Now, guess who has also made a change : Mrs Christiane Albert, the person from ALPHA CONSULTING GROUP who did sign the share certificate of INSTA HOLDING back in the years.
She now works for another Seychelles company : ANEX MANAGEMENT
And guess what APOLLO, ANEX MANAGEMENT and ALPHA CONSULTING have all in common?
They are all members of something called SAOPRA (see the attached file)
And SAOPRA, in its own words (http://www.intershore.com/saopra/index.php/about-saopra) "in collaboration with SIBA has been in the forefront of legislative innovations and regulatory developments and its members are proud of the status of the association as a reliable institution for the promotion of Seychelles and its dynamic financial centre and the interests of its members".
And as SIBA is the sole regulatory entity in Seychelles for offshore companies like INSTA HOLDING, good luck to get your signals and complaints through.....
Just to make this a certainty to FPA readers that the Seychelles will royally ignore any incoming signal related to Instaforex, according to the SAOPRA website, a certain Tatiana Balabanova is a member of the management committee of SAOPRA. Actually, she is much more than that. According to this website, she is also a member of all the other committees (and she is the only member of the executive committee to be in this case) : Promotion & Marketing subcommittee, Education & Training subcommittee , Legal Subcommittee....
But let's go down a little bit more into the rabbit hole.
While we were investigating Instaforex, which we have been doing for some time now, we were lead to ask us a couple of questions:
1. What exactly was the perimeter of the "Instaforex Group of Companies" : which were the companies and the individuals involved ?
2. What exactly is the extent of the fraud ? How much money are we talking about ? And how do they perform it ? Is this only a matter of "trader always loses" or is there something more ? As a wrap-up question : how do they do their "business" and how large is it ?
3. What was the reason why these people were not getting more heat from the authorities ? After all, they have been blacklisted or deregistered by a large number of countries, including what appears to be two of their key markets, Malaysia and Indonesia, since years. How comes the "Best Broker in Asia" can still do business there ?
In order to answer these questions, we have to go back in time to the inception of Instaforex.
But first, meet Ekaterina Pobedinskaya, a.k.a Katerine Pobedinskaya, a.k.a Kate Ivovich, also known from any trader which has lodged a complaint about Instaforex on a forum as "IFX Katerine" :
Of course, everyone knows that Instaforex is like a Mexican army : everyone is a General, and the Colonels are cleaning up the toilets. So everyone would be entitled to think that "Ekaterina Pobedinskaya, Director Of International Affairs of Instaforex" is nothing but "IFX Katerine", a little hand in charge of cleaning up the mess left by unhappy traders in the forums.
Well, (beware everyone, this is a spoiler), she is not. In fact, she is one of the key people at Instaforex, and we will bring some interesting evidence about this later on.
Followers of Instaforex know about the history of the website :
1. Creation of instaforex.com by Instatrade OOD (Russia) in or about 2007 by Sergey Mayzus. At this stage, Instaforex is nothing more than one of the numerous Russian forex unregulated providers, with a particular attraction to Asia, and quickly develop on the South-East Asia markets. The business of Instaforex is legal (though methods might be a tiny bit questionable) in Russia, and, overseas, financial services regulators are not yet ready for the upcoming tidal wave of Russian kitchen outfits which is going to hit them and will take some time to respond.
2. First problem happens in 2011, when the CFTC indicts 14 companies amongst the most active on US territory, and (seemingly only, as we will see), shuts down their operations in the USA. On September 14th, 2011, INSTATRADE CORPORATION, a British Virgin Islands company d/b/a "Instaforex" enters into a Consent Order with the US Department of Justice (more on that later). Guess who is signing the agreement on behalf of INSTATRADE CORPORATION / Instaforex : Katerine Pobedinskaya, "Director of International Affairs" (the full docket of the case is here https://www.plainsite.org/dockets/st5vnmup/district-of-columbia-district-court/commodity-futures-trading-commission-v-instatrade-corporation-et-al/ and the Consent Order itself is document 22).
3. Follows a relative period of quietness, until 2013, when an apparently extremely pissed off Sergey Mayzus is publishing, on the forum of KROUFR, one of the Russian Forex self-regulating bodies, a statement about him having been defrauded by Ildar Sharipov (the then current President of the Instaforex Group of Companies), associated with other individuals, including but not limited to Ekaterina Pobedinskaya. According to this statement, which is represented as no less than the content of a claim to the Russian Judicial Authorities, Instaforex would have gone rogue under the management of Ildar Sharipov, would be performing criminal activities, and Sergey Mayzus would have distanced himself from Instaforex.
4. FPA itself had relayed this statement (https://www.forexpeacearmy.com/community/threads/instaforex-scandalized-rumors-or-truth.25566/page-2). What FPA did not relay was the ongoing feud between Sergey Mayzus and the user "isharipov", in which these two individuals were throwing at each other's face very precise accusations of money laundering, fraud, drugs, frame ups of people and illegal pornography (hey, remember that previous post of ours on Quasi Networks ?).
Unfortunately, KROUFR, which had let this thread survive for many years has very recently decided that apparently this was not such a good idea to have this on its site.
Luckily, someone, somewhere, has decided to have a sworn public officer making a record of the best parts of this "friendly" exchange, and to have an equally sworn translation from Russian performed, so some of it survives...But more on this (and on the reasons why KROUFR suddenly decided to make this content unaccessible) later.
5. The feud apparently ceases in Summer of 2013, with Mayzus and Instaforex (not the user "isharipov", but an "official Instaforex" account) making a "joint statement" on KROUFR. Instaforex states that all that has been said on this forum was lies and defamations. Mayzus states that all he can confirm is that he has no problems with Instaforex, has withdrawn his claim to Judicial Authorities (more on this later), and is not and does not want to be in the future associated with Instaforex in any manner.
6. For those who don't remember, Mayzus was effectively at the time running what appeared to be a concurrent business in Forex, as well as several payment services including OKPay, which all finally ended up under the label "Mayzus Financial Services".
7. And maybe it was right for Sergey Mayzus to do not want to have his name associated with Instaforex, because, from that moment, a real deluge of regulatory bans and blacklists is going to pour on Instaforex (France and Italy signals issued in Fall 2013 are going to be widely relayed by other regulators in the European Union, Malaysia is blacklisting Instaforex, Indonesia makes a countrywide block of their site).
8. Follows an continuous succession of Instaforex companies acquiring and losing licenses (in Belize, in New Zealand, in Russia,...) and of bans and warnings issued by regulators (Canada, Brazil,...).
So, that sounds like a very nice narrative : Sergey Mayzus, which had previously distanced himself from Instaforex in order to pursue another endeavour, competing partly with Instaforex on some key markets in South East Asia, is so horrified by the fraudulent behaviour of Instaforex under the management of Ildar Sharipov that he decides to make a claim to Russian authorities, and completely breaks up with Instaforex.
Following this, ultimately, Ildar Sharipov leaves, and, under the leadership of Dmitry Savchenko, Instaforex gets licenses in Russia, in Cyprus and in the British Virgin Islands, and is now a perfectly legit company, and all the people that do not say so are either fraudsters themselves (see the campaign led by Instaforex against FPA), scammers (the traders caught by "Instaforex anti-fraud department") or people who did not read their agreement properly and refuse to accept the consequences.
And that was a very nice narrative indeed, at least until end of 2018 - beginning of 2019, when CySec fined Instaforex, and when the Russian authorities terminated their license, and subsequently started prosecution (as Instaforex kept on, of course, advertising in Russia as being a licensed company, https://financefeeds.com/russian-antimonopoly-authorities-check-instaforex-ads/), which is currently an ongoing case in Moscow Courts.
This is for the official side, but there is more than one way to debunk the nice narrative.
Get ready to get through the mirror.
Enters INSTATRADE. And no, we are not talking about INSTATRADE INVESTMENT COMPANY which it still represented in July 2019 by the website instafxgroup.com as being a licensed participant on the Russian Market while their license has been terminated in December 2018.