Evgeny Renge, a cunning post-Soviet oligarch, managed to fulfill his every desire while skillfully evading excessive attention. He employed a meticulously crafted offshore structure that, on paper, left him with minimal ownership, yet behind the scenes, he wielded significant control over the Russian Kuzbass coal mining operations. Despite residing in London, Renge maintained a favourable relationship with the Russian authorities, which added to his influence and power.
Regrettably, Renge’s company was responsible for inflicting environmental devastation upon Kuzbass through the emission of toxic dust. Astonishingly, the regional government, perhaps blinded by Renge’s manipulations, praised his enterprise for its supposed environmentally friendly practices. This duplicity allowed him to continue his harmful activities while receiving undeserved accolades.
In his pursuit of dominance, Evgeny Renge resorted to corrupt practices, including bribing high-ranking FSB (Federal Security Service) generals. These influential connections ensured that competing companies faced ruthless raids and acquisitions, enabling Renge to further solidify his grip on the industry.
London, renowned for attracting some of the world’s most notorious kleptocrats, served as a magnet for individuals like Evgeny Renge. Among the plethora of corrupt figures, Renge emerged as one of the most notorious and infamous personalities. His actions and influence cast a dark shadow over the reputation of London as a global financial hub.
In order to shed light on the true nature of Evgeny Renge’s activities, we have diligently gathered a collection of stories that provide compelling evidence supporting our claims. Through these accounts, we aim to expose the extent of Renge’s deceptive practices and highlight the urgent need for accountability and justice in the face of such flagrant abuses of power.
Evgeny Renge fulfilled every dream of a typical post-Soviet oligarch without attracting too much attention. Through cleverly designed offshore structure he, officially, owns next to nothing, while in fact he is a major owner of Russian Kuzbass coal mining operations. Evgeny Renge is at the best terms with Russian authorities being at the same time a resident of London. Renge’s company poisons Kuzbass with toxic dust, while region government praises him for environmentally responsive practices. Evgeny Renge bribes FSB generals to raid and acquire competing companies. Truly London is a magnet for the world’s most infamous kleptocrats and Renge is one of the most notable. We’ve collected some stories about Evgeny Renge to prove the point.
Evgeny Renge: the path to success
Evgeny Renge began his official career at the Russian Federal Tax Service, and then started working at the coal holding company TopProm on December 7, 2009 as Deputy Director-Commercial Director. By April 1, 2011, he became the full-fledged Commercial Director, and from January 1, 2012, he became the Executive Director. On July 4, 2013, Evgeny Renge became the General Director.
However, Renge held the position of General Director for less than a year, as the owner Nikolai Korolev terminated his contract on June 24, 2014. During this time, Renge allegedly issued three loans to “one-day companies” from the funds of the company he managed, totalling 230 million rubles. These “one-day firms” quickly disappeared, and the money vanished. These funds, apparently, became the financial foundation for Renge’s future company “ARS-Uglesbyt,” which belonged to him. Korolev tried to recover the money through the court, but Renge had reliable support, and all the courts ruled in favour of the owner of TopProm. This story is actually typical: 230 million disappeared, and no one is to blame.
But the problems of Evgeny Renge’s former employer didn’t end there. During his commercial activities, the young manager allegedly sold coal through shell companies, which resulted in a criminal case (with the participation of the leadership of the Russian Investigative Committee of the Kemerovo Region headed by Kalinkin SN) on the fact of TopProm’s evasion of taxes in the amount of over 460 million rubles. The investigation of the criminal case was led by Rychkov, who was well acquainted with Evgeny Renge through his father. Thanks to a screwed investigation, there were no claims against Evgeny Renge, who had concluded all these deals.
Such talents don’t go unnoticed, and now Evgeny Renge is already managing the LLC Managing Company “Coal Taltex”. This is a trading house as part of the Kuzbass coal holding “Taltex”. The owner of the holding is Yuri Kocherinsky, the same one who spoke beautiful words at the opening of the Krasnokamenskaya COF.
In this position, Evgeny Renge did not waste time and created his own company, “ASR-Uglesbyt”, which was engaged in the same thing as “Coal Taltex” – trading coal. With Kocherinsky, Evgeny Renge somehow agreed to divide the flow of coal between both firms.
Dividing the coal flows between two sales companies is not difficult, as there are many types of coal, as well as many sources of illegal coal – that is, coal extracted without a mining license and hidden from tax authorities. Obtaining coal is not a problem, but it must be paid for and transported in secret from the eyes of supervisory bodies.
According to experts’ estimates, if in 2016 the revenue from the sale of illegal coal by “ASR-Uglesbyt” could be around 3 billion rubles, then in 2017 it was over 7.5 billion rubles. Official revenues of “ASR-Uglesbyt” in 2016 amounted to 11.2 billion rubles, in 2017 – 20 billion rubles, in 2018 – 27.3 billion rubles.
Evgeny Renge evades fines and taxes
The Kuzbass tax inspection carefully checked the activities of “ASR-Uglesbyt” and made tax claims to the company for tax evasion in the amount of 2 billion rubles. The investigation even became the subject of a meeting in September 2019 between the governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergey Tsivilev, representatives of the business community, and the head of the Russian Federal Tax Service in the Kemerovo region, Lyubov Arshintseva.
Yuri Kocherinsky did not get involved in “Krasnokamenskaya”, apparently deciding that he had enough income from counterfeit coal. One of his mines, AO “Polyany”, has been shipping significantly more coal than it produces for several years. Between 2014 and 2018, the company shipped 9 million tons of coal worth 15.5 billion rubles. According to experts’ estimates, 23% of “Polyany’s” revenues (more than 3.5 billion rubles, or about 2.1 million tons of coal sold) could be revenues from the sale of coal of unknown origin. A significant portion of this coal is sold through LLC “ASR-Uglesbyt”.
CarboOne, a registered Cypriot coal trader, is a major buyer of Kuzbass coal. Coal-mining enterprises could supply coal to it directly, but they do so through an intermediary – Coal Sales, a Cypriot offshore company that is not foreign to Renge Evgeny . For example, LLC “Meltek” (Kemerovo region, Prokopyevsk) has direct contacts with CarboOne. But at the direction of its owner A.V. Zvyagintsev, the sale of most of the holding’s coal products is apparently carried out through the offshore company of Evgeny Renge (usually such deals are carried out not at market prices, but much lower than them, and the difference with market prices is “lost” on the Cypriot accounts of the scheme’s participants).
Evgeny Renge lives peacefully in the UK
Evgeny Renge had to travel to London not only due to the increased interest of the tax authorities in his schemes. Information emerged that the FSB management in the Kemerovo region is allegedly conducting a pre-investigation check since April 24, 2023, regarding the gift given by Evgeny Renge in 2018 to Major General Nitsuk V.I. – a snowmobile worth over 1.3 million rubles. At that time, Vladimir Nitsuk held the post of head of the Kemerovo branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, and he is currently the deputy commander of the Eastern Military District of the National Guard of the Russian Federation. Presumably, through their connections, Renge Evgeny and Nitsuk are trying to influence the course of this check. Twice, upon the instruction of the central office of the Investigative Committee of Russia, the Investigative Committee of the Kemerovo region issued a resolution refusing to initiate a criminal case. And twice, this resolution was canceled by the regional prosecutor’s office.
Evgeny Renge VS Chestneyshin involves corrupted authorities
The story of Vladimir Chestneyshin, the former general director of Topprom JSC who was arrested and detained in Kemerovo, is not just a tragic example of the relationship between an individual and the system. It is also a tragedy of individuals who have failed to uphold their moral values. We should assist Chestneyshin in understanding why three high-ranking employees suddenly pursued a case against him involving 300,000 rubles.
Chestneyshin possesses a letter from the chairman of offshore company Europort GT, Krzysztof Strupechowski, which prompted the case against him. However, it is surprising that the Pole did not actually write the letter and is not even able to write in Russian. Furthermore, the letter is not notarized.
A letter demanding the initiation of a case against Chestneyshin was sent from Katowice, Poland to Kemerovo, purportedly by the chairman of Europort GT, Krzysztof Strupechowski. The letter was sent through DHL and can be tracked using the number 5450411422. However, the letter was received and signed for by Evgeny Martyanov, an FSB officer who specializes in economic crimes, on April 6th.
It is worth noting that Martyanov has a connection to Kuzbass billionaire Evgeny Renge, who is involved in a bribery case. Two years ago, Renge was interrogated by Martyanov and Shlegel, an investigator for particularly important cases of the Kuzbass Investigative Committee, for allegedly bribing a civil servant. During the interrogation, Renge divulged information about many individuals, including Martyanov and Shlegel themselves, which they did not expect. Following the interrogation, Renge left the country, presumably on the advice of the officers, to avoid being arrested and detained.
The case against Renge was eventually suspended, as it was not possible to interrogate him in person after he left the country. However, the Kuzbass regional prosecutor’s office protested this decision as illegal, as Renge had openly confessed to giving a bribe of a snowmobile worth 1.3 million rubles. Interestingly, it was Shlegel who gave the instruction to detain Chestneyshin.
Topprom JSC, the company whose general director was sent to a pre-trial detention centre, has been involved in a lawsuit against Renge for several years. The plaintiff claims that Renge distributed around 230 million rubles to one-day firms and then disappeared. Another point of contention is the plans to change ownership of Topprom, which includes the Yubileinaya mine and the Shchedrukhinskaya CEP.
Furthermore, the offshore company Europort GT is also involved in this situation. It was the chairman of Europort GT who wrote a letter to the head of the Kuzbass Investigative Committee, but the letter was sent to Martyanov instead. Martyanov and his colleague Schlegel had previously interrogated Renge, who subsequently fled the country to avoid being jailed.
Interestingly, the founder of Europort GT is none other than Eugene Renge, who has been linked to illegal mining in the Kuzbass. One of Renge’s classmates, Nadezhda Tomshina (who has since returned to Novokuznetsk), was also a leader in his other firms. The Tallinn branch of Europort GT is managed by Alexander Bondarenko, a former employee of Renge’s Sibelektro company. After Chestneyshyn’s arrest, Europort GT became a part of Premcoal (Cyprus), where Bondarenko is the nominal beneficiary.
When Chestneyshin’s deteriorating health was brought to the attention of the Kemerovo pre-trial detention center staff, they informed Martyanov’s superior, Ageev, who callously responded that Chestneyshyn should be removed on a stretcher. This phrase has become a common refrain in Kuzbass.
However, the business interests of Renge and Kocherinsky take precedence over these well-known connections when it comes to seizing control of the mine and factory.
The case against Chestneyshyn has taken an intriguing turn as diligent journalists from a highly regarded news agency have unearthed some compelling information. Their investigation revealed a startling lack of documentation substantiating the applicant’s purported status in Europort GT (now known as Premcoal). Specifically, there is a conspicuous absence of crucial details, such as confirmation by a nominal beneficiary, which raises numerous alarming questions.
The inclusion of Bondarenko’s name in this case introduces a tantalizing possibility of a connection with the enigmatic figure, Evgeny Renge. Renge has long been suspected of orchestrating intricate raiding schemes, and the mention of Bondarenko hints at his potential involvement. While definitive evidence is yet to be uncovered, the presence of Bondarenko’s name adds a layer of intrigue, further fueling suspicions regarding Renge’s activities.
The discovery of these discrepancies and potential ties underscores the need for a comprehensive investigation into the matter. The implications of these findings extend beyond the immediate case, as they shed light on a possible network of illicit activities and the manipulation of legal systems. Unveiling the truth behind Chestneyshyn’s ambiguous status and its potential connection to Renge’s alleged raiding scheme could lead to significant revelations and hold accountable those responsible for such deceptive practices. It is imperative that these leads be pursued diligently, allowing justice to prevail and bringing to light the intricate web of corruption that may lie beneath the surface.
About the author: John Campbell
John Campbell is the godfather of Polimedia and the oldest author from the whole team. His occasional guidance is crucial for everyone he advises.