Russians buying in Finland, tourist hotels and throw them

On the walls of the abandoned hotel are adorned with graffiti, the floor was littered with shards of glass, cigarette butts and empty cans of beer. From the ceiling hang wire, scattered around the yard furniture.

A cool spring breeze blows through the empty doorways and broken Windows. Through the old pine surface lurks not yet free of ice of lake Saimaa.

In real estate documents recorded that vandals destroyed the hotel property in the village of Joutseno belongs to the firm Usilett Properties, registered in the British virgin Islands.

The hotel is tourists now roam the vandals and the occasional curious passers-by.

Abandoned hotel Joutsenranta is just one example of many tourist objects belonging to the Russian in the South-Eastern Finland. The state in which the hotel is located, extremely depressing, but otherwise absolutely typical example Joutsenranta. The tourist business Russian in Finland is far from being profitable.

In some cases, the construction of houses and other buildings was begun with great zeal, but thrown in the middle. Somewhere luxurious tourist hotels are empty years.

In some areas, small hotels and buildings of the former frontier outposts that belongs to Russian, there is minimal tourist activity. Their staff usually of Russian origin. Objects are mostly advertised on Russian sites.

The building of modern hotels Joutsenranta was built in 1958 for psychiatric hospitals, and at the end of the 1980s, it was renovated for use as a hotel. The hotel was unprofitable and in 2000 became the property of Russian.

Four years later, the hotel was empty and since then changed several owners. One time the owner even had a brother-in-law of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the notorious businessman Viktor Baturin.

The new owner was registered in 2012 in the offshore area firm Usilett Properties, which bought the hotel building, 11 hectares of land and 330 meters of the coastline of lake Saimaa for 200 thousand euros.


Seller was Cyprus-based offshore firm Loufrome under the management of Russian. It remains unknown who is behind this deal.

Offshore firms sued for ownership in Finland and the British virgin Islands. The litigation ended in the year before the victory Usilett Properties.

At some point the Russian had Grand plans for Joutsenranta. Representatives of the owner told the local authorities about the intention to repair the property, to give new image areas and to build on it a dozen cottages under lease.

The last time the owner’s representative Joutsenranta came to town about five years ago. After that there was silence.

Now Joutsenranta sold for 590 euros. Biport firm engaged in the sale of real estate, did not respond to a phone call of journalists Suomen Kuvalehti, no questions about Joutsenranta posed by e-mail.

Completely different from Joutsenranta, but absolutely similar to the example on the issues of profitability is a tourist property in Ruokolahti near Imatra.

Businessman from St. Petersburg Ramis Deberdeev fully renovated built in 1912 Jugend-style building Rantalinna. The work was carried out under the supervision of the Museum’s departments.

Deberdeev bought a building plot on the shore of lake Saimaa in 2008 for four million euros. Except that he’s renovated the main building and the courtyard, Deberdeev built nearby 13 large cottages.

12 cottages firm Deberdeev sold to Russian buyers, one he kept for himself. The house has a large wine cellar and a room for two chic motorcycles.

Deberdeev art — lover, which is arranged in Rantalinna art exhibitions and concerts. Caring for Rantalinna is really more like a pleasant hobby of a rich man, and not as a profitable investment. Serious business it completely different.

Deberdeev is the Deputy head of territorial Administration of Federal property management Agency in the Leningrad region and the shareholder BALTINVESTBANK. Deberdeev founded the company “Tatneftegaz” and “Forest terminal “Factor”” in Ust-Luga.

In January, the newspaper “Kommersant” wrote that the company “Primorsky CPC” owned by Deberdeev, plans to invest 1.5 million euros in the construction of a new cargo complex near the seaside port near the Gulf of Finland.

In the coastal castle only 13 hotel rooms. Now the hotel and restaurant are closed, but in may they will open again.

Unprofitable activities. In 2015, the turnover amounted to approximately 280 thousand Euro and losses for the period — 360 million euros. Deberdeev is financing the venture out of pocket.

Maybe in 2019 in Rantalinna will begin a new construction project worth 10 million euros. Deberdeev with enthusiasm makes the project of the hotel building with an extraordinary Spa, and several cottages near the castle on the beautiful lake Saimaa.

“We are now looking for a company that will be able to complete this project. The resort is really beautiful, unusual and significant for the whole of Finnish architecture,” says Deberdeev on the phone.

He wants to make Rantalinna hotel-adults only resort in which guests can relax in the sauna, practice yoga, have a massage, eat healthy food and relax.

In the town Taipalsaari in the middle of a rare pine forest, crouched low, built in the 1980-ies of the abandoned hotel, it has a few guest houses.

It is hard to imagine that the fate of this abandoned and far from the lively places of the Finnish hotel will be resolved in the Moscow Meshchansky district court.

Hotel Saimaanranta gives work and Finnish justice. The court of first instance of South Karelia last fall ruled the confiscation of the hotel property from its owner, which are of Russian origin, for the debts constituting five million euros.

Bailiffs also have a job. The plot on which the hotel is located is sold at a forced auction, and the hotel itself will also be for sale.

Ten years ago it was different. Naila Behbudov together with her husband Maharram Behbudova successfully engaged in the construction business and owned by the company “M-Industriya”.

The most ambitious project was in work for the winter Olympics in Sochi were planning to build the island “Federation” area of 70 hectares artificial island in the Black sea near Sochi. The money to build Islands in the amount of 2.5 million had come from the Arab Emirates.

All links Behbudov was established. President Vladimir Putin praised the project of construction of artificial Islands at the International investment forum in Sochi in 2007.

In addition, Behbudova established tourism activities in Finland. In 2007, Naila Behbudov acquired hotel property Saimaan Lomahovi in Ruokolahti, and the following year bought for 3.3 million euros hotel Saimaanranta. The property was renovated to receive tourists.

However, the repair work came down to redecoration, commercial activity barely warm.

Hotel Saimaanranta two years ago finally closed. At the same time, Behbudov sold the hotel Saimaan Lomahovi in the Area of the Finnish owner.

Time success of the company “M-industry” is gone. Unrealized project in Sochi and managed to swallow the money of the firm, and she was unable to recover from debts. In 2014, the firm went bankrupt with debts in the amount of 40 million euros. The biggest debt was to the Bank VTB.

Part-time Executive Director of the hotel Saimaanranta was a local Finnish businessman Vermeulen Joris (Joris Vermeulen), which was formerly a hostel in Taipalsaari.

From time to time Behbudov came to Taipalsaari. Now I know nothing about her. Vermeulen angry.

“I have not seen the owner for six months and did not receive a salary. Only three months ago, I learned that the hotel will be confiscated. Why I do not say it? Always, when I asked the owner how things are going, the answer was that everything is in order. I don’t like the way Russians do business,” says Vermeulen.

He says that he cheated with another tourism project Russian.

Of all the municipalities of Finland, in southern Karelia hosts the largest number of properties owned by a Russian. This is evident by the number of cases of confiscation of property.

“About half of the cases of confiscation of property falls on the property of the Russian”, — says Manager of the County Pertti Rincke (Pertti Rönkkö).

According to him, the greatest number of seizures of accounts for property acquired in 2007-2010. Often the reason is the difficulty taken in Finland a credit or payment of taxes on property. Hotel Saimaanranta is an exception, because the confiscation happened because of debts that were formed in Russia.

Russians refuse from the property and on their own. The weak position of the ruble and the poor state of the Russian economy, the sanctions policy which became more strict policy of the Finnish banks has led many Russians to abandon their property in Finland.

The peak of the acquisition of real estate by Russians fell for 2007-2008, another rise was in 2011. After that, the number of acquisitions fell. Russians increasingly sell than buy.

According to the information of agencies for the sale of property in South Karelia, in 2016 the Russians, there were about 90 real estate transactions. From them 60% of Russian acted as sellers.

As for a tourist home, a Motel in the community luumäki and recreation Freelandia in Ruokolahti again became the property of the Finns. In addition Joutsenlampi, on sale for 450 thousand euros exhibited Lomahovi hotel Punkaharjun. The business did not work out because of the Russian businessman did not have the necessary permissions, and officials had to intervene.

On the shore of lake Malayeri in Imatra are the former frontier, there stand two buildings. Real estate since 2008, is owned by a citizen of Russia, and in 2012 called Villa Rajala.

Unassuming tourist company founded in the former frontier outposts, not much different from the business of other tourist facilities that are owned by Russians.

Usually, the owner is a family. The mistress of Villa Rajala in 2014 is Eugenia Tatiana from St. Petersburg. Tatya with his family and three children moved to Finland to conduct business here. She repaired the old buildings and gave them a modern look. The income from the business is still small: the turnover of Villa Rajala in 2015 amounted to 62 thousand euros and a profit of 21 thousand euros. The owner did not answer the phone edition.

In this hotel are mainly tourists who are seeking accommodation at competitive prices. Now, in early spring, the yard has two cars with Russian numbers. Guests from St. Petersburg Victoria Voveris and Victoria Baeva touted Imatra. “There is beautiful scenery and clean air,” they say.

“In a situation when activities in the country is unreliable and to protect their property difficult, a safe place for money looking abroad, where they will not get officials of their country”, — says the researcher of the research center of the School of business, Aalto University päivi Karhunen (Päivi Karhunen).

Russian can also apply for doing business abroad in order to obtain a residence permit and provide a calm living for his family.

“Money can come from business, which is in Russia, foreign activities do not always expect a big return,” says Korhonen. The results of the analysis activities 25 tourist hotels owned by the Russians, show that only two of them make a profit — at least on paper.

One of the most profitable companies is Setl-North Europe, a Finnish subsidiary of a large St. Petersburg construction company Setl Group. She is the owner of a holiday village in Ruokolahti and services. The turnover of the subsidiary in 2015 amounted to 300 thousand euros and a profit of 400 thousand euros.

Profit, however, was earned from interest and financing parent company. The tax inspector made a comment about it. Short-term debts of the company more than equity, so there can be no assurance that the company will be able to continue their activities.

In the company’s balance sheet there are debts of the parent company, which amount to nine million euros. The firm exists only by the parent company.

Managed to become profitable to the firm, which owns a small tourist hotel Lomasaaret in kerimäki. Its turnover amounted to about one million euros. Most likely, the reason is that the company has a network of shops selling shoes and clothing and other trading business. Its activity is not limited only to tourism.

The police are currently carrying out a study of tourist business Russian. Very often their activity is low.

On the other hand, fully exploring the issue of money laundering is almost impossible. Getting results involves the help of officials from Russia, but, for one reason or another, they this help do not render.

“The question is, who is behind these money in Russia. This is probably the main issue,” says Pekka Vasara (Vasara Pekka), head of centre for financial crime at the National Bureau of investigation Finland.