Previously unknown flight logs from 2018-2019 for a Russian private jet, including destinations and passenger lists, give us a peek into the life of a Belarussian oligarch – Alexander Zingman’s private jet apparently flew from and to tax shelters and African countries, carrying onboard world leaders, businessmen and, dear me, escort girls.
The plane, an Embraer EMB 135 BJ Legacy 600, is owned by Rozelda Investments Ltd., a company listed in the Virgin Islands. While the identity of its owners is unknown, due to the islands’ strict privacy policies, the plane has been linked to Moscow-based Russian company Smart Jet Aviation in three different company registries: Russia, Cyprus and the Virgin Islands. Smart Jet provides operational services for private planes, including a hangar and a pilot. Sources claimed Rozelda, as well as the plane, are owned by US citizen Vitaly Feldman, a businessman and close relative of Mr Zingman – the main person listed for use of the plane.
According to its flights’ history, in March 2018 the plane went from the renowned offshore tax shelter island of Jersey to Burkina Faso, then to Zimbabwe, again to Burkina Faso and then to Egypt, Latvia and Belarus. One passenger was present in all cases – lowkey Belarussian businessman Alexander Zingman.
Zingman has recently been reported to arrange meetings between Zambian and Zimbabwean delegations and Russian arms dealer Rosobornexport, resulting in Zambia acquiring two Mil Mi-17 helicopters and five Sukhoi Superjet 100 planes (SSJ100). Both Rosobornexport and Zimbabwe are under US sanctions, but in January 2019 Zingman, an American citizen, was announced Zimbabwe’s Honorary Consul in Belarus.
Images from Zingman’s private plane. Alexander Zingman, Nigerian Businessman and Sukhoi
Zingman, whose jet made 6 flights to Harare in 4 months between March-July 2018, has been linked to several high-profile deals in the country: In March 2018, Zimbabwe and Belarus signed $68 million worth of deals across various economic sectors, including agriculture and forestry equipment, mining and transportation. Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and Chief of Presidential Affairs of Belarus General Colonel Victor Sheiman signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The deals were followed up on later that year, in September.
Logs also show 3 flights to Zambia, where the aforementioned arms deal with Rosobornexport was brokered in the past.
Among the passengers found on flight logs are Rene Ndonuei, Cameroonian and prominent UK banker, Nikolai Asaul, Deputy Minister of Transportation of Russia, Harry Findlay, under US sanctions for drug trafficking, Mabasa Chabarwa, Principal Administrative Officer at the government of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe and his wife Leya, Lucky Igbinedion, ex-Governor of Edo state in Nigeria and member of the DRC’s PDP party and others.
A more lascivious quirk revealed by the passenger lists; four Russian escorts were onboard the plane in four different instances. All four work for the Queens Palace agency in Moscow, Russia.
The escort’s pages on the Queens Palace website.
So, a Belarussian-American’s private jet, owned by a Virgin Islands company and operated by a Russian company, regularly flies African businessmen and leaders to and from the continent. Zingman, as it seems, knows how to party, but also how to close big deals; His brokerage resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of contracts for his homeland of Belarus.
But should Zingman, being a US citizen, be trading and dealing with countries, companies and individuals under US sanctions? His flights to Harare, Zimbabwe are questionable, as well as some of the people who were flying there with him. While we don’t have passengers lists for 2019, a brief look at the jet’s flights history from November-December 2019 shows that Zingman continued to fly from Minsk to Lusaka and Harare.
More on this to follow.