We learned the content of the dossier prepared by the Internal Security Agency as part of the investigation against Lyudmyla Kozlovska. As it turns out, these documents strongly undermine the credibility of the Agency. The information contained in the documents comes either from unreliable sources or has been known for years.
The documents prepared by the Lublin branch of the Internal Security Agency, which has been dealing with Kozlovska’s case, are based on publicly available Internet sources and information from the Moldovan Parliament’s report on the Open Dialogue Foundation, which we described in detail in the ‘DGP’ magazine in June last year. The agency officer who signed one of the notes to confirm his theses considered the Latvian MEP, who became famous in the European Parliament for blocking an EP resolution criticising Russia’s aggressive policy, to be an authority in this case. The dossier also shows that the agency with no hesitation decided to cooperate with its Moldovan counterpart, SIS (Serviciul de Informații și Securitate), at a time when it was being used by the discredited oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc to fight the opposition. In the ODF’s case, the Polish special service also cooperated with the Moldovan Bureau for the Prevention of and Fight against Money Laundering (SPCSB) and the public prosecutor’s office, both of which were also controlled by Plahotniuc. These documents are signed by Denis Rotaru. He is a close associate of Nicolae Chitoroagă, a public prosecutor involved in an affair in which for several years, the Ministry of the Interior, the secret service and the prosecutor’s office systematically eavesdropped on politicians, social activists and journalists who were critical of Plahotniuc’s government and its Democratic Party (the so-called Ministerul Interceptărilor scandal, Rom. Ministry of Interception).
Let us recall that the Polish authorities have alleged that the Open Dialogue Foundation run by Kozlovska was financed in an illegal way. As a result, in 2018, considering that the woman is a threat to national security, they have included her name in the list of persons banned from entering the Schengen area – SIS II.
According to the documents of the Internal Security Agency, the main charge against the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) and Bartosz Kramek’s (who is Kozlovska’s husband) company Silk Road Biuro Analiz i Informacji sp. z.o.o is their cooperation with the Kazakhstani oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov and the Moldavian scandalist Veaceslav Platon. However, neither Kozlovska nor Kramek have ever concealed this fact. The ODF has been openly involved in their defence for years. In 2018 and 2019 — i.e. In the period when the notes and analyses of the Internal Security Agency were produced (which are at the disposal of the DGP’s editorial office) — the ODF’s relationship with these two persons was public.
A lot was also known about their activities. Ablyazov gave interviews. Platon’s associates, after his arrest and extradition from Kiev to Chisinau, talked about the involvement of the Moldovan elites (including Plahotniuc) in the scam of the century, the so-called Laundromat. This scam involved the embezzlement of up to USD 80 billion between 2010 and 2014 by the Moldovan banking system, including money belonging to oligarchs, officials, secret service employees and politicians of the countries of the former USSR.
The official memo of December 2018 reads: “each of the above-mentioned persons (Ablyazov and his associates – ed.) has been sought by Interpol for the purpose of carrying out extradition proceedings at the request of the Republic of Kazakhstan.” At the time, this information had been already available for at least several years. What is more, Ablyazov ultimately proved that Interpol has been instrumentally used by the Kazakhstani authorities in his case.
The documents of the Internal Security Agency show that it relied extensively on WikiLeaks. The Lieutenant of the Lublin branch of the agency used the portal to find out that “the network of entities related to M. Ablyazov established in the area of the so-called tax havens operates under the name Silk ROAD GROUP or has the term ‘SILK ROAD’ in its name.” The point was that its name was the same or similar to Kramek’s company. These details can also be found in the Wikipedia entry under the name ‘Ablyazov.’
Another source of the Internal Security Agency are the findings of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who wrote that Ablyazov was a client of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, known from the Panama Papers leak. However, there is no information about the fact that 99.9% of the business and political class in the former USSR operates according to a similar pattern. And this includes former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
“Noteworthy are also the publications of Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule-Peterse, who warned NGOs from the European Union to remain vigilant, particularly with regard to the funds and donations received, pointing out that BTA Bank funds misappropriated by M. Ablyazov were used to run campaigns in order to promote his good image and portray him as a political dissident,” the agency’s study reads. In 2016, Grigule-Peterse became famous for having voted, as an MEP, against the European Parliament’s resolution condemning Russia’s use of propaganda against EU countries. The then Prime Minister of Latvia, Māris Kučinskis, distanced himself from Peterse, saying that she had crossed ‘all the borders that could have been crossed’. Grigule-Peterse is also known for describing the authoritarian former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev as an ‘outstanding strategist’ and ‘wise politician’. At the same time, the MEP is right when she says that Ablyazov was spending the money from BTA Bank to promote his good image and defend himself. However, it was not only the ODF who worked for him — this also included a number of PR companies and foundations throughout the European Union. Nevertheless, none of the people involved in this practice have been included in the list of the entry ban to the Schengen area, like it was in Kozlovska’s case.
All the documents of the Internal Security Agency that are in possession of the DGP’s editorial office describe Ablyazov as a potential threat. However, regardless of his involvement in the BTA Bank scandal before 2009, in October this year, after a long legal battle, he was granted political asylum in France. The justification of the National Asylum Court reads: “numerous pieces of evidence in the case file show that Mr. Ablyazov is a political opponent of the current ruling Kazakhstani regime (…) and may fear further persecution should he return to Kazakhstan”.
However, there are no nuances in the documents of the Internal Security Agency about his involvement in Kazakhstani politics and the role of the authorities from Nur-Sultan in the banking scandal around BTA Bank (the entire Kazakhstani political and business class was involved in the embezzlement of billions of dollars — as in the case of the Moldovan Laundromat).
The Agency’s note of 24 May 2019 on cooperation with the Moldovan services also undermines the credibility of the Internal Security Agency. “A meeting was held in Chisinau between representatives of the Internal Security Agency, officers of the Bureau for the Prevention of and Fight against Money Laundering, which serves as a unit of the Financial Intelligence Office, and the Moldovan SIS service (the equivalent of the Internal Security Agency – ed.). The subject of the talks was the findings of the afore-mentioned Moldovan institutions concerning financial operations carried out by persons and companies associated with the Open Dialogue Foundation in the context of their relationship with the Laundromat affair,” we read in the Internal Security Agency’s document. Then there are the wikipedistic considerations about the embezzlement of tens of billions of dollars from the Moldovan banking system and the attempt to define what a ‘shell company’ is. All the information provided has been publicly available for years.
However, the point of the note is crucial: “at the moment, it is not possible to identify the exact source (person or company) of money coming from Russia, nor is it possible to indicate that specific ODF activities have been financed through illegal money laundering.” Further, Lieutenant XY* admits that “the information provided during the meeting is the details published in the Moldovan Parliament’s report on the European Union’s economic and social crisis on November 14, 2018, concerning the ODF’s interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Moldova and the funding of certain Moldovan political parties.” It is the same report that we described last June in the ‘DGP’ magazine (both its non-confidential and confidential part), proving that it was written on the political order of Vladimir Plahotniuc, who fought against the ODF.
Lyudmyla Kozlovska, the President of the Foundation, still has no right to cross the Polish border. In his decision of 6 October 2020, the Mazovian Voivode, citing the position of Head of the Internal Security Agency, argues that her entry and stay “pose a threat to the defence and security of the state or the protection of public security and order.” Since last year, Kozlovska has had long-term EU resident status, which she obtained in Belgium (following verification by the Belgian secret service). Thus, she was automatically removed from the list of persons banned from entering the Schengen area. However, she still appears in the Polish list of people who are considered a threat. The President of the ODF herself argues that this is not so much related to her foundation’s activities, but to the fact that both she and her husband publicly express a critical position towards PiS and the current government. – Lyudmyla’s dossier has been classified, as its disclosure could allegedly cause “serious damage to the Republic of Poland”. We have demanded openness in this case from the very beginning. It is now clear that it undermines the credibility, above all, of the government and its subordinate bodies, which, on this basis, have considered my wife a threat to state security — said Bartosz Kramek in his interview with the ‘DGP’ magazine. – This is yet another proof of close cooperation (of the Polish services – ed.) with the Moldovan services of the Plahotniuc era. How low did the Polish state have to fall, so that its services could be played by a bunch of Moldavian villains? – comments Kozlovska herself.
Until the closure of this issue, the Internal Security Agency and the spokesman of the minister coordinator of special services, Stanisław Żaryn, did not answer our questions. Once we have the answers, we will publish them in the online version of the ‘DGP’ magazine.
* Due to the interests of the officer of the Internal Security Agency and the agency itself, we decided not to disclose the personal information of the officer involved in this case.