The investigation linked the company to the Magomedovs, and the court seized the accounts. More than fifty defense contracts were at risk
In April, at the request of investigators from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the accounts of the Special Installation Department of the Podolsk Electromechanical Plant (SMU PEMZ) were seized. This follows from the company’s appeal (Forbes has a copy) against the relevant decision of the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow.
The accounts were arrested in the criminal case against the billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov #185 and his brother Magomed, who are suspected of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles and creating a criminal association.
SMU PEMZ might have been part of the criminal association, the investigators suggested. According to SPARK, the SMU beneficiary is the sister of the Magomedovs, Naida. She also owns 70% of the property of “Podolsk Electromechanical Plant” (PEMP).
“Our company has nothing to do with the Magomedovs,” SMU General Director Albert Zhukov assured Forbes. According to him, since 2012, SMU is owned by two individuals who are not affiliated with the Magomedovs. SMU and PEMZ have nothing in common now, except for payments for heat and water (PEMZ owns the boiler house) and the common “PEMZ” in the name, Zhukov says.
SMU PEMZ specializes in the production and repair of components for guidance systems for naval artillery, anti-aircraft systems, and antennas for the Space Forces, Navy, and Air Force, according to the company’s website. “We have 100 percent of our orders from the Defense Ministry,” Zhukov says. The order package is about 50 state defense contracts, the appeal says. The work is carried out all over Russia and at Baikonur.
The arrest of SMU’s accounts caused the deadline for fulfillment of defense orders to be pushed back, complains Zhukov: “Not catastrophically, but [the company] was bruised. We had to write to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Prosecutor’s Office, the governor of the Moscow region, lists the general director. As a result, investigators withdrew the arrest in early June, says Zhukov. According to him, most of the banks unblocked the accounts and only Gazprombank did not react. The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs declined to comment, while their colleagues from Gazprombank did not answer to our inquiry.
A hundred arrests
SMU PEMP is not the only company whose accounts were seized in the Magomedovs’ case. There are at least thirteen such companies, said Ulyana Solopova, press secretary of the Moscow City Court. In fact, the number is almost an order of magnitude higher and is approaching a hundred, said a person familiar with the trial.
Last week, the Moscow City Court ruled that the seizure of the accounts of the Vladivostok Commercial Sea Port in the Magomedovs’ case was legal. The port is part of the Fesco holding company, which is controlled by Ziyavudin Magomedov’s Summa Group. “The company and its employees were not involved in the crimes charged by Magomedov and do not consider themselves part of the criminal community,” emphasizes Svetlana Maltseva, a lawyer with the Zabeida & Partners law firm representing Fesco. The arrest didn’t affect the port’s operations, but it “puts pressure on the company’s business and negatively affects its reputation,” according to Fesco.
A representative of the Summa Group said that the seizure of accounts has no impact on Summa’s business, but did not specify how many companies were affected by the blockage. According to Forbes, the accounts of the Yakutsk Fuel and Energy Company (YATEC, which is 82% owned by Summa), United Grain Company (49% owned by Summa) and PEMZ (controlled by Magomedov’s sister, Naida) were also seized in the Magomedovs’ case. YATEK’s accounts have been temporarily blocked, a company representative confirmed. However, she noted that “this has in no way affected the current operational and production activities of the company. OZK and its subsidiaries are functioning normally, says the company representative. She neither confirmed nor denied the arrest of the accounts. The Rostec State Corporation, which owns 20% of PEMZ, advised to contact the “main shareholders of the company” – Naida Magomedova could not be reached. The Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (25% owned by Summa) declined to comment.