Hearts: The Transnational Crime. Click for detail
Clubs: Interregional Crime Level. Click for detail
Diamonds: Crime at the federal level. Click for detail
Spades: Crime at the regional level. Click for detail
Born in September 1953 in Moscow; in 1976 he graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute named after S. Ordzhonikidze, as a systems engineer by profession. After graduation he was involved in scientific work at the Moscow Aviation Institute named after S. Ordzhonikidze, in a scientific-production association "Spectr";
1989-1993 – the General Director of the Russian-American Enterprise “Intelmas" (intelligent materials and systems);
in 1993 he headed Novgorod JSC "Akron";
in 1994 JSC “Dorogobuzh” (in Smolensk oblast) was joined to the company.
On December 10, 1997, he was awarded the title of “Honorary Citizen of Veliky Novgorod”.
2005-2009 the President of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC);
Since 2007 – the President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC);
Married with three children.
Since the early 1980's Kantor headed a special laboratory at the Moscow Aviation Institute on designing interorbital spacecrafts. In 1986 a scandal connected with the sale of the secret information of the institution abroad broke down; because of this scandal Kantor was fired after the discovery of his involvement in the case. Soon after that, Kantor created a commercial center "Composit".
Then Kantor became the head of the Soviet-American joint venture "Intelmas" engaged in environmental monitoring. In 1992, the company somehow gets fromYuri Luzhkov in ownership a historical object – an estate of Kireevskie-Karpovy on Ordynka.
At that time Kantor got acquainted with Novgorod governor Mikhail Prusak through a future secretary of state of Russia Gennady Burbulis, with whom he became close friends. With his help the company of Kantor was assessing the plant “Azot”. Prusak was interested in a "successful" privatization of the enterprise. In 1993, Kantor bought the company and renamed it "Akron". He managed to do this quite easily: first, Kantor received a consignment of mineral fertilizers for realization from the company, and on the collected funds he bought a controlling stake of the enterprise.
Soon Kantor, following the same scheme, acquired Smolensk plant JSC “Dorogobuzh” also at a low price.
With the arrival of Kantor, export of mineral fertilizers from “Akron” was carried out through a number of offshore companies in Panama and Gibraltar. This allowed him to withdraw a part of the proceeds to private accounts.
It had been thought for a long time that these companies are controlled by Kantor himself. But in fact Gibraltarian offshore companies such as MMB Center Ltd, SK Enterprises Limited were owned and managed by the Irish multi-millionaire Dermot Desmond. According to some sources, Kantor bought his first stake in “Akron” on the money of Desmond.
Soon, Kantor began to take many attempts to get other plants in the industry. So, Murmansk "Apatite" was in his field of view, which later was bought by “Menatep”.
At different periods, Kantor also tried to gain control over Kirovo-Chepetsk Chemical Works, JSC “Silvinit”, SC “Belaruskalii” and other. With the patronage of the Federation Council Chairman Egor Stroev, Prusak, the governor of the Smolensk oblast Prokhorov and others he proposed to the government to transfer to the possession of “Akron” large stakes in companies producing mineral fertilizers, and not for money but in exchange for shares of “Akron”.
By that time in the charter of “Akron” it was said that only managers of the holding could be chosen in its board of directors. So in the case of exchange of the shares, the government still would not be able to influence "Akron".
Just then Kantor acquired "Akron" and "Dorogobuzh”, Norwegian group NORSK HYDRO, large transnational corporation, also he began to attempt expansion into Russian sphere of mineral fertilizers. Group acquired a stake in JSC “Apatite”- the largest European producer of apatite concentrate and some others.
Since 1995, “Akron” became to reconcile business issues with the Norwegian concern.
Both companies were focused on expanding influence on mineral fertilizers area. Kantor needed opportunities of NORSK HYDRO in attracting financial resources, as well as his shares in "Apatite". Instead, he promised shares of “Akron” and promised to coordinate export.
In 1997, enterprises established CJSC “Nordic Rus Holding” in Moscow. Kantor managed to arrange this deal so that “Akron” got a controlling stake. Norwegians realized that they were deceived just later.
When, after the crisis of 1998 Kantor needed to create a good credit history for "Akron", a conflict arose between the company and one of its shareholders - "Apatite Fertilizers". Dividends seemed to be insufficient for the company. Kantor had to hush up this moment. Knowing that "Apatite Fertilizers” had partner relations with Murmansk “Apatite”, he decides to inflate around the latest a scandal, so that by means of blackmail plant partners would yield.
So the idea of Kantor to set up a joint company with the government of "Mineral Resources" arose. It was an ambitious fraudulent project. Kantor proposed that the government would contribute its stakes from mineral fertilizing enterprises in the "Mineral Resources", and Kantor - his shares of “Akron”. If this all happened, "Akron" would have received influence over “Apatite”.
Kantor involved administrative resources in the person of Deputy Minister of Ministry of State Property of Russia Pylnev and, later, the new deputy minister - Shalva Breus, initiates inspection on “Apatite”.
In 2001, Kantor somehow changed an offer to the government. He took note that he may soon have to return the stake of the shares of "Apatite", located in his management, to the Norwegian holding. Then Kantor proposed the government that he would contribute his package of CJSC “Nordic Rus Holding” to a joint venture, and the government (as for Kantor’s plan) would contribute its 20% stake of "Apatite". So following Kantor’s plan, the government would help him to get influence over the Norwegian stake of "Apatite".
This state-owned package of shares of “Apatite” at the same time became the starting point for “Menatep-Yukos”. Platon Lebedev was initially accused in the fraud of its purchase, and then Mikhail Khodorkovsky was. Kantor became the chief adviser to the Prosecutor General in the persecution of Yukos. “Menatep” shareholder Leonid Nevzlin publicly accused Kantor of snitching.
After betraying his business colleagues, Kantor, apparently was afraid of the consequences and went to live in Israel, beforehand having received its citizenship, and acquired property in Switzerland.
By this time, more than a half of "Akron" belonged to three offshore companies - SK Enterprises, MMB Ñenter Ltd and Wetech Ltd, backed by Kantor.
In 2000, “Akron” purchased “Moscow stud farm ¹ 1", located on the Rublyovo-Uspensky highway, getting the state share of its shares almost for free. It’s unknown how it happened. At the same time, Kantor received a part of the plant land and he wanted to capture it entirety in order to sell it later.
Kantor began to buy plant land massively from the plant's former employees and shareholders for almost nothing. Many people agreed, because they have never seen such money in their lives. But others understood adequately the value of their lands, and did not respond to his persuasion.
Kantor pressured those who do not agree to sell their lands at low cost, threatened with dismissal. The shareholders united in an action group.
But unexpectedly it turned out that part of the land of the stud farm is owned by the government of the Moscow Region. Meanwhile Kantor "stinted ", other businesses soon quickly realized and bought up the shares at a higher price, leaving Kantor with nothing.
In 2002, Kantor bought Chemical Plant Red Sun in China, and renamed it “Huji-Akron”.
In 2006, “Akron” bought its Chinese factory. from Kantor. Kantor realized that it does not bring profit, and since nobody else would have bought it, sold it to his own structure, and got the money.
That same year, Kantor did another interesting operation: he bought an old ammoniac factory in Italy, which was already closed.
First, Kantor bought this plant with the land to his offshore, then, having waited for the European Commission grants for Italy, he received subsidies for liquidating the company, and sold this scrap to “Dorogobuzh” at the price of high-tech equipment. Large tonnage and not functioning equipment was transported and piled on the industrial site. The land, on which a small factory stood, became vacant, and Kantor certainly found a good usage for it.
Kantor had a lot of unsuccessful ideas. Thus, he could not get Kirovo-Chepetsk plant, which was very strategic for Russia. In the middle of 1990s Kantor sent a letter to Yeltsin in the Federation Council, where he substantiated a necessity for the transfer of the plant to the structure of “Akron”. Yeltsin didn’t sign the decree, however, Kantor still got control over the plant for a short period of time in an unknown way. Only the decree of Chernomyrdin returned control over strategic enterprise to Minatom.
In 2005, Kantor became embroiled in the story with an attempt to sell X-55 missiles to Iran and China through Ukraine. In the investigation of this case the names of two offshore companies «Isofert Trading INC» and «Transchem International INC» belonging to Kantor, emerged. The Ukrainian media reported that these companies were related to financial operations of the company "Far West Ltd", where Kantor was playing a mediating role between them.
An important partner of Kantor was also Viktor Yushchenko - Kantor was his advisor since April 2005 to 2007.
Kantor, along with Berezovsky is known as the sponsor of the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine in 2005, which led to the cancellation of the initial results of the presidential elections.
After a story with missiles, Kantor was bound
U.S. Department of State that he escaped punishment. He had to pay his debt when an American agent in Latvia Sola Bukingolts had problems. Sol owed a large sum of money toValery Berlin – the treasurer of "Kharitonov" criminal gang. Soon Berlin was killed, but his colleagues knocked out the American agent's acknowledgment of debt. He had nothing to give and then Kantor came for help by placing him in the Russian Jewish Congress. As the debt payment Sol helped the Latvian authorities on the legalization of business in Russia.
solomin, 07.10.2008, Photo: Kommersant
In 2006, Kantor offered to organize an international forum Let My People Live in Kiev, in memory of victims of the Nazis at Babi Yar. In the end he was unable to do this. He couldn’t return the former attitude of Viktor Yushchenko.
In 2007 the structure of Kantor began to oppose Gazprombank in the conflict over gas fields in Beregovoye, in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. This was the main asset of Sibneftegaz, the part of the shares was controlled by the subsidiary company of Gazprom, other part by “Akron”. Sibneftegaz wanted to sell everything to "Gazprom" and "Tranzitneftegaz, Kantor was trying to block the deal in court.
In 2007, Kantor was preparing "Akron" for IPO, so he bewared of asset stripping. But in the summer of 2008, it became clear that the idea failed, but there was no property, which could have been sold to its own structures, and it was dangerous to deal with the offshore trading. But Kantor found another way – he paid huge dividends, including himself as well. In the meantime, there were companies which could have brought benefits.
For example, even in October 2006, a subsidiary enterprise of “Akron” “North-Western Phosphorous Company” received a free license for the development of apatite deposits "Olenii Ruchey". The deposit was supposed to become operational in 2010, but Kantor was not in hurry to start working there.
And in March 2008, “Akron” received a license to exploit Talitsky plot of Verkhnekamskii deposit. Kantor paid credit for this license.
If it were not for the huge dividends, Kantor would have enough funds for the development of both deposits.
In 2008, in the European Jewish Congress (EJC), whose president was Mr. Kantor, a scandal erupted. Kantor issued a sharp condemnation of four national organizations, which announced their withdrawal from the Congress. The representatives of France, Germany, Austria and Portugal were outraged by the changes in the charter of the EJC, introduced by Kantor, according to which the term of office is extended from 2 to 4 years.
In 2009, Kantor launched an information war with the trade union of “Akron”, which defended the interests of its employees. The war was caused by the claim to raise wages.
The confrontation of Kantor with the union began in 1994, when he attacked the trade union and its leader Sergei Jan. Kantor wanted to replace him, but the workers stood up for him. Then Kantor addressed to the prosecutor and somehow he managed to get the decision that the refusal of the union violated his rights as a human being.
But Yang and workers did not give up, Kantor was unable to conduct his own candidate in the leaders. The confrontation continued until 1997, when Jan was reelected. For some time the conflict calmed down. But in 2006 Kantor for the first time refused to raise wages. He told the workers to wait until the crisis issue with the supplier of raw materials, “Apatite”, would be solved. But even when "Akron" and "Apatite" agreed on prices, Kantor didn’t increase the wages.
The war began. Kantor set up bugs in Jan’s office. And then “Akron” was visited by FSB and they found them. A criminal case was initiated on the fact of the bugs discovery.
And after some time, Jan got in a strange car accident, in which, apparently, he was to become a "random" victim, but miraculously survived. The agreement wasn’t found, the wages were increased only for individual employees.
Also in 2008, “Akron” registered a company Agronova International Iac. in the U.S., supposedly to break into the U.S. market, but most likely also for the withdrawal of assets.
Kantor's father, Vladimir worked as a director of the Sokolniki store in Moscow. He was convicted of embezzlement and died shortly after the trial.
Katya, Kantor’s daughter is suing her father, accusing him of abusing her. According to Kantor, he tried to cure her drug addiction for many years, and isolated her for the treatment. Katya ran away from his father to Israel and said to journalists that she was not a severe drug addict, and blames Kantor for callousness.
Want to discuss this article? Welcome to our forum!
Do you have additional information? Please send it to us !
Photo Gallery - Vyacheslav Kantor
News - Vyacheslav Kantor
Exclusive - Vyacheslav Kantor
List of companies referred to
List of persons referred to