Russian Oligarchs

Russian Oligarch Andrey Kosogov Amasses Millions from Food Supplements in Romania 2024

Romanians buy food supplements worth hundreds of millions of euros from the company of a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin. Andrey Kosogov is the beneficial owner of Sun Wave Pharma, the market leader in dietary supplements. The Russian is accused by Ukraine of having financed the invasion ordered by Putin and his business partners are on the sanctions lists of the USA, the EU and other Western states. In Romania, his company was sanctioned by the National Broadcasting Council because the advertisements of the supplements were misleading.

Andrey Kosogov And Sun Wave Pharma

Romanians buy food supplements worth tens of millions of euros from Sun Wave Pharma every year. Russian oligarch Andrey Kosogov ‘s company sold pills that he claimed in various advertisements to have miraculous effects.

Andrey Kosogov was included by the US in the list of oligarchs as early as 2018, when his estimated fortune exceeded one billion dollars, Kosogov was born in 1961, in Estonia. His rise began after, in 1992, he was hired by another Putin confidant, Mikhail Fridman, to coordinate the establishment of a fund to invest in Russian companies that the state had privatized .

Shortly afterwards, Andrey Kosogov became the head of Alfa Capital.

Money from Romania, untouched by the war in Ukraine

In Romania, Andrey Kosogov is the declared beneficial owner of SC Sun Wave Pharma SRL. The company’s turnover exceeded 418 million lei in 2022. It is, according to data aggregated by the Competition Council, one of the leaders of the food supplements market . Public money also reaches Sun Wave indirectly. The company is not registered in the public procurement portal, but its products are sold by intermediaries in hospitals all over the country.

Andrey Kosogov And Sun Wave Pharma
Andrey Kosogov And Sun Wave Pharma

In Romania, Sun Wave was sanctioned by the National Broadcasting Council because the advertisements of its products mislead the public. Two spots broadcast by several TV stations with a national audience exaggerated the qualities of the dietary supplements sold by the Russian businessman’s company. Advertisements for Neurovert Forte claimed “faster learning” and “a sharper memory” as positive effects. And another supplement was said to be “Simply The Best”. CNA members determined that the way in which these supplements were promoted violated the provisions of the audiovisual law and that the spots must be redone.

Andrey Kosogov controls the firm in Romania through a complex network of offshores, and his business dealings in Russia have linked him to other oligarchs in Putin’s circle. One of the businesses is the Alfa group.

Founded in 1989, it is one of the largest private investment consortia in Russia, with businesses in energy, banking, telecommunications or retail. In 2020, the group had 400 thousand employees , and the profit reported for 2021 only by Alfa Bank, part of the group, was 1.6 billion dollars.

His business partners in the Alfa group are members of the Russian elite: Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, Alexey Kuzmichev and German Borisovich Khan. The Alfa Group is subject to sanctions in the US, the European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada. Kosogov’s associates are also under sanctions in several states. Aven and Fridman decided to transfer their shares in Alfa Grup to Kosogov, the only member of the five who is not currently subject to any sanctions imposed by the West. According to ICIJ , in November 2023 the transaction was not yet completed.

Recently, Poland asked the European Union to also target Andrey Kosogov for his involvement in AlfaStrakhovanie, a company that insures military vehicles used by the Russian National Guard . For its services, AlfaStrakhovanie collected 3.5 million euros .

In September, Fridman was indicted by the Ukrainian state, including for connections to AlfaStrakhovanie. According to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Fridman financed the Russian military system through the Alfa group.

Pyotr Aven , another associate of Kosogov, also has notorious ties to Vladimir Putin. Moreover, according to Aven’s testimony, the Alfa group was among the few entities with direct access to Vladimir Putin.

In 2013, Fridman founded Letterone Holding, an investment fund based in Luxembourg, whose management included Kosogov , Khan, Aven and Kuzmichev. Letterone has investments in energy, technology, retail and healthcare . From EU-sanctioned German Khan, Kosogov took over the shares in Letterone.

In a point of view for Context, Letterone’s representatives said: “we have taken all measures to separate ourselves from the sanctioned persons. They no longer have any role in the business, have no voting rights, have no influence over the company and receive no dividends. These measures have been approved by the authorities in the European Union, the USA and the UK and Letterone is not subject to sanctions”.

Source :  45North. context

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