On January 14, 2021, the Harju County Court of Estonia issued an arrest warrant for the Estonian businessman Hillar Teder. The tycoon, suspected of bribing officials in his homeland of millions, is also known for his business in Crimea. Contrary to the sanctions legislation of the European Union, Teder, through dummies, operates the “South Gallery” shopping center in the temporarily occupied Simferopol.

The “ARC” experts in the investigation “Crimea and a Dead Fish” [1] established a connection between the post-Soviet “fish mafia” and the occupation of Crimea and the role of the Estonian tycoon Hillar Teder in this. In his company “Arricano”, which built seven large shopping centers in Ukraine, he worked as general director Yarema Kovaliv – director of the State Fisheries Agency of Ukraine in 2014-2017. On March 4, 2014, in Crimea, already seized by the Russian invaders, Kovaliv solemnly opened the “South Gallery” shopping center in Simferopol, which would have been impossible without security guarantees from the Kremlin curators of the invasion of Crimea and local performers like “Saylem” leader Sergei Aksenov and a Russian functionary Oleg Belaventsev.

Trying to avoid responsibility for gross violation of sanctions, in the interests of the Estonian Teder, a “limited liability company” “South Gallery” was created as a nominal manager to work in the Crimea turned into a bandit enclave by the invaders.

The Crimean telegram channels administered by the FSB of the Russian Federation, in fact, merge the Estonian Teder, who collaborates with the occupiers, with statements that he was withdrawing his earnings in Crimea to bribe the ruling centrist party in the amount of one million euros in exchange for a soft loan for the construction of a terminal in the port of Tallinn, and to solve the judicial problems arising from this [7]. Moreover, the joyful rhetoric of the invaders that they want to squeeze the shopping center from the Estonian looks strange. Especially against the background of decisions of international courts, after which the ranks of those wishing to do unclean business with Russians in Crimea will finally dry up [8].

It is indicative that the conflict with Teder in Crimea began with the indignation of the Crimean tenants of the “South Gallery”, controlled by the “Saylem” group, over the increase in rent, which Teder’s representatives explained by the fall in the ruble against the dollar. In response, tenants paid for an article on the Kremlin’s leading propaganda resource, controlled by Russian military intelligence, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” [2], criticizing the formal owner, ““Krym-Voyage”, a limited liability company that focuses not on rubles, but on dollars.”

Moreover, clumsily masking violations of the sanctions legislation, Russian propagandists distorted the name of the company, which is actually called “Voyage-Krym” [3] with the nominal director Svetlana Remiga. This firm, through the limited liability company “Zeleny Gorod” [4], registered in the hometown of the Russian president, St. Petersburg, has the ultimate beneficiary of “U.A. Terra Property Management Limited” is a structure of Hillar Teder. Moreover, Teder also legalizes income from illegal activities in the Crimea through an operating Ukrainian company with the same name “Voyage-Krym” [5].

But the most interesting thing is that Hillar Teder’s firm “U.A. Terra Property Management Limited”, which has become the formal founder and ultimate beneficiary of a number of developer firms in mainland of Ukraine, has its own namesake “Terra Property Management Ltd.” founded in 2016 in Vancouver, Canada and allegedly located at West Broadway, 1669, office 410 [11]. However, in fact, in this building on the outskirts of Vancouver there is a pharmacy, two small health centers, a small goods store and a warehouse. Thus, the allegedly engaged in real estate Canadian “Terra Property Management Ltd.” like its Cypriot clone, these are only “mailboxes” intended for money laundering.

Let us recall that Canadian and Latvian journalists have already carried out an investigation into firms used by the Russian mafia and intelligence agencies for money laundering in Canada, in particular in Calgary, neighboring Vancouver [12], and “ARC” wrote already about this [13]. These firms, such as “Evial Business”, were associated specifically with Ukrainian ocean fishing. But it is exactly the area, where the former top manager of the arrested Teder, the Head of the State Fisheries Agency of Ukraine, Yarema Kovaliv, was employed in 2014-2017. Therefore, it can be assumed that the Cypriot, Ukrainian, and Russian-controlled Teder’s firms are just gaskets for money laundering by the Russian special services.

In mainland of Ukraine, Teder’s firms were spotted in a scandal over an attempt to build a thirty-four-storey high-rise on the shores of Lake Jordan in Kyiv. The absurdity of this project in the context of environmental threats caused a storm of indignation among the Kyiv residents [6]. But for some reason that scandal did not entail an investigation of the gross violations of Teder in Crimea, although this is an international case, relevant for the strategy of the de-occupation of Crimea.

It is interesting that the second large shopping and entertainment center in Simferopol, “Meganom”, which is associated with the Ukrainian oligarch Vasily Khmelnitsky, is the headquarters for the “Geoplan” design institute [9]. This is the structure with the help of which Sergei Aksyonov’s “Saylem” group and the Kremlin tried to impose “general plans” on Crimean cities, with the help of which they have already “laundered” tens of millions of dollars and tried to legitimize the barbaric development [10]. “Geoplan” is run by Vitaly Kuvalin and Sergei Kolosov, the associates of the “Head of Crimea” Sergei Aksyonov, who are well-known for implementing international gangster schemes. “Meganom” is also rife with violations of the sanctions legislation and should be of interest to the relevant structures.

1. https://arc.construction/8871?lang=ru

2. https://www.crimea.kp.ru/daily/1712103/4342668/

3. https://synapsenet.ru/searchorganization/organization/1149102116954-ooo-voyazhkrim

4. https://synapsenet.ru/searchorganization/organization/1047855168393-ooo-zelenij-gorod

5. https://youcontrol.com.ua/catalog/company_details/31213956/

6. http://lifechngrs.com/ekonomika/item/55342-hillar-teder-hochet-postroit-vysotku-v-pribrezhnoy-zone-iordanskogo-ozera

7. https://rus.err.ee/1608072895/biznesmen-hillar-teder-i-politik-kersti-kraht-arestovany-na-srok-do-dvuh-mesjacev

8. https://arc.construction/9228?lang=ru

9. https://www.list-org.com/company/8162316

10. https://arc.construction/6163?lang=ru