Monday 26 March 2018

A UK witch hunt: Russian Businessmen Flee London, Fearing for Their Lives

This article appeared in the British press. Sergey Kapchuk, who has lived in London for years fled London for Europe after an 'interview' with Sky News that was more like an interrogation and wants to return home to Moscow.

Sky News published an article that was allegedly manipulated and misquoted him as saying he blamed Putin for the attack on Scripal.

Since leaving Britain for the continent his money and credit cards have been frozen by the British authorities. 

Here are the two widely-divergent narratives.

Russian businessman 'on Vladimir Putin death list' dramatically flees London claiming real threat comes from British secret services
Sergey Kapchuk, 45, filmed last week flanked by two bodyguards, says he is now in hiding in fear of his life somewhere in Europe

23 March, 2018

A Russian businessman who claimed he was 'marked for death' by Vladimir Putin in London has fled the UK - claiming the real threat to his life comes from British secret services.

Sergey Kapchuk, 45, filmed last week flanked by two bodyguards, says he is now in hiding in fear of his life somewhere in Europe.

He earlier claimed that he had moved from number 12 to 11 on the alleged hit list after the death of fellow London-based oligarch Nikolai Glushkov this month.

Kapchuk announced last week he had cancelled plans to be among a group of exiled Russians planning to return to Moscow after getting assurances from Putin’s government that they would not be prosecuted.

Now in a dramatic interview with a pro-Kremlin newspaper he said: “Honestly today I would feel safer in Russia.”

Explaining his U-turn, he said: “I understood that I ams not of interest either for the FSB, nor for Russian (foreign) intelligence.

And the British secret service might organise some sort of provocation, in my opinion.

So I did not wait for it.

I simply packed my things and immediately left the country.

I am in continental Europe now.”

He made clear he now believed his life was in danger because of the British secret service - and his bank accounts and credit cards had been suddenly blocked.

Some game is going on. I did not read the rules, I do not know the producer. And I do not wish to be a piece in this chess game,” he said.

He claimed the British media had lied in calling him a Putin enemy, and hyped up the line about the hit list.

He picked out Sky News and Good Morning Britain for allegedly treating him unfairly after the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and the death of Glushkov.

On 15 March a crew from SkyTV came to interview me,” he said.

They said – ‘We have information that you are the next victim of Russia’.

A lovely young girl called me to arrange an interview, but a true ‘intelligence officer’ looking man came to see me.

It was not an interview, more likely an interrogation.”

He was asked and refused to record a video appeal to Putin, said Kapchuk, a businessman who had previously had a political career in Russia.

I said that I was not been in politics for 15 years, that Russia was my motherland and I did not have anything against it,” he said.

He was almost torturing me trying to fish it out but I refused to comment.

He was angry and upset, and finally left.

The interview went out but only my bodyguards were included and my words that I am trying to defend myself from a possible attack.”

He claimed Good Morning Britain did not broadcast an interview after he said “only British government along with Theresa May can benefit” from the Skripal case, a line echoing Moscow’s view.

After fleeing to the continent “all my credit cards stopped working,” he claimed.

I called the bank, they said everything was fine.

Then they called back, their voice changed, and they said I had to go back to London and to sort this problem out in person.

My representatives visited the bank today but they insisted that they would not speak to any trustees.

Basically, they had blocked all my accounts and are forcing me to come back.”

He would not return in the near furture.

"I am not sure about my safety in London,” he told pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda.

My life is more precious for me than any money.

"When Glushkov was killed, journalists wrote to me and called.

They were flagging that I was the next one.

And when you hear something like this, if you are not an idiot, you should react . So I hired bodyguards.”

Asked if he had been afraid at that point of Putin’s secret services or the British, he replied: “When I ordered bodyguards I just did not know what was going on around me.

But gradually, analysing everything, I understood that I was not interesting for the Russian secret service.

They did not have any reason to deal with me, but another secret service may be interested.

I won’t name them.

Their aim is to darken Putin and to demonise his image, and this process is actively going on in the Western media now.”

He admitted that he had recontacted Boris Titov who is acting as a middleman from the Kremlin in encouraging London exiles to return to Moscow with their money.

I got in touch with Titov today,” he said.

He said my paperwork is being processed.”

This article is from Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda. I do not have the time or energy to translate this, so here is an electronic translation

"I said the Russians attacked us with gas, and you're the next victim". Fugitive Russian businessman Sergei Kapchuk afraid for his life

«Мне сказали: русские атаковали нас газом, а ты - следующая жертва». Беглый российский бизнесмен Сергей Капчук боится за свою жизнь

The entrepreneur suspects against him a provocation of the British secret service. He was haunted by the unknown, Bank accounts are frozen. Fearing for his life, he had already disappeared from the UK. Exclusive interview of "KP"

The defendant in the list of Boris Titov, Sergey Kapchuk in LondonThe defendant in Boris Titov's list, Sergey Kapchuk in LondonPhotos: Personal archive

22 March, 2018

Late in the evening, on Wednesday 21 March, I received a message in WhatsApp. It started as spam: "This is important, please read it." But the fact that the sender addressed me by name and was the code of the UK, made me read to the end.

"...Poisoning Skripal... I'm the next victim... left the country... the provocation was being prepared" it would look like the ravings of a madman. If not one "but". I suddenly realized that I know the sender – it was Sergei , Kapchuk. Fluent Russian available for business men staying in London. A month and a half ago it was included in the so-called "Titov list" - the list of entrepreneurs, the immigrants, against whom in Russia opened a criminal case, but they all wanted to return Home. Then I talked to him on the phone - Kapchuka everything was fine and he especially was not torn ago. Obviously, something has changed.

"KP" leads the transcript of the conversation with Sergey Kapchuk

- Sergey, are you all right? Let's get through what happened?

- Last week, when it became known about the death of Nikolai Glushkov in London(former top Manager of Aeroflot, a friend of Boris Berezovsky – approx. ed.) I went to the British media. I was called by the journalists from different Newspapers and TV channels, they all wanted to record an interview with me. Because Glushkov – the number one list of the "most vicious enemies of Russia", published on the website of the Russian Embassy in the UK. I also have this list.

Last week it became known about the death of Nikolai Glushkov in London. Photo: Vitaly Belousov/TASS
Last week it became known about the death of Nikolai Glushkov in London. Photo: Vitaly Belousov/TASS

Wait, what is this list?

- On the Embassy's website a long time ago there was posted a list of wanted fugitives from Russian justice in the UK. Glushkov was in him in the first place, I – 12. I've corresponded with the Russian Embassy. Said that my profile was deleted by Interpoleven a year or two ago. My prosecution is political in nature, and I'm not a criminal. And even the money that I supposedly stole – first, I have no relationship, and secondly, they were returned. Any debt I have. However, despite all my arguments, the Embassy refused to exclude me from this list.

- Well, you are in this list. Why this excited British journalists?
On 15 March I received a film crew of TV channel SkyTv. Journalists told me: "we Have information that you're the next victim of Russia". Agreed with me about the interview is nice, which came specific "intelligence officer" (impressed counterintelligence undercover – Ed.). We were not an interview but rather an interrogation.

- What'd they ask you?

- He immediately began to ask me questions in the forehead, "You know what happened? The Russians attacked us with gas. Now killed Glushkova, you know what you're following. How you feel about it?". Then he turned on the camera and said: "Choose who you are with Russia or with Britain?". I was asked to record a video message to Vladimir Putin and Russia that I am against them. I said that policy 15 years not doing it, and I don't need to get involved. Russia is my homeland and I have no claims to this country. It literally ticks me of trying to get something, but I refused to comment on it. He got angry, got frustrated, and left. The interview turned out, but there (on the screen TV – Ed.) just got my bodyguards and the words that I publicly defended from possible attack.

Sergey Kapchuk during an interview with British TV channel SkyTV
Sergey Kapchuk during an interview with British TV channel SkyTV

The next day all the British Newspapers published a photo of me and a photo of Putin. They were written that I was his worst enemy, his main critic. Included in the list published on the website of the Embassy. And here, in the British press, it is called Putin's hit list "hit list of Putin". It was all very similar to some sort of planned campaign. What's their next move, I could only guess. I understand that I am not interested in any of the FSB nor the Russian intelligence service. But to arrange some kind of provocation the British secret service, in my opinion, you can. So I decided not to wait for anything, but simply gathered my things and immediately left the country. Are now in continental Europe.

Sergey Kapchuk – a former Deputy of Sverdlovsk legislative Assembly. Accused of fraud with state property Photo: TASS photo Agency.
Sergey Kapchuk – a former Deputy of Sverdlovsk legislative Assembly. Accused of fraud with state propertyPhoto: TASS PHOTO CHRONICLE.

- Let us clarify the reason for your departure: you realize that your life is in danger from the British secret service?

In my opinion, Yes. There is a kind of game. The rules I have not read, a producer does not know. But to be a pawn and a bargaining chip, I have no desire. I took off, but the press continued to write to me about, even when I left. Then I decided to get in touch to refute the lies spread by the British media.
I got in touch with the popular morning show "Good morning Britain". We recorded an interview with them on skype, there are witnesses. Where I clearly stated that it does not make me an enemy of Russia, the enemy of Putin. They asked questions about poisoning Skripal. I replied that it is beneficial to poisoning to date, only the British government, headed by Theresa may. She raised her rating, they distracted people from domestic economic problems related to the exit from the EU. Plus a bunch of arguments why Russia could not do it. I explained that one should not jump to conclusions – we must wait for official findings. As a result, my interview didn't even live. I realized that to Express their position in the British media does not, therefore appealed to you.

- You wrote me that you have started because of some financial problems?

- Yesterday I have stopped working all of a credit card. I called the Bank they told me that everything should work. Then called back and changed voice said that I need to get back to London, come to the Bank and to settle this issue personally. My representatives went to the Bank, but they said that people by proxy they will not accept. In fact, they froze my account and are trying to force me to come.
- Will you come?

- In the near future definitely not. I'm not sure of their safety in London. My life any more money.
- Sergey, you said that in London you had bodyguards, even before all this hype around you in the press. Why you hired them then?

- After the death of Glushkov, journalists immediately began to call me and write. They gave me a direct text was told that I was next. And when you say that, you are either an idiot, or somehow should respond. So I hired a guard.
- So who do you still feared at first? Russian special services? British?

- I hired bodyguards when you do not understand what is happening around. But gradually, analyzing the information and internal sensations, I realized that are not of interest to Russian intelligence services. And no need to deal with me, to arrange a scandal, casting a shadow on Russia, they do not. But this interest can be from other intelligence agencies, I will not name any. And the purpose of them in the denigration of Putin and demonizing his image, what is happening now is very active in the Western press.
- Have you thought about returning to Russia? Maybe associated with business Ombudsman Boris Titov – he also promised to help Russian businessmen to return Home, close your criminal case.

- Yes, I am from Titov today contacted. He was aware of this situation. He told me that all my documents at work. To be honest, in today's situation, I would feel safer in Russia.

- How do you feel your colleagues, the Russian businessmen in London? They have the same fears as you?

I can't say I immediately called them up and asked how anyone was doing. But my guys friends said that, like, Chichvarkin (Evgeny Chichvarkin, the emigrant, the former owner of "Euroset" - approx. ed.) going to go to America. Because the atmosphere around the Russian business is very negative. I can assume that everyone who is in the list from the Embassy website, already left London. If they are friends with the head, of course.

As for me, I would like to find understanding in their Homeland. I hope that at least in this situation, the country will interfere and will be on my side. You know, when bad happens, we always come back to parents – and here. I'm still a citizen of Russia, have never made unfounded sweeping statements against his country – is not allowed and will not allow. Actually, I would like to count on some reciprocity.

Sergey Kapchuk – a former Deputy of Sverdlovsk legislative Assembly. Accused of fraud with state property. According to investigators, bought official 3-room apartment for 2 billion rubles, Kapchuk issued not on representation of Sverdlovsk area, and the former spouse. Then left the post of the Deputy, the apartment is sold, and the money spent for own needs. In 2005, the court made the decision on its correspondence arrest. Twin brother of Kapchuka Constantine also held the accused in this case and was sentenced to 5 years, Sergey managed to escape. In 2006 Sergei Kapchuk declared wanted - he fled first to Cyprus, then the United Arab Emirates, and finally settled in London. Britain gave him political asylum and a different name – now, Kapchuk has the surname Windsor. In London he engaged in the real estate business rents apartments.

By the WAY

Oleksii Shmatko, the businessman from Penza, who fled to London, is also a defendant in the "Titov list" the correspondent of "KP":

In my opinion, tell a story, more like gibberish. I live long enough in the UK. I can't imagine that the authorities of the island from someone by force began to require public political statements.
- To you with any suggestions or threats, the British authorities did not address?

- God forbid, no. It's as if the aliens asked me to accept the moon is an independent territory of aliens. Absolutely impossible situation. It seems to me, Sergey Kapchuk something wrong.

Review "KP" Boris Titov, authorized under the RF President on the rights of entrepreneurs:

- Treatment of Sergei Kapchuk with information, which today is outlined in "Komsomolskaya Pravda", came to us a week ago. We are in constant contact with the defendants in the list, in the course of their movements. Moreover, to us, the same letter about the pressure from the British secret service asked another member of the list is Valery Morozov (London), the businessman-the Builder. His threats come by e-mail – say, he's next on the list of persons liquidated after Skripal and Glushkov. However, Morozov believes that these letters come from some crime – either Russian, or foreign. Yet Morozov stays in London. As regards the return of Kapchuka in Russia, his name appears in the list submitted to President Putin. He Kapchuk insists that he was given the opportunity to defend himself without being arrested and placed in jail. The issue is interagency coordination.

Review "KP" analyst Andrey Shipilov:

- I don't think our people on the West could threaten British intelligence. They have no state security in the Russian sense of the word – omnipotent and not stopping at nothing. And the existing UK structures are not engaged in intimidation of foreign merchants. It seems to me that the story Kapchuka is someone's provocation. I can imagine that Western journalists were confused to get our entrepreneur of some statements. But the freezing of accounts with the aim to return the person to the UK to then harm him. No, the West don't do that. Moreover, Sergey Kapchuk – the figure is not of such a scale that so famously for him to take. I do not rule out the possibility that the businessman has raised this story on someone's request. Example: he was asked to create the appearance of a threat to the West in exchange for the cancellation of sins at home.


Disgraced Russian businessmen from London: "We want to decide where we live and work"

Business Ombudsman Boris Titov to journalists revealed the composition of the left for the UK businessmen who have expressed a desire to return to Russia. This list he made after meeting them in London in early February. According to Titov, the document he handed over to Mr Putin. The list is 16 people, but it can be expanded. "KP" was able to talk with the two defendants in this list – the businessmen Alexey Shmatko and Sergei Kapchuka (details)

More materials on the subject: "A CASE OF POISONING SERGEI SKRIPAL"

This is the 15 March article from Sky News cited by the Russian article

Formerly a member of parliament in Russia, Sergey Kapchuk says he worries that he will be targeted by Moscow next.

Sergey Kapchuk
An exiled Russian businessman has told Sky News that he is so worried about his safety after the poison attack in Salisbury and the mysterious death of another 

Russian that he has hired two bodyguards for protection.

Sergey Kapchuk fled Russia a decade ago, where he had run a metal factory and been elected as a member of parliament.

Russian hires guards after Skripal

The Russian authorities accuse him of "large scale fraud in collusion with abuse 

An exiled Russian businessman has told Sky News that he is so worried about his safety after the poison attack in Salisbury and the mysterious death of another Russian that he has hired two bodyguards for protection.

Sergey Kapchuk fled Russia a decade ago, where he had run a metal factory and been elected as a member of parliament.

The Russian authorities accuse him of "large scale fraud in collusion with abuse of power" and he is Number 12 on an extradition list published by the Russian Embassy in London which accuses the British government of sheltering fugitives from justice.

The man who was top of the list, Nikolai Glushkov, was found dead at his home in New Malden on Monday night.

Counter-terrorism officers are leading the investigation into his death because of his connections with other prominent Russian dissidents, including Boris Berezovsky who was found hanged at home in 2013.

Sergey Kapchuk told Sky News that he thought that the poison attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was a "terror attack" that shocked him.

But he assumed they had been targeted because Mr Skripal had previously been a double-agent - whereas Glushkov, like him, was simply a businessman.

He said: "Everybody ask me if I'm worried. Of course I'm worried. It's the only answer. All normal persons should be worried about this.

"Nobody knows who will be next. and it's very scary, that's why the guys are with me."

As he spoke, one bodyguard stood a few feet away looking out of the window of his London apartment, while another remained at the front door.

Mr Kapchuk added: "If something unexpectedly happened with that man, Glushkov in his home. If he had bodyguards, if he had an attack, they could have helped. I had bodyguards when I was in Russia. It's not a problem for me."

He said he always felt safe in the UK because he was given a British name, and did not involve himself in Russian politics.

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Even though there have been a number of unexplained deaths of Russian exiles, he says he trusted the British police and the courts to get to the truth.

When he was asked why someone who fears for their personal safety would do an interview and appear on television, he replied that in Russia you are safer if you are in the public eye.

From Russian Vesti News

The UK Witch Hunt Continues - Russian Businessmen Flee London, Fearing for Their Lives

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