The main "fish oligarch" of Russia Vitaly Orlov recently completely bought the 39th floor in the highest residential building in the UK - the Tower of St. Petersburg. George Wharf for £ 13 million (933 million rubles). Neighbors Orlov on St. George Wharf is a Kurdish oil tycoon, an Egyptian big snack producer, an Indonesian banker, a Uruguayan coach, a former Formula 1 pilot, and the family of the ex-Senator Andrei Guriev, the deputy chairman of the board of directors of PhosAgro.


The fish is looking for a deeper place, and Orlov - where the fish


He can afford it: the agency Bloomberg, which every year counts billionaires, found in Russia another businessman with a ten-digit state. As Vitaly Orlov earned his first billion, is told in the investigation.


"A very mysterious figure." Even among the fishermen of our city who know about each other everything-how many and what fish they caught, who is married to anyone, who with whom and how they went to sea-Orlove is silent, "Nina Antonyan, a columnist of one of the Murmansk newspapers, He writes about the problems of the fishing industry for 20 years.


- I thought he had been in dollar billionaires for a long time, but he was just added to the list? - the former chairman of one of the fishing collective farms of the North was surprised, who asked not to mention his name in this topic.


Orlov's general public still did not know. But experts in the industry have long been called in a whisper his "sea king" - the Orlov holding, according to experts, catches 15% of all Russian cod, pollock and herring and is one of the largest producers of white fish in the world. The annual revenue of its companies is estimated at $ 500-600 million.


"Trident pirate"


Vitaly Orlov was born in the "sea capital" of the North - Murmansk. Profession chose a romantic and for these places quite logical - entered the nautical school, on the specialty "navigation".


"It was a long time ago, he himself does not maintain relations with the educational institution, and his teachers and fellow students have already flown all over," said the head of the navigation department of the Murmansk Sea Fishing College Valery Veklichev.


The graduate of the navigator Vitaly Orlov in 1993 "scattered" into a Swedish company that had the exclusive right to catch Russian fish. It was rumored that the head of the firm from Sweden was connected with Russian special services, so he had a special relationship. Orlova took to strengthen ties between Russian fishermen and the Swedish business.


Cod and pollock from the Russian waters went straight to the Scandinavian counters. At work, Orlov met with one of the top managers and a naval officer in the past - Magnus Roth. The staff became friends and decided that it was time to go on a separate voyage - to create your own company, Ocean Trawlers.


"I heard that Magnusa Rota was nicknamed the" cod pirate "back in the 90s for risky operations that were not always friendly with the law," recalled one marine ecologist, who asked not to refer to him.


-In the 90s there was, as they say, a wild market, but Orlov had the sense and persistence to swim in the right direction. He made a bet not only on the booty, but also on the development of the fleet, - says fisherman Vladimir Lyapunov.


Murmansk fishermen remember that Orlov managed to occupy a profitable niche - he brought used Norwegian ships to Russian waters. In return, the fishermen often unloaded the catch of the Orlov company. This was called development.


By that time, the lucky fisherman and future oligarch had already moved to the "Norwegian Rublevka" - in the picturesque ancient town of Drobak on the fjord, which is considered the warm harbor of Oslo. From an inhabited European place Murmansk fisherman drove an international scandal.


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War with the Vikings


By 2004, little Norway rebelled against outsiders. It turned out that Ocean Trawlers already controls up to 80% of the cod market. Norwegian tax officials undertook to check the company's operations, and the national television station showed an investigation in which it accused successful businessmen of participating in corrupt schemes and illegal fishing. The film was called "Predatory Fishermen".


Most of all went to the third owner of Ocean Trawlers - Alexander Tugushev, who joined his company in the Russian-Norwegian business. In 2003, Tugushev became deputy head of the State Fishery Committee (now Rosrybolovstvo) Evgeny Nazdratenko, and Norwegian journalists transparently hinted that Tugushev from his high chair continued to patronize Orlov's companies and former partners still worked in one bundle. One of the proofs is a fax scan by journalist Rune Etruberg, about the transfer of € 20,000 from the Ocean Trawlers accountancy to Miss Tugusheva in a luxurious Cyprus hotel.


Orlov's company managed to repel all charges, which they called insinuations of competitors.




Since the beginning of the 2000s, Orlova has become a holding company, engaged in the purchase of fishing and seafaring companies in the North and Far East. True, the Arkhangelsk fishing collective defended independence, raising the noise due to attempts to bankrupt the enterprises for the purpose of further buying up. A longtime friend and partner of Orlov - deputy. Head of the State Fishery Committee Tugushev - then demanded from the Arkhangelsk residents to sell all the fish specifically Ocean Trawlers. A letter with his signature did a lot of noise then.


The official's career ended, but for another reason: Tugushev was sentenced to 6 years in prison for extorting bribes when distributing quotas for fishing. But the quotas were already distributed according to the "historical" principle, and it was not in the power of one official to change this.


When "love" with Norway passed, Orlova moved to Hong Kong and started working with the largest Chinese processor, Pacific Andes. In 2012, the Chinese proudly announced that they control 60-70% of the catch of Russian pollock.


- Russian fish gets to the counters through China, with an international mark-up! - angry both the fishermen and consumers, and, of course, the competitors of Orlov, among whom there are very powerful players - Gidrostroy, a member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Alexander Verkhovsky and Russian Aquaculture, brother of Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov - Maxim Vorobiev and Gennady Frank Gennady Frank's son-in-law Gennady Timchenko.


Director of the Murmansk Fish Processing Plant Mikhail Zub said that most of the fish "swam" to Hong Kong and China. True, now his ardor has cooled: he refused to comment on this topic.


In 2016, Orlov opened a refinery in Murmansk. The event was attended by the head of Rosrybolovstvo Ilya Shestakov, the son of Vladimir Putin's sparring partner Vasily Shestakov.


Fisherman Fisherman


By 2017, Vitaly Orlov became the full owner of the holding, which replaced the name for the new one - "Norrebo". But if Magnus Roth quietly passed his shares to Orlov (the amount of the deal was not disclosed), then the proceedings with another companion resemble an action-packed thriller.


When Tugushev left the colony, he returned to the company as vice-president - the road to bureaucratic service was closed to him. Earlier, when switching to the service in the State Fisheries Committee, Tugushev wrote a refusal from his share in the company. After serving out, he began to assure that the refusal was purely formal, but you will not get oral agreements to the matter. Further events formed the basis of the criminal case for extortion from Orlov 5 billion rubles (so Tugushev estimated his share).


"You have time until the evening ... You will not solve the issue in a normal way, I'll tear your and your family's legs," allegedly said "a negotiator" hired by Tugushev, a Chechen Usman Jamaldaev. "If you do not rewrite the shares, you'll lose your head ..."


From the proposed compensation of $ 60 million Tugushev refused - eventually got a criminal case and a new term. So the repartition of the most successful fishing holding ended: one of the companions went to the bottom, the second confidently stood the course for the list of billionaires.