Prosecutor who labeled FBK as a "foreign agent" has property in Montenegro and Spain

In July and August, a series of peaceful protest rallies took place in Moscow following the election committee’s decision to not allow any strong independent candidates to participate in the Moscow City Elections. Several participants of these protests were later arrested and charged with organizing and participating in mass riots. They can be sentenced to several years of prison for throwing a paper cup or a plastic bottle in the general direction of the policemen. The trial against them, often called the “Moscow case”, is being overseen by the prosecutor of Moscow Denis Popov.

Popov was also behind the recent decision to label the Anti-Corruption Foundation as a “foreign agent”, forcing us to put corresponding disclaimers on all of our content. He is a powerful figure in the Russian law enforcement system, a personal favorite of Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika appointed to his current position by Vladimir Putin himself. Naturally, when we received reports from the staff of the Prosecutor’s Office about Popov’s foreign property, we decided to investigate them immediately. And we weren’t the least bit disappointed: as it turns out, the family of the person who labeled us as “foreign agents” owns an impressive amount of property both abroad and in Russia.

We’ll start off in Montenegro. There, “Monte Biser”, a company owned by Popov’s wife and a BVI-based offshore company (whose final beneficiary is probably Popov himself) bought a land plot near the Bay of Kotor and built two houses with a total of eight apartments. The plan was to sell these apartments, but there were no buyers, so the houses were turned into an apartment hotel. Popov and his family often spend their vacations in this hotel and post photos from there on their social networks.

Around the same time as the apartment hotel was built, the same company also bought a large land plot in the nearby mountains. The plan was to build a ski resort there, with a hotel and a spa complex. However, these plans came to a halt due to the financial crisis. Construction has only resumed recently, and it seems like all that’s left of the initial project are three chalets next to a ski lift.

Montenegro is not the only country where Denis Popov owns property though. His son Evgeniy openly states in his vlogs that he has two home cities: Moscow and Marbella. We managed to find a 225 m2 townhouse there that was purchased by Popov’s wife Irina (who he later officially divorced) back in 2010 for €645,000. Keep in mind that at the time of this purchase, Irina Popova was unemployed, and her husband’s official monthly salary was ₽60,000 (~€1,500). The townhouse is just 200 m from the Mediterranean sea, and there’s a large pool and a garden nearby. It’s a perfect place to spend your days after retirement.

It would be foolish to think that Popov only owns property abroad. He works in Moscow, after all, so he needs a nice residence there as well. Indeed, there is a large land plot on Rublyovka with two impressive houses and a roof pool that officially belongs to Popov’s 79-year-old mother. It’s quite easy to guess who the real owner is though.

Popov’s ex-wife Irina is also apparently a huge fan of fishing. How else would you explain that this woman who spends most of her time in Marbella owns a huge fishing base on the Volga river near Astrakhan? The base has its own hotel, a tennis court and a swimming pool and can be used at any time of the year. If you browse through the photo gallery on its website, you can easily find Denis Popov himself.

As you may have guessed, none of these assets can be found in Popov’s asset disclosures. Officially, everything is owned by his relatives. But in reality, the person who labeled us as “foreign agents” is the one who deserves this title indeed.

This investigation about the prosecutor of Moscow is trending at #1 on Russian YouTube for the 2nd day straight. We've added English subtitles so you can watch it too