Friday, August 12, 2011

Arkhangelsky targets ‘shadowy’ Cypriots

Russian shipping and insurance fugitive Vitaly Arkhangelsky has rolled out the tanks in his battle with high-ranking banking and political figures over claims that he is the victim of a massive fraud conspiracy.

Arkhangelsky, who is fighting extradition from France, has issued a writ of summons in the District Court of Nicosia against what are described in a covering statement as “three shadowy Cypriot companies”.

It is alleged that the companies are owned and/or controlled by the Bank of St Petersburg and/or Aleksandre Savelyev, who was its chairman.

Arkhangelsky, who has been living in exile in Nice with his wife and family, claims a conspiracy to strip assets belonging to his Oslo Marine Group (OMG) “probably” also involved Valentina Matvienko, the governor of St Petersburg described as an ally of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Another figure pointed out by the Russian entrepreneur, whose shipping and insurance conglomerate is claimed to have been valued at $1bn in 2008, is a chief of police.

In an action to be filed at the end of the summer recess in Cyprus, Arkhangelsky is seeking conspiracy and fraud damages over the seizing of group assets.

A statement issued by his Paris-based lawyers, Francois Ameli and William Bourdon, said: “The three Cypriot defendant companies are Ultriva Ltd, Datadot Technology Ltd and Intucel Ltd, which, it is alleged, were established in Cyprus exclusively to cover the tracks of the illegal expropriation of Mr Arkhangelsky’s property.”

They add that the assets — Western Terminal, which owns and operates an eight-hectare site in the Port of St Petersburg, and Scandinavian Insurance — were seized in 2008 by the bank in a dispute over a loan.

The allegation is that they were sold to the Cyprus companies at a “knock-down price”.

Arkhangelsky claims he was the target of a campaign of “persecution” orchestrated on behalf of Matvienko and that he fled to France to avoid being arrested in a police probe it is claimed was instigated by the St Petersburg governor.

The statement of claim alleges that when Arkhangelsky expressed his reluctance to enter into an agreement “temporarily” transferring shares to special-purpose vehicles — as additional security on an approximately $120m loan by the Bank of St Petersburg — his life and that of his wife, Julia, and family were threatened.

Since fleeing to France, the Russian authorities have sought to have Arkhangelsky extradited. He has filed a criminal complaint in Nice claiming that directors of the bank and a group of unidentified persons “falsified” documents so his property could be seized.

Arkhangelsky argues that a criminal case was fabricated against him using documents and seals belonging to OMG but removed from its offices by police.

The “conspiracy” is estimated by Arkhangelsky to have caused losses and damages related to Western Terminal and Scandinavian Insurance of more than RUR 4.05bn ($145.4m).

He says he has no hope of an impartial hearing in Russia and he has invited the bank of St Petersburg, relevant officials, the offshore companies and other “co-conspirators” to agree to a trial in the London High Court, which he describes as “fully independent and internationally recognised”.

The OMG president and majority shareholder says he intends to “pursue all wrongdoers in whatever jurisdiction is open to me”.

By Geoff Garfield London

Published: 22:01 GMT, 04 Aug 11 | updated: 20:19 GMT, 03 Aug 11

Monday, August 8, 2011

OMG group founder fights back from exile

Lloyds list 07.12.2010

 Tuesday 07 December 2010, 15:13

by Michelle Wiese Bockmann

Vitaly Arkhangelsky launches media battle against bid to seize port business

BAILED Russian shipowner-in-exile Vitaly Arkhangelsky has embarked on a major media offensive to publicise his plight as he fights to retain a grip on his international port, shipping and insurance empire.

The founder and majority owner of OMG group, who fled to Nice with his family over 18 months ago, has said he has been able to renew loans on Friday with the Vozrozhdenie Bank for Vyborg port, one of his assets that Russian creditors have not seized.

Dr Arkhangelsky’s case has gathered widespread coverage in both Russia and France. He was released from detention in Nice nearly two weeks ago, and is battling extradition to Russia on money laundering charges.

Documents filed in court have outlined an extraordinary detail of judicial and political corruption amd persecution, based around his dealings with creditors, the Bank Saint Petersburg, and Maritime Bank. He has alleged a four-year campaign of militia raids, political vendettas, employee and family harassment, as “jealous” and well-connected Russians tried to seized his sucessful private port business.

The campaign culminated in forged court documents and the illegal seizure of assets of his St Petersburg-based business in mid-2009. Before trouble struck, Dr Arkhangelsky was one of Russia’s most successful shipping and ports entrepeneurs, and planned to build a fleet of Russian-flagged vessels that would have made him one of the country’s top 10 shipowners.

From exile in Nice, Dr Arkhangelsky told Lloyd’s List that the behaviour of the banks raised important corporate goverance issues for the UK and Europe. Bank Saint Petersburg last month received a €65m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to fund small business lending.

Courts have found that this bank had forged his signatures on documents saying he and his wife were responsible for company debts, and also provided fraudulent documentation for assets seizures.

Ratings agencies, jurisdictions where shares were traded, and auditors, as well as other entities in Europe dealing with the banks needed to be aware of the way they conducted business, Dr Arkhangelsky said.

He also explained the financial circumstances that triggered legal and judicial action in Russia that saw him flee to Nice.

According to Dr Arkhangelsky, one of OMG’s companies, Leasing Company Scandanavia, had a non-secured loan for around €1.2m ($1.6m) in 2006 and 2008 with the Maritime Bank. But during the economic crisis that engulfed Russia from early 2009, he delayed repayment of the loan but paid extra interest.

The Maritime Bank then “offered” to issue a new loan for the same amount to Western Terminal, one of OMG’s other companies, and based in the port of St Petersburg. But the loan included the mortgage of land worth Euros$10m that was held in the name of Dr Arkhangelsky’s wife.

The €1.2m that Western Terminal received was used to pay back the outstanding loan to Leasing Company Scandanavia.

However another OMG Group lender, Bank Saint Petersberg, believed that the loan to Western Terminal was illegal, and joined with Maritime Bank to recover the loan, and filed criminal charges against him.

There have also been governor-ordered raids to seize property to repay debts, including a crane at Vyborg port, which has since been ruled invalid.

Dr Arkhangelsky says that it is “too early to say” whether he will be able to recover his siezed assets, which include the Western and Onega terminals in St Petersburg. Another company, Vyborg Shipping, which at one stage had more than €500m in newbuildings on order, has filed for bankruptcy.

By taking his campaign to the media, Dr Arkhangelsky he hoped to put pressure on a number of prominent Russian businesspeople. The include St Petersburg governor Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko and her son Sergey, a major shareholder in Bank Saint Petersburg, who have close connections with prime minster Vladimir Putin.

Keywords: Home, Regulation, Europe, Michelle Wiese Bockmann, Russian Federation

L'homme d'affaires russe ne sera pas extradé

Nice: le Kremlin traque ses dissidents jusque sur la Côte

Oslo Marine boss in French custody

Oslo Marine boss moves fight to Nice

Oslo Marine top man quits Russia

Arkhangelsky blames corruption for collapse of his empire

Un jeune millionnaire russe incarcéré en France

Consumers are the loser

Detained Russian exile granted bail

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


view original

Paris, August 2nd, 2011 – In a case, which is bound to become another milestone in the saga of Russian corruption, Mr. Vitaly Arkhangelsky,a prominent Russian businessman and his group companies, the Oslo Marine Group seek justice before the courts of Europe as it is apparently not possible for them to overcome corrupt and malign influences operating in the courts of St. Petersburg.

Mr. Arkhangelsky, the owner of a shipping and insurance empire valued at $ 1 billion in 2008, who is fighting Russia's extradition request from France, has on July 26th, 2011 issued a writ of summons in the District Court of Nicosia, Cyprus ( alleging conspiracy and fraud involving three shadowy Cypriot companies, allegedly owned and/or controlled by the Bank and/or Mr Savelyev. These persons, it is alleged, participated in a conspiracy to expropriate assets belonging to the Oslo Marine Group, probably also in conjunction with the Governor of St Petersburg and an ally of Vladimir Putin, Mrs. Valentina Matvienko, as well as the chief of police, Mr Piotrovsky. Mrs. Matvienko is presently campaigning to become Speaker of Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia's Parliament.

A copy of the statement of claim in the action, which will be filed at the end of the summer recess in Cyprus, describes the role played by the Bank, Mr Savelyev and the other co-conspirators. It can be downloaded at

In these proceedings, the Arkhangelskys claim, amongst other things, damages in conspiracy and fraud for the wrongful expropriation of their group’s assets. The three Cypriot defendant companies are Ultriva Ltd., Datadot Technology Ltd.and Intucel Ltd. which, it is alleged, were established in Cyprus exclusively to cover the tracks of illegal expropriation of Mr. Arkhangelsky's property.

The assets in question, an insurance company and a shipping terminal, were seized in 2008 by the bank in a dispute over a loan, and sold to the Cyprus companies for a knockdown price. In the meantime Mr. Arkhangelsky became the target of official persecution organized on Governor’s behalf.

In 2009 Akhangelsky fled to France fearing arrest in a police probe, which he said was instigated by Mrs. Matvienko. This was followed by an extradition request from Russia. Earlier this year, Mr. Arkhangelsky filed a criminal complaint with the Principal Investigating Judge of the Court of Nice alleging that the Bank of St. Petersburg’s director and a group of unidentified persons have falsified documents in an attempt to seize his property in France (see:

From both the Cyprus statement of claim and the French complaint, it can be seen that from at least 2007 to present, Mr. Arkhangelsky, and his wife, together with their group of companies, the Oslo Marine Group, have been the subject of an orchestrated campaign by the Bank of St Petersburg, directed by Mr Savelyev, its Chairman, to unlawfully asset strip two valuable companies from the Group, namely, Western Terminal and Scandinavia Insurance.

As part of that campaign the Bank, Mr. Savelyev and the other co-conspirators, probably also in conjunction with the Governor of St Petersburg, Mrs Matvienko, and the chief of police, Mr Piotrovsky, using the “administrative resources” at their command, entered into a conspiracy, amongst other things, to fabricate a criminal case against Mr. Arkhangelsky using documents and seals removed from their offices and belonging to the Group companies, by police officers that seem to have acted on the direct instruction of Mrs Matvienko/Mr Piotrovsky. Mr. Arkhangelsky is convinced that the fabrication of that criminal case is part of the conspiracy which is personally directed by Mrs. Matvienko.

Presently Mr. Arkhangelsky is unable to return to Russia where there is no hope of an impartial hearing when viewed against the weight of corruption with which they have had to contend thus far. The Arkhangelskys explain very clearly that they have sought a vindication of their rights and those of their Group through the courts in Russia, but have been the victim of egregious misconduct and misuse of power by the so called “administrative resources” and influence by or on behalf of the Bank, Mr Savelyev and the other co-conspirators, at whose instance, it is strongly suspected: forged documents have been relied upon; fraudulent evidence has been presented; threats of physical violence have been made; and certain members of their legal team have been coerced and suborned by the Bank, Mr Savelyev and the other co-conspirators. The net result of all of this is that, with the deployment of improper influence in, and interference with, the Russian judicial system, the Arkhangelskys have been denied justice in Russia and thus seek remedy elsewhere against those persons responsible for inflicting loss and damage on their Group and for wrongfully expropriating the Group’s assets.

The Arkhangelskys have openly invited the Bank of St Petersburg and its relevant officials as well as the off shore companies which are owned and/or controlled and or directed by the Bank, Mr Savelyev and the other co-conspirators, to submit to the jurisdiction of the High Court in London, being a fully independent and internationally recognized and respected jurisdiction, where these allegations can be fully and properly tested (see :

“ We are determined to bring those responsible for the conspiracy to defraud us and our Group to justice leaving no stone unturned in that process”, said Mr. Arkhangelsky. - I intend to pursue all of the wrongdoers in whatever jurisdiction is open to me”.

For more information please contact:

François AMELI Esq. William BOURDON Esq.
Cabinet BEA Cabinet BVB
7 rue de Chaillot 156 rue de Rivoli
75116 Paris 75001 PARIS
Tel: +33 1 53 57 78 00 Tél. : +33 1 42 60 32 60



Open invitation to submit to the jurisdiction of the High Court in London The Oslo Marine Group

To: The Bank of St Petersburg
To: Mr Savelyev
To: Mrs Matvienko
To: Mr Piotrovsky

To: All of the SVP’s companies who participated in the expropriation of assets from the Oslo Marine Group

Open invitation to submit to the jurisdiction of the High Court in London
The Oslo Marine Group

As you well know, it is my position and that of the Group companies, comprising the Oslo Marine Group, that you have wrongfully conspired by unlawful means to expropriate two of the Group’s most valuable assets and have also embarked on a concerted strategy to financially damage me and the interests of my Group companies.

Accordingly, we openly invite you to submit to a fully independent and internationally respected jurisdiction, namely the High Court of Justice in London, so that these complaints can be fully and properly tested.

I await your considered response.
Yours faithfully

Vitaly Arkhangelsky
General Director Oslo Marine Group



SCALE: Over EURO €2.000.000

BISSONIA HOLDINGS LTD, 284 Arch. Makarios III Avenue,
FORTUNA COURT BLOCK B, floor 2, 3105, Limassol
VITALY ARKHANGELSKY, Rue De France 29, Bat F, 06000 Nice, France
JULIA ARKHANGELSKAYA, Rue De France 29, Bat F, 06000 Nice, France
OSLO MARINE GROUP PORTS LLC, A, 57/2, Sampsonievskiy B., Saint Petersburg, Russia
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