Former boxer, former convict, present bizarre business man owning, apparently, 170 million Euros worth of government bonds issued by the Ministry of Finance in the between the wars period and an associate of Mikhail Mamiashvili, the president of the Russian Wrestling Federation and Russian Army colonel. We are talking about Mihai Lauruc, one of the very few that were granted the right to welcome Russia’s patriarch Kirill at the Otopeni airport.
Former boxer with Dinamo Sports Club, Mihai Lauruc (54 years old) entered the business world in the early ‘90s. Ten years later, he was considered a true oil baron of Maramureş. He then founded and financed the Sighet branch of PNR, a party controlled by Virgil Măgureanu, former SRI chief. In 2001, he laid the foundations of the “Friends of Romanian Boxing” association, together with Doru Trifoi, Iosif Armaș, Doru Ioan Tărăcilă and several representatives of Romanian boxing. Businesses, political connections and the relationship with the Romanian secret services, they all run well. Until April of 2002. It was then that he and Ovidiu Sorin Stanciu were placed by the Ploieşti prosecutors in protective custody for 30 days. They were accused of running illegal fuel businesses. After only five days in protective custody, the judges of Prahova Courthouse revoked the arrest warrants. The mass media then reported that state secretary Doru Trifoi, in charge of Judicatures, ordered the release of businessman. Following public scandal, Trifoi resigned.
Talpeș admits to Cotroceni visits
A few days after his release, Lauruc publicly declared that he went to Cotroceni to meet with Ioan Talpeș, the Presidential Administration chief and former SIE chief. When asked about the matter, Ioan Talpeș denied: “He had some business with someone that was in Cotroceni. And that person held a certain position, not the one of presidential counselor, and told him to say that he is meeting mister Talpeș. Since I was the Administration chief, people usually didn’t asked questions. He (Lauruc) came and then went to visit that person. We did some inquires back then. I didn’t even know who the person was. He never talked to me”. On the 27th of January 2003, Lauruc was again arrested. He was released a few months later.
Unbelievable: 180 million Euros in social capital
In March of 2011, Mihai Lauruc started a new business. Together with his brother, Livius Lauruc, he set up Loto prin SMS SA. The social capital of the company was worth over 10.9 million Lei. Mihai Lauruc’s contribution was 110 Lei and Livius’s 6 Lei. The rest of the amount was a petroleum products deposit of over 4.2 million liters which was Livius Lauruc’s contribution in kind. On the 13th of June 2012, the Lauruc brothers decided to increase the contribution in kind upon reaching the value of 789,475,230 Lei. Which means almost 180 million Euros at the then exchange rate. The new capital consists in “Renta Română” government bonds issued in the in between wars period. The records show that Lauruc entered the social capital with the 016375 state title and the 20 related coupons, worth a total value of 1,000 gold francs. The government bonds were issued by the Ministry of Finance for the “Renta Română” and were listed as part of the Romanian public debt. They can be found in a 2010 Romanian National Bank report and were estimated to be worth 789,475,114 Lei in a report signed on June 5 2012 by the assessor Şerban Mircea. Later, the social capital was converted into shares worth 10 Lei each and the company’s name was changed to Mobzoid SA.
The Russian Ukrainian Group
In an act of generosity, Lauruc decided to share the percentages he owned in Mobzoid. He gave up 79% of the company, with a total value of over 135 million Euros. The lucky beneficiaries were the Ukrainian Ivan Chubyrko, the Russians Mikhail Mamiashvili and Yury Savyak, Valer Bindea, a member of the National Liberal Party and the Zoid LLC off shore in Delaware. Later, Bindea and Zoid LLC withdrew from the company, but entered the Ukrainians Maksym Tolkacov and Oleksandr Luchkov and the Hungarian Attila Dene.
Former Bistrița Năsăud prefect, the Liberal Valer Bindea worked in the Communist era foreign trade industry as chief economist, but he says he was not involved with the Communist Security Agency. He also said that he entered the company following Mihai Lauruc’s invitation. He supposedly didn’t pay a dime for the shares he received and that were estimated to be worth a total value of over 85 million Euros. But neither did he ask for money when he returned the shares to Lauruc: “He had the company, we came with the Mobzoid platform, dealing in advertising. We didn’t bring the Russian partners, Lauruc did. I found out I was an associate of Mamiashvili’s. I saw his in Sighet”. Bindea added that he withdrew from the company for Lauruc to follow his oil business interests.
Mamiashvili, forbidden in the United States
Mikhail Mamiashvili is Lauruc’s most known business partners. He was an Olympic wrestling champion representing Russia. For his results in sporting events he received several awards and orders from the Russian state and was granted an army general rank. Leaving his sporting merits aside, Mamiashvili is a controversial businessman. Without any explanation, United States authorities refused to give him passage on the American soil. Mikhail Mamiashvili is also an associate in the Triple Ltd. company in Belarus. Two thirds of the company are owned by the oligarch Yury Chyzh, the most wealthy businessman in Belarus. According to former Soviet press, another associate is Anzor Kikalishvili. In 1996, FBI pointed to Kikalishvili as being one of the Russian Mafia chiefs in charge with the surveillance of the American illegal businesses. The Triple company was set up by Yury Chyzh, in 1992. Ever since, it extended its business area to construction works, customs services, non-alcoholic drinks, hypermarkets, prescription drugs, restaurants, even a hockey arena and 57% of the football club Dinamo Minsk. As repayment of debt, Mamiashvili and Kikalishvili took over a third of the Triple company from the millionaire Vladimir Yaprintsev, the president of the Wrestling Federation in Belarus. Yaprintsev borrowed a large amount of money to cover his son’s debts, amount guaranteed with the shares he owned in Triple. One of the victims of Yaprintsev Jr. is Yury Savyak, a business partner of Lauruc’s and Mamiashvili’s in the Mobzoid company. In 2015, Yaprintsev Sr. and Jr. were accused of fraud and were arrested by the KGB (the same acronym with the Russian KGB), the security service of Belarus. They were placed in a maximum security prison in Minsk and, if found guilty, will be sentenced up to ten years in prison. The oligarch Yury Chyzh was included on a list of people banned from entering the European Union’s territory on grounds of financing Belarus president’s Alexander Lukashenko regime. The EU sanctions were lifted in 2015. Chyzh was arrested by the KGB on the 11th of March 2016. On the 21st of March, he was officially accused of tax evasion. The injury to the state was estimated to several million dollars.
BOR: “Talk to the Russian embassy!”
The controversial Mihai Lauruc manifests his love for mother Russia every time he gets the chance. Either in the Maramureş local press, or on the social networks. A big fan of celebrities photographs, Lauruc took a selfie with a giant painting depicting former Romanian dictator
Nicolae Ceaușescu. Lauruc’s latest public appearance was on the Otopeni Airport where he welcomed Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill. The chief of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Daniel lead the delegation. The event took place on the 27th of October 2017. When Patriarch Kirill stepped out of the plane, he was greeted by His Holiness Daniel. The two Orthodox Churches chiefs walked arm in arm on the red carpet from the plane to the official reception area in the Otopeni Airport. They were followed by Mihai Lauruc and Valery Kuzmin, the Bucharest ambassador of the Russian Federation. The latter two met on February of 2017 in Sighetul Marmației, during an private visit in Maramureş of ambassador Kuzmin. The BOR spokesperson, priest Vasile Bănescu, made the following clarifications: “The gentleman (Mihai Lauruc), completely unknown to us, was not part of any of the two patriarchs’ official delegations. In the respective photograph he sits next to the Russian ambassador so I think you shoul talk to the Russian Embassy in Bucharest”. Representatives of the embassy said that Mihai Lauruc was not part of the official delegation. But they added that they have no reason to question the information from the Patriarchy of the Romanian Orthodox Church. “As far as we understand, Mister Mihai Lauruc expressed his wish to take part in the welcoming ceremony following his Romanian Subcarpathian Ruthenian Union leader status. The Ruthenians represent a recognized national minority and are Romanian citizens but, given their historic and ethno-cultural origins, they also consider themselves as Russians and desire to have spiritual relationships with the Moscow Patriarchy”, the Russian Embassy said.