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Moscow Presnensky court is about to finish reviewing a criminal trial against Ilya Vakhonin, former deputy head of the inspection branch of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. He, his twin brother Anton Vakhonin, deputy head of a State Duma committee, and Vladislav Gerasimovich, CEO of a law firm, are accused of having raped a 19-year old girl.
Law enforcement authorities, contrary to usual practice, did not shelve the case against current officials, but on the contrary, openly took the accused down. They shared details of the investigation with journalists and showed unusual fidelity to principles. However, as Russian Mafia reporters found out, it was not without a reason that Russian police was irreconcilable to sex abuse committed by these high-profile young men. The harshness was brought about in the framework of an existing conflict between these raiders-rapists and other Mafia clans hushed up by security services.
In fact, according to Federal Police officers, the Vakhonin brothers had raider bank takeovers as their second and main business, and for a hobby they had sex abuse. Law enforcement agencies for a long time neglected claims of victims of this hobby of the Vakhonin brothers’ who were well-protected by their connections. But then a conflict emerged between the twin brothers and a large security-services-supported encashment group (a group of people that earns money by establishing a fly-by-night that signs a fictitious contract with an entity to help take money out of its banking accounts in exchange for part of that money).
Officials party: hashish, sadism and group sex
According to investigators, the victim, Alisa Volobuyeva, was born in 1987 in the town of Zhukovsky in the Moscow region and studied journalism at People's Friendship University of Russia. The young lady chose a glamorous life: during the day she went shopping for clothes and at nights she spent her time in the most expensive night clubs of Moscow, where she met with wealthy socialites. In July 2007 Alisa met Vladislav Gerasimovich in a pompous Moscow club Rai. Despite his young age (Gerasimovich was born in 1985), he was CEO of Moscow legal advice firm and director of the nonprofit Vega Support Fund for Culture and Sports. The young people exchanged phone numbers.
Alisa came across Gerasimovich’s mind a few days later, on July 10, when he was spending his time in a hookah cafe, located in the Oktyabr cinema on New Arbat Avenue. The law firm director was in the café with his friend and patron, Anton Vakhonin (born in 1977), who at the time was deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Natural Resources and Environment.
Vladislav called Alisa Volobuyeva and offered her to meet in a cafe. The girl was not puzzled with Anton’s presence at their first date. Soon two more people, Anton’s twin brother Ilya and a girl that was with him, joined them. Anton’s brother was a federal government official, that is, head of the inspection body monitoring the use of federal property of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. He came to the Oktyabr cinema with a friend of his, Christina Bailo.
Young people were drinking, smoking hookah, and, according to the investigators, the Vakhonin brothers also consumed hashish, although them taking drugs was not reflected in the case. Later, during the interrogation Volobuyeva claimed that she had not liked any of the people there as they had tried to show Alisa in every possible way that they were extremely rich and were well-connected. The girl told them that she was a People's Friendship University student and the twins laughed in response. They said that they knew the rector of the university very well and that they could call him any time now. When she told them about her life out of town with her parents at their house with a swimming pool, the Vakhonin brothers retorted that "well-off people live within the Garden Ring."
As a result, Alisa decided to continue the party at Rai club and told her friends over the phone that she would soon join them there. The Vakhonin brothers immediately suggested that the whole company went there and Volobuyeva agreed. They got into a Porsche Cayenne jeep. On the way Gerasimovich asked to drop by his apartment on Zoologitcheskaya Street so that he could change into something more appropriate for going to a nightclub. At the entrance a friend of Ilya Vakhonin unexpectedly said that she was tired and left quickly.
According to the case file, this was when the young men invited Alisa to go upstairs to the apartment with them, but she refused because she felt that something was wrong. Gerasimovich went upstairs alone and the twins continued to persuade the girl to pay a short visit to Vladislav. She refused again. Then the twins forced Volobuyeva first into the elevator and then into Gerasimovich’s apartment. The victim tried to scream and fight back. The men beat her up in the hallway, forced to have oral sex, then took her to the bedroom where they raped her for three hours (from two a.m. to five a.m. on July, 11, 2007).
When the beating and raping were over, Gerasimovich offered the tortured girl 1,000 dollars as either payment for her services or compensation, but she refused to take the money, which led to more beating. Then the men forced her into the shower and washed, promising more harm and trouble if she files a claim to the law enforcement agencies. The Vakhonin brothers told the victim that they had legislative immunity and that “their men would simply kill” Alisa if she uttered a word. Volobuyeva promised to keep quiet about what had happened, but as she came out of the apartment she immediately began to call the police and her relatives.
The victim was hospitalized. Doctors recorded numerous facial and body bruises, broken ribs, a brain contusion, and post-traumatic amnesia (the girl remembered only what had happened in the hallway but could not recall anything of what had happened in the bedroom).
The same day Ilya Vakhonin and Vladislav Gerasimovich were arrested by the Department of Internal Affairs in the Central Administrative District (now called the Moscow Central District police) and the State Duma official, Anton Vakhonin, farsightedly hid in the intensive care unit of a Moscow hospital with a registered bout of pancreatitis.
Gerasimovich even made a confession, yet in spite of this the prosecution did not ask for detaining the suspects on remand and released them on parole. Then suddenly all the rape case materials were taken to the Moscow prosecutor’s administration on crime and homicide investigation and the case was supervised by Attorney General, Yuri Chaika. Then the Vakhonin brothers and Gerasimovich tried to flee. They were put on the wanted list and the best officers of Moscow Criminal Investigation Department took up searching the VIP rapists. The investigators disclosed all the details of the situation to the reporters.
Many federal and metropolitan news agencies published articles about the crime for almost a few months. The prosecution claimed that there were attempts to put its staff under unprecedented pressure. Despite this, prosecutors intend to punish high-ranking criminals severely. On September, 19, 2007 Moscow Criminal Investigation Department officers arrested Anton Vakhonin in Moscow and charged him with rape of Volobuyeva and another girl, Svetlana Podzorova who had been abused in 2005.
A year later Anton Vakhonin, the State Duma official, was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. In April and June 2010 in Moscow investigators found and arrested Ilya Vakhonin, the Accounting Chamber official, and Vladislav Gerasimovich, the law firm CEO. The trial is under way and there is no doubt that the men will be sentenced to many years of incarceration.
It would seem that we witness a rare example of how the Russian police, investigators, prosecutors, and judges “pushed for justice” and punished bad guys regardless of their connections. However, as Russian Mafia correspondents managed to find our, such harshness from the law enforcement agencies and the judicial system stemmed from pursuing interests of very influential people, whose intervention was the only reason for the VIP-rapists to have been put behind bars.
Anatoly Vakhonin is the father of the twin brothers. He served in the KGB-FSB (Federal Security Service) and when he retired he became a specialist in solving various problems of businessmen and government officials. Simply put, he became a so-called reshalschik (from the Russian reshat meaning to solve). As a result, apart from old connections in the KGB he made new ones in the State Duma, the Government, and the Central Bank. It was Anatoly Vakhonin who built a career of his children.
He set Ilya to the Accounts Chamber to Sergei Abramov, his friend and former Prime Minister of Chechnya region, who at the time was an auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. He helped Anton to get a position in the State Duma through his connection at the Rodina party which then was quite influential in Russian politics. According to the investigators, when they questioned ex-girlfriends and friends of the twin brothers, they all claimed unanimously that the brothers were perfectly normal friendly young men until they felt "taste of power” after which they became totally different people. "The Vakhonin brothers turned into scoundrels intoxicated by their money, connections in law enforcement agencies, and the impunity", said one of the witnesses.
The twins began to change when they organized a raider group that consisted mainly of children of former and current officials. Vladislav Gerasimovich’s father, whose name is also Vladislav Gerasimovich, was then a president of the Aura consortium; deputy chairman of the advisory board on construction, architecture, and construction industry of the State Duma Committee on Industry, Construction, and High Technology.
He helped his son to become an assistant to a Rodina party deputy, Oleg Mashchenko, CEO of a law firm (although according to the law on legal professions there is no such position at a legal advice entity), and director of the Vega fund. In the raider group Vladislav Gerasimovich was responsible for solving various legal problems the illegal business faced. Another member of the group, Alexander Shevarov, was son of Anatoly Shevarov, who then served as deputy head of the human resources department in Ministry of the Interior.
Anatoly Shevarov contributed to his son’s appointment as head of the now bankrupt Insurance company Partner. In the raider group headed by the twin brothers Shevarov Jr. was responsible for solving problems with law enforcement agencies. Another member of the group was Vladimir Chashkin, who then was an officer of Moscow City Territorial Department of the Central Bank of Russia (MGTU of CBR). The twins were actively assisted by Aleksey Korneshov, the son of Alexander Korneshov, acting FSB officer filling the position of the 5-th division of the MGTU of CBR.
Thanks to his father's help, Korneshov Junior became the chairman of Siberian Economic Bank. Vladimir Chashkin and Alexey Korneshov were the Vakhonin brothers' mentors and helped them settle all issues with the Central Bank.
Due to the young age of its members and lack of reputation, the Vakhonin brothers' group were operating small-scale raids, using old connections of their fathers. Their targets included only minor banks and small buildings. All takeovers were carried out «pre-order only». Oleg Tokarev, second-rate criminal raider, was among the dedicated customers.
In 2006 the twins got really large order from criminal kingpins who specialized in cash-pooling activities - Evgeny Dvoskin and Ivan Myazin. These two had excellent connections both in law-enforcement agencies and underworld (Dvoskin was on good terms with «thief-in-law» Vyacheslav Ivankov nicknamed Yaponchik or Little Japanese). The Vakonin brothers had to take over three minor banks which Dvoskin and Myazin planned to use for large-scale money-laundering and cash-pooling schemes and then to bankrupt.
The twins had the same scheme for all their operations. They started with offering smart-money ($ 500 m - 1 billion) for a chairman if he agreed to shut his eyes to the fact of transforming his bank into financial black hole. Should the banker refuse he was to face pressure from the Central Bank (thanks for the help from Chashkin and Korneshov) and the threat of legal prosecution (thanks for Shevarov). In extreme circumstances the brothers took over the firms which nominally owned the shares of the bank (that was done with the forged papers made by Gerasimovich Junior).
Eventually the brothers seized two banks for Dvoskin and friends without problems, but the scheme failed with the third bank, Intelfinans-bank. Mikhail Zavertyaev, the chairman, turned down the offer of smart-money outright. When a made-up criminal investigation into the banker's affairs did not help, the raiders used forged purchase contracts to take over the firms which owned large stakes in Intelfinans.
However the rest of the shares were hidden in the entangled financial schemes developed by Zavertyaev. So this time the offices of the bank became the target of the bandits. Fighters from a private security company, backed by the police, led the raids. Soon the media drew attention to the situation. Dvoskin and Myazin began pressing the twins for the takeover. They demanded to finish the operation without fuss or to return money.
This time Ilya Vakhonin discussed the plan to kill Zavertyaev with Myazin. But Myazin made up his mind and acted on his own. He came to the chairman of Intelfinans and informed him that he was to become a target of assassination. Myazin promised to stop the twins if Zavertyaev agreed to give away his bank. After the refusal Dvoskin and Myazin realised that the twins were no use anymore and required to return the prepayment. By this time the twins grew bolder enough to threaten the «cash poolers» with troubles and reminded them of the large stake in Intelfinans they had already seized which made the takeover of the bank impossible without their partisipation. In the midst of the conflict the Vakhonin brothers and Gerasimovich were detained on the suspicions of rape.
Point of honour for the police
The Vakhonin brothers and Gerasimovich still claim that Alisa Volobuyeva was a double agent used to kick them out of the game. But who she worked for and what was the game? At the questionings they remained absolutely wordless about the answers, at least until December 2010 - January 2011.
We should say their version has ground. Among the male part of smart night clubs Alisa had a reputation of «approachable» girl. Not once the police detained her on dealing amphetamine (the last detention was in 2008). But the charges had never been brought to court. Alisa might have bought the loyalty of the police and have agreed to provoke beating and rape.
However the police agents who led the investigation say it is insane to suppose that. An agent said: «One needs to have seen her immediately after what happened. She was beaten to a pulp. No one would suffer such pain for any money or benefits».
A source also told the Russian mafia web-site (rumafia.com) that there had been no need in double agents. Money and connections caused «irreversible transformation of their [the twins’] brains». The twins were popular with the girls and this made them think that any girl whom they liked should agree to have sex a couple of hours after they got acquainted. Cannabis and cocaine only added to their сonceit.
According to the evidence gathered by the police, the twins might have committed a series of rapes. Some of the victims were underage. For crimes the brothers used a flat in Zoologicheskaya Street, rented by Gerasimovich. The rapes took place in the car or in the street. Victims did not hasten to go to the police: the twins paid money to make them silent or used threats. Some victims simply did not want anyone to know what had happened with them. Under serious circumstances the brothers used their connections.
On February 3, 2005, Svetlana Podzorova, a 19 years old student, was waiting for a bus near Kolomenskaya metro station where she had just arrived. Suddenly a car stopped and a handsome young man offered her a lift. Svetlana agreed to get into the rich car of the smart stranger. The cavalier brought the girl to her block in Nagatinsky Boulevard and then offered her to have oral sex.
Being frightened the girl refused. Thereupon the criminal went in her way and forced her to have sex at gun-point. Later, after the criminal drove away, the student went to the police. She remembered the number on the plate of the rich car. The police immediately organised catching which resulted in the pull-up. The driver turned out to be Anton Vakhonin and the victim recognised him. The criminal case was initiated. But in the end Simonosvskaya inter-district procuracy arrived ar the conclusion that Svetlana got everything wrong and at the time of the crime Vakhonin, a respected employee of the State Duma secretariat, had been in a different place.
The investigation decided not to bring charges against Vakhonin, so the case was shelved because of the «impossibility to find out the culprit». The investigation went on only after the publicity which was provoked by rape of Volobuyeva.
There are some responses on the internet which back the story told by police agents. After news about the rape of Alisa spread, some girls wrote that they were victims of the twins. Here is one of the comments posted on a forum. «These brothers are perverts! I wish Anton had nights of passion in prison. I hope you will soon realise what the humiliation is!!!»
Bearing in mind the twins' way of life, one can imagine that it was not a challenge to «kick them out of the game». The only trouble was counteraction and pressure put on the investigation by relatives of the VIP-rapists. The police agents say the brothers would have escaped punishment if not for the help of «high-ranked people».
So how did it happen? Soon after the detention of Ilya Vakhonin and Vladislav Gerasimovich by the police of Central District of Moscow, a good friend of Dvoskin and Mazyakin and the client of the brothers-raiders Oleg Tokarev came to the police and said that Vladislav Gerasimovich was the weakest link among the VIP-raiders. The police interrogated young lawyer and quickly kicked out the testimony. He pleaded guilty.
At this crucial moment Gerasimovich Senior was abroad. At the first call he came back to Russia and gave a hard time to his friends from the procuracy, government and the Chamber of Accountans. The investigators faced the avalanche of phone calls and official inquiries from members of the State Duma, high-ranked officials and so on. The «eye-witnesses» appeared who were ready to give testimony to whitewash the Vakhonin brothers and Gerasimovich. For instance, a Kristina Baylo claimed she had been in the flat in Zoologicheskya Street and had not seen the rape there on June, 11.
Some forensic experts expressed doubts about the very fact of the rape and severe beatings of Volobuyeva, fixed earlier by the doctors. After the manipulations with the materials of the investigation Ilya Vakhonin and Vladislav Gerasimovich were released. It seemed that once again they would escape punishment. But the forces stronger than the VIP-rapists’ parents came in.
Because of the attention the media paid to the case, the investigation was continued by the department of the investigations into gangsterism and murders of Moscow city procuracy. This department carried out investigations into the affairs of most violent, numerous and influencial criminal groups in Moscow: Orekhovskaya, Kurganskaya, Medvedkovskaya gangs. FSB of Russia helped Moscow's CIP in the investigation. Dvoskin and Myazin had good connections in the FSB. Eventually Anton Vakhonin again was detained, his brother and Gerasimovich were put on the wanted list.
Newly-born shareholders of Intelfinans bank indeed lost the game. Immediately after that Evgeny Dvoskin arrived in the bank's office with a group of bodyguards who simply beat up Zavertyaev with the handle of the gun. While the chairman was in the hospital, money were pumped through his bank. In total the sum of 11.7 billion roubles were laundered. The difficulties with the uncompromising banker and matured Vakhonin brothers had been overcome in a moment. After the gigantic sum was laundered, the Cenral Bank of Russia revoked the licence from the bank. The legal proceedings were initiated and the inquiry into the bank's operations began.
While being questioned about Intelfinans in 2007 and 2008 Anton Vakhonin said he had nothing to do with this financial institution. In 2008 Oleg Tokarev, a mediator in the Intelfinans take-over agreement, died in Moscow under very strange circumstances. He was officially burried but the police agents think that the coffin was empty and the raider is safe and sound and located in Spain, where he hides from the parents of the Vakhonin brothers and Gerasimovich.
In any case soon after the fugitive rapists were arrested in 2010 they suddenly recalled the story with Intelfinans. Ilya Vakhonin wrote a statement, saying that he indeed had controlled the stake into the bank and that was the reason why he was left holding the bag with the Volobuyeva's case. He mentioned half-dead, half-fugitive Tokarev as an organiser of the takeover (it is too dangerous to name Dvoskin). This information was absolutely worthless. The system in which the Vakhonin brothers longed to have a place in swallowed, chewed and spat them out. The successful raiders-officials are no longer in.
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