Vitali Fishman – Matrix of Bribes, Illegal Arms Sales and Money Laundering

Our investigative reports on International Arms dealer Vitali Fishman has found a matrix of international shell companies, illegal money transfers using a US bank and illegal weapon sales to countries and armed militia groups in Africa who are considered Terror Groups under international and US law.   The structure of Mr. Fishman’s companies is hidden behind unnamed shadowy corporations which are (or were) all connected to his main company registered in Cyprus, ‘Gular Limited’, and a now defunct British company, ‘Hardwell Limited’, which was registered in the UK in 2012 and then dissolved in 2017.  

A typical example of how Vitali Fishman uses shell corporations for his money laundering and illegal arms dealing can be found in Hardwell Limited’s ’s brief 5-year existence as a company.  Hardwell Limited was established on January 03, 2012 and dissolved on May 30, 2017, as can be seen on this UK government company registration link  https://www.nexok.co.uk/company/07895133/hardwell-limited/directors-secretaries.  Listed as the initial Directors of the company were Mr. Fishman and Michalakis Koullouros, a shadowy international financier known for his expertise in circumventing banking compliance regulations and his connections to international arms dealers such as Vitali Fishman.  Mr. Koullouros was appointed as a Director of Hardwell Limited on the day of its inception and then he resigned his position as Director literally on the same day.  This is a classic method of establishing a company with the name of one Director as an individual and then within a day he can sell his shares to another entity which is typically another shell corporation, without disclosing the name of the respective entity.     

Michalakis Koullouros has also been linked to over eight other UK companies most of which were dissolved within 3 years of being registered.  Vitali Fishman has also been linked to the same companies.  These companies purportedly used textile, cosmetics beverage distribution and IT services trade transactions to launder funds that were used by Vitali Fishman to pay bribes and transact large scale illegal weapon contracts. (Following is link to the UK companies associated with Michalakis Koullouros and Vitali Fishman-

companycheck.co.uk/director/916601390/MR-MICHALAKIS-KOULLOUROS/companies) 

Further analysis of ‘Hardwell Limited’  has shown that the company is suspected of being involved with the 2 Billion USD Credit Suisse-Mozambique ‘Debt Scandal’ along with Vitali Fishman was linked to the Credit Suisse-Mozambique ‘Debt Scandal’ and allegedly was the key ‘Bagman’ who went behind the President’s back and gave bribes to the tune of millions of USD to some senior Mozambique government officials.  They were was expediting payments between London, Beirut and Maputo between 2013 and 2016 during the same time period as the Credit Suisse fraud took place in Mozambique. ‘Hardwell Limited’ was dissolved in May 2017 just before the Credit Suisse-Mozambique ‘Debt Scandal’ became public and just as Credit Suisse regulators and the World Bank were finding out about the 2 Billion USD scam. The timing is highly suspicious.

The main company of Vitali Fishman however is Gular Limited, a company that was registered in Cyprus on April 05, 2002 and is secretly owned by him through a series of front companies and shell corporations that he has used in his attempt hide his ownership of Gular Limited.  Although Fishman has consistently denied that he owns Gular Limited our sources in Mozambique provided us with a document that proves Vitali Fishman is in fact the man in charge at Gular Limited.  This document is an invoice in the amount of 43,962.25 EUR, that was  issued by Gular Limited to the Mozambique Ministry of Finance on September 18, 2018 (just prior to the time that the Credit Suisse-Mozambique debt scandal became public) and is personally signed by no other than Vital Fishman himself. (The invoice also confirms that Gular Limited’s bank account is located in Israel not in Cyprus).

Our team of Journalists in Africa and sources at the Mozambique, Kenyan and Zimbabwe Ministries of Defense all claimed that Mr. Fishman’s bank account is in Israel and is registered under the Gular Limited company name, but Gular Limited is registered in Cyprus.  This is illegal under international banking regulations and is a criminal act both in Israel and all countries that abide by international banking regulations.  Below is a copy of a bank transfer in the amount of $999,999.50 from the Government of Kenya (Citibank Account in the US) to Gular Limited’s bank account at Bank Hapoalim in Israel that our source in Kenya provided to us.  We were informed that this is partial payment for $3.8 Million USD contract that Vitali Fishman illegally secured by paying bribes to senior officials in the Kenyan Ministry of Defense. The bank transfer refers to invoice 112 issued by Gular Limited as well as the reference “Second payment for WEBNIT System”.  This bank transfer confirms that Gular Limited’s company bank account is not in Cyprus where the company is officially registered but is actually located in the State of Israel.

Under further scrutiny Gular Limited immediately raises alarms due to the company’s opaque structure, illegal banking transactions and Vitali Fishman’s efforts to hide his involvement with the company. Our Journalists as we reported last week uncovered an official company registration with the Larnaka Chamber (below) of Commerce in Cyprus dated December 03, 2013 that Gular Limited business activities are confirmed as being “Buyers, Sellers or suppliers of all kind of armament defense material including explosives, military aircraft, warships, military land or sea vehicles, all kind of electronic equipment, spare parts, and equipment”.  This is confirmation of Gular Limited’s core business activities. Gular Limited’s official Director and Shareholders are ‘CYCOMPSERVICES NOMINEES LIMITED’ and ‘CYCOMPSECRETARIAL LIMITED’ (https://i-cyprus.com/company/209578 ).  An online search showed that the Shareholders and Directors of both these companies is Christopher Fella, a well-known local notary in Cyprus who facilitates complex corporate structures that guarantee anonymity for the real company ownership. ( https://opencorporates.com/companies/cy/HE358400 ).

Vitali Fishman is a duo-national with Israeli-Belarus citizenship but has deep ties to the Russian government and the Russian Intelligence service the FSB (He was born in Moscow).  As we reported last week, documents released by a former disgruntled employee of Gular Limited in Mozambique include a letter (written on Gular letterhead) and is addressed to a ‘A. Mickiheiev’ of the state-owned ‘Russian Defense Export Authority’,  known in Russian as ‘ROSOBORONEXPORT’.  The letter (written in Russian) and signed by Mr. Fishman state that Mr. Fishman has confirmed transfer of Gular Limited shares to an unnamed official of the Russian government.

The complex web of companies, anonymous Directors, and illegal international payments that Gular Limited operates in, under the direction of Vitali Fishman would require a team of specialized forensic accounts to unravel.  To date we have confirmed with absolute certainty that Vitali Fishman does indeed own Gular Limited and that key shareholders of this company are officials of the state-owned Russian Defense Export Authority as well as known persons who engage in illegal money laundering transactions. Coupled with the evidence that Gular Limited’s bank account is located in Israel and not in Cyprus, (where the company is registered) is proof that Vitali Fishman business activities are at best dubious.

We will be continuing our investigations of Vitali Fishman’s and I am confident that the all his heinous crimes against the countries he operated in will be exposed.   It is simply outrageous that Arms Dealers and ‘Merchants of Death’ like Vitali Fishman have been allowed to continue their business activities unabated and unconcerned with the consequences it has on the people of Africa and elsewhere. Over the past month officials in the governments of Kenya, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe (as we reported) have all claimed that Mr. Fishman has paid bribes to win government contracts in  their countries and has also supplied rebel and terror groups in Africa with illegal weapons. As the walls close in on him, I am sure that Mr. Fishman will keep his where abouts unknown as he desperately tires to avoid the inevitable- Prosecution, Criminal Conviction, and a lifelong term prison sentence!