Pavel Grachev

Pavel Grachev is the CEO of Polyus Gold, the largest producer of gold in Russia and one of the world's largest gold mining companies.


Pavel Grachev is the CEO of Polyus Gold, the largest producer of gold in Russia and one of the world's largest gold mining companies. Almost half of his declared net worth of €42 million is derived from a single “bonus payment” of €20 million paid to him by a BVI shell company, Ninelco Investments Ltd.

Mr Grachev and his family received Maltese passports in 2017.

Relationship with Suleyman Kerimov

Mr Grachev applied to buy Maltese passports for himself and his family through Henley & Partners in 2014. During the application process, Identity Malta asked Grachev to explain his relationship with Suleyman Kerimov, the Russian oligarch sanctioned by the US. Kerimov's son, Said Kerimov, formally controls a majority of shares in Polyus Gold. In response to Identity Malta's assertion that “the last decade” of Grachev's career hinged on ties to companies owned or partially owned by Kerimov, Grachev claimed to have only “very occasional interactions with [Suleyman Kerimov] personally”.

10-hour visit

To meet the 12-month residency requirement, Grachev rented a flat at Portomaso in St Julians for €2,800 per month. He spent less than ten hours in Malta in 2014. According to an itinerary filed along with documents related to his residency status, during his 10-hour visit Grachev met officials at Identity Malta at 10am and visited a local bank to open an account 45 minutes later.

‘Genuine links’ - bus pass, bookshop loyalty card and boat charter

Flight tickets Grachev included with his application for a passport would have covered 21 days spent in Malta in 2015, in total. Other documents Grachev supplied with his application, intended to show a “genuine link” to Malta, include cards used for travel on public buses, a loyalty card for a bookshop and a receipt for chartering a boat. Tickets to a heritage site costing €22.50 are labelled “Cultural links with the Islands”.

What they said

Contacted for a comment, Mr Grachev said through a spokesman that his application was subject to all the rules governing the passport-for-cash scheme and that all the information provided was truthful. He further said that Polyus is a public company and that his career there is determined by consensus of the Board of Directors and its Committees. Polyus Gold declined to comment, stating that Mr Grachev's application is “personal and confidential”.

Said Kerimov could not be reached for comment. Suleyman Kerimov did not respond to our request. Henley & Partners said they cannot comment on potential or past client existing relationships, but the firm is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations.