reach to discovery on April this year of a true arsenal in a flat from Odessa. The apartment was used by Rozumny and it belongs to one of his employees. Among the found weapons it was identified also the gun of Kravchenko assassination. The murdered business man managed Antarctica Company, a powerful naval company which owns a maritime fishing and pleasure fleet and also Ilichievsk harbor from Odessa. Kravchenko was about to be appointed the Govern Chief Department which regulates the fishing industry that is an important source of illegal incomes in Ukraine. Kravcenko received warnings not long before from the owner of Khimoil company from the area.
The Ukrainian Authorities Reports mentioned Rozumny affiliation to an Odessa group ran by a person called Oleg Popesko, established in Romania under the name Oleg Rizea. Rozumny says he know Popesko for a long time but as a business man. They met a long time ago when Popesko had the monopoly over Moldavia wine imports and Rozumny had a store chain which distributes wines in Odessa.
Oleg Popesko, called Renyisky In fact, Rozumny’s arrest in August took place after he just celebrated Popesko’s birthday, which shows a tight connection between them. Even more, the lady Prosecutor that charges Rozumny of corruption, Galina Klimovici, we found that she conducted the investigation regarding Popesko group until the threats addressed to her turned into an assault in which her personal car blew up. At that point, the Prosecutor gave up the case and later withdrew from the “Magistrate”.
Popesko and his group’s investigation lasted for a few years. Practically, Popesko was put under surveillance through the Interpol since 2001 and even now he appears on the web site with the Ukrainian fugitives. Ukrainian Police sources declared that Popesko started his “career” in the underworld, by taking the control over Reni harbor, town situated near the Danube river, at the Romanian border. Popesko’s influence extended in Odessa harbor where he managed to control most illegal activities. But the main activity of the group coordinated by Popesko represents, according to Ukrainian investigators, the assassination and the ordered kidnapping. The cell run by him is part of a bigger organization called the “Odessa Gang” or Maryanchuk Group. According to this, there were 22 people arrested for 29 documented crimes, without counting committed kidnapping and extortions. We tried to contact Popesko and he refused to give us an interview like Rozumny did. After weeks of searching’s, we found Popesko living in a small house in the centre of Bucharest. A small, young sporty guy, Popesko refused to comment any of the mentioned facts. However, even he is a citizen of Romania from some years now, he couldn’t speak any Romanian. The connection between Popesko and Mayanchuk was made by a witness murdered in jail, shortly after these declarations, announcing beforehand the intention to change his deposition. The witness was an active and a local coordinator coming from Maryanchuk, who has sequestrated someone called Ponomari, a businessman and an Odessa underground figure. Panomari was involved in a big amount of money laundry business, outside the Ukraine and he and his driver were kidnapped and taken to Chisinau. During a few months, a million dollars were paid for his ransom, yet at the end, only his driver was released and Panomari was killed. The local operation coordinator became an eye witness and declared that he was commanded by Vasil Maryanchuck, who was in Hungary and who told him that he would be called by his man, Popesko to establish the details. This has happened. The team chosen by Popesko to participate in the attack consisted in a few bodyguards from Chisinau.
The Buhalter Vasil Maryanchuk The head of the group who scared Odessa, Vasil Maryanchuck was finally arrested in Hungary, in 2000, when he tried to escape in Austria. He was extradited in secret in the Ukraine, after his friends tried to pay a bribe of 1 million dollars to release him. His trial started this year. The file of his investigation consists in 80 books and 360 witnesses which proves dozens of crimes, kidnappings and other weapon murders during the investigation. His nickname is “Buhalter” - the bookkeeper. The group ran by him, organized in cells, responsible for strictly delimited domains was formed in ’94. Maryanchuk and Popesko selected their faithful people from professional fighters of Olimpia Club from Odessa, but also from policemen and prosecutors. Maryanchuk group had more stable connections with Republic of Moldova. Most of the cars used by group members were licensed in Moldova and a part of the “muscles” used in kidnappings or assassinations were coming from Chisinau. During the investigations referring to the underground businessman Ponomari’s assassination, Ukrainians drew their attention to the Moldavians who participated actively at the robbery. The main suspect, Sinigur, was arrested several times and interrogated. In one of his declarations, he mentioned that he knows very well Popesko who lent him money a couple of times and who brought him in the mountains in Romania, to rest.
Sinigur Group We discussed in Chisinau with Sinigur group lawyer, Oleg Manchevski. He told us how the Ukrainian investigations went on for the last years. All started with a strange operation in which Ukrainian policemen came in Chisinau and kidnapped the 4 suspects for being involved in Ponomari assassination. The Ukrainian policeman took them in Odessa to be investigated, but one of them – Guglea – managed to run away. He was arrested a couple of months later together with Sinigur in Moscow. Even here, the Ukrainians refused to send the file based on which he was put under international surveillance. Gradually, Sinigur became the only suspect in the file, but he was arrested and released many times. In August 2001, a few days after his conditioned release, Sinigur was kidnapped from the street and put in a car with Transnistria number plate. Since then, nothing is known about him and the file has been suspended.
More Moldavians Sinigur was not the only Popesko connection with Moldova. Popesko opened a restaurant in Bucharest in October last year. However, the Grymaldy restaurant does not function yet but the association within the company is interesting.
It appears as associate partner with equal parts someone called Veaceslav Paladi, from Cahul – Moldova Republic, who works for a Moldavian company in Galati – Braila: Ceradent. His function is not clear and Paladi did not want to make any comments about association with Popesko. At the same Popesko’s company, appear Maria Scarupa and Petru Gore from Moldova Republic also. Petru Gore is aware about how Rozumny obtained Romanian citizenship, which is investigated at the moment. All mentioned connections show the existence of a mob group, well organized, which entered Romania. Odessa connection It still remains a mystery how the story about Popesko – Maryanchuk group is treated by the Ukrainian authorities. The initial hurry to see Rozumny and Popesko in jail disappears when the extradition possibility of these two is out of the question. The Romanian authorities are waiting for months the proof gathering in the Rozumny case, while about Popesko, he has been resting for a few years in Romania, with Ukrainian approval.The reason why the data from “Odessa Group” file does not reach Bucharest could be the sensibility of this subject in Ukraine.
Around these characters there are fantastic economic interests, especially in the field of oil and natural gasses. Odessa group is connected with “heavy” names in Ukrainian politics.
In the same group of dealers as Maryanchuk and Popesko stay two legendary names from Odessa: Aleksandr Zhukov, ex KGB officer and Alexander Angert. The first one was arrested in Italy for weapon traffic during the Yugoslavian embargo and money laundry. The second one, known for his violence, spent 12 years in jail for murder and now lives in London, to certain point being associated with the giant Lukoil in exploitation of a local refinery (LukSintez Oil). Their influence reach so high up as the Ukrainian president, Leonid Kucima.
This group got involved in big fight over the control of Odessa town. Practically, the ordered crimes and kidnappings group for which Maryanchuk is responsible started around the election battles for the Major position, in 1998. Then had competed the present Mayor Ruslan Bodelan, strongly oriented to Moscow, with the ex-Mayor Eduard Hurvits, Western and Israel orientated. The oligarchies oil group situated on Mayor Bodelan side who won and the rival Hurvits had hardly managed to survive to an assault. We can just image the Maryanchuk group advantages after this triumph.We found Popesko in a villa in the centre of Bucharest, but he refused to comment on any of the details presented in this article. By Stefan Candea, email@example.com andSorin Ozon, firstname.lastname@example.orgTuesday, December 17 2003 (Source: http://www.crji.org)