Prados network: millionaire pedophile sells children in Ukraine

"SVO" is preventing the liquidation of the criminal group.

Eliminalia-linked surrogacy agencies are suspected of arranging sham marriages, falsifying documents to smuggle babies out of Ukraine, and child trafficking, according to an OCCRP investigation.

Diego Jimenez Sanchez, owner of the reputation laundering agency Eliminalia, owns shares in several surrogacy agencies in Ukraine. Another co-owner was Spaniard Jose Maria Il Prados, a pedophile convicted of sexually assaulting Sanchez and his sister. According to Ukrainian police, surrogacy agencies traded babies, transferring other people’s children to clients, and lied to potential parents about their capabilities.

In July 2021, Diego Jimenez Sanchez married a colleague. The wedding was luxurious, like a celebrity. The ceremony took place in the garden of a country villa south of Kyiv. The couple said their vows while standing on a dais decorated with flowers and soft pink Art Deco arches. The guests had fun all night at the celebration, where the host was a Ukrainian TV star.

Among the guests was a man named Jose Maria Il Prados, a Spanish pedophile who was convicted of sexually assaulting Sanchez 14 years ago. He not only attended the wedding, but also sat at the groom’s table.

Read more:Putin named the number of prisoners

Sanchez’s autobiography says that he was introduced to Il Prados by a volunteer at an orphanage: when Sanchez was a teenager, he often ran there to play on the computer if everything was not going smoothly at home. Il Prados was convicted of molesting Sanchez and his sister, as well as producing child pornography.

In 2007, he was sentenced to eight years in a Spanish prison. But the following year, Sanchez recanted, saying police forced him to press charges after catching him shoplifting. (Il Prados tried to appeal the verdict, but the court rejected him).

When Il Prados was released, he and his former victim went into business together.

According to corporate records, in 2013, Sanchez founded a company in Spain called Subrogalia, which helped couples who could not conceive a child find surrogate mothers. Soon after Il Prados was released from prison, his adopted son became the owner of another Subrogalia in Ukraine. Il Prados later gained a controlling stake in the company, and one Ukrainian employee told OCCRP that he always considered him their boss.

But soon the enterprises were accused of child trafficking. Reporters learned that Subrogalia was under investigation in at least two countries. The company was suspected of trafficking babies and giving desperate couples babies who were not their biological children.

“It is outrageous that a convicted sex offender was allowed to work in such a sensitive area as gestational surrogacy, which relies on the exploitation of low-income women,” said Nina Potarskaya, Ukraine coordinator for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. “Given the history of this phenomenon, it is not surprising that allegations of violations such as child trafficking are being made.”

Subrogalia is part of Sánchez and Il Prados’ network of businesses that span nine countries. Among these companies is Eliminalia, which deals with reputation management. The company used threats and fake news, and its employees posed as European Union officials to cover up the questionable backgrounds of clients, many of whom were criminals.

Il Prados appears to have used the same techniques as Eliminalia: to hide his past, he edited critical articles or overloaded search engines with extraneous content that mentioned his name. Google appears to have deindexed much of this material. But if you type Il Prados’ name into Bing, you’ll see about a million results on fake news sites. Some links lead to resources that appear to be run by a Venezuelan who runs a reputation management company. And nowhere is there any mention of a sentence for child molestation.

However, Prados was written about in the newspapers. In 2016, Spanish publication El Confidencial reported that a 17-year-old boy who worked at Sanchez’s music company accused Il Prados of harassment.

In an interview with an online publication, Sanchez denied the accusations, but said of Il Prados: “Everyone knows that he loves boys.”

Il Prados, Sanchez and Subrogalia did not respond to requests for comment. Eliminalia’s lawyers declined to comment.

Read more:Already in June, negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova on accession to the European Union are planned

Family business

Il Prados founded Subrogalia in Ukraine in 2015 due to the country’s liberal surrogacy laws. Before the start of the special operation, about 2,000 babies were born annually to Ukrainian surrogate mothers; the country was one of the world centers of gestational surrogacy.

Sanchez has publicly stated that he owns Subrogalia, but corporate records show that Il Prados actually owns a controlling stake in the Ukrainian enterprise. When El Confidencial reporters asked Sánchez why he agreed to become a figurehead, he replied that it was a personal favor, “since I ruined the life of Il Prados and his family.”

Also investors in the Ukrainian Subrogalia were the sons of Il Prados, Andrey and Alan: both hold minority stakes in the company and hold leadership positions.

Andrei and Alan are the eldest of two pairs of brothers whom Il Prados adopted in Russia in the 90s through the charity he created, Parents Forever. Over the course of several years, all four boys accused Il Prados of sexual abuse and he was deprived of custody, although the case never progressed due to procedural irregularities. Like Sanchez, all four later dropped the charges. The brothers did not respond to a request for comment.

Like Il Prados, Andrei and Alan sat at Sanchez’s table at the wedding. Il Prados was listed as "Diego" on the seating plan, but facial recognition analysis of the footage confirmed it was him.

1 uriqzeiqqiuhant tidttiqzqiqkdrmf queiqzkiqzkiqxzatf

It seems that after being released from prison, Il Prados officially changed his name to Diego. Judging by corporate documents, he used a Spanish ID card under a new name to register Subrogalia in Ukraine, but journalists also found a previous document under the name Jose Maria.

It is possible that Il Prados changed his name before registering Subrogalia to hide his criminal past. Industry expert Maria Dmitrieva said Ukrainian laws do not prohibit a sex offender from owning a surrogacy agency. “The entire industry is regulated by two paragraphs of law and two ministerial guidelines,” she said.

Over time, Subrogalia expanded and began operating in Russia and Greece. For some time the company operated in Mexico. But the main work continued in Ukraine: according to a former employee, before “SVO”, Ukrainian women gave birth to about a hundred children a year for clients, each child brought the agency approximately 8,000 euros.

The company soon ran into problems with the law in both Western and Eastern Europe.

"Child trafficking"

In 2016, a year after Subrogalia was founded in Spain, a court ordered the company to pay €88,000 to two pairs of intended parents for “serious and flagrant” breaches of contract.

It turned out that Subrogalia misled parents and deceived them about its capabilities, but the clients never received the promised child. One of the victims told Spanish media that her mother mortgaged her house to pay for the procedure. “How do you tell a grandmother who has gotten into debt that she won’t become a grandmother?” - she lamented.

In a clear attempt to distance itself from the scandal, in 2017 the Ukrainian Subrogalia changed its name to Eurosurrogacy, and in Spain the company Gestlife appeared instead of Subrogalia. But this was not enough to confuse law enforcement officials.

In 2018, Ukrainian police began an investigation into BioTexCom, a Eurosurrogacy partner. BioTexCom, one of the largest networks of IVF clinics in the world, provides services to approximately 95 percent of Eurosurrogacy’s Spanish clients.

2

BioTexCom employees were accused of being part of a “criminal ring” that used surrogacy programs as a front for child trafficking. According to the prosecutor’s office, they helped “foreign citizens to carry out illegal transactions involving minors,” which amounted to “trafficking of children for monetary reward.”

One of the accomplices was named Eurosurrogacy, and as a result, the company’s bank accounts were frozen. The investigation is ongoing.

“To date, criminal proceedings have been suspended; no procedural actions have been taken since 2019,” BioTexCom said in a statement. It also says that the investigation did not reveal any facts of the birth of babies who were not genetically related to the ordering parents.

Il Prados did not respond to questions about the Eurosurrogacy investigation. BioTexCom said that at the beginning of the cooperation they did not know about his criminal past, and when they found out, they suspended their joint work.

In 2017, Sanchez opened his own IVF clinic in Ukraine called InterFiv. In 2021, one of Il Prados’ sons became its beneficial owner. A few weeks before Sanchez’s wedding, Ukrainian law enforcement officers searched InterFiv’s offices in Kyiv.

Law enforcement authorities suspected InterFiv of human trafficking; among other things, the company was accused of handing over other people’s children to parents. In addition, InterFiv allegedly arranged fictitious marriages and forged documents in order to illegally remove children from Ukraine.

3

Neither Sanchez, nor Il Prados, nor any of their relatives were charged. In February 2022, the court extended the investigation for a year. And a week later, Russia’s “SVO” in Ukraine interfered with the proceedings.

Police said the investigation is ongoing. A Ukrainian Security Service source said they had found evidence to support the allegations and that InterFiv would be prosecuted once the legal system is up and running again. But when this will happen is unclear.

Sanchez and Il Prados abandoned InterFiv and founded a new company, InterEko, to manage the clinic in Kyiv.

But even here there were problems with the law. In November 2022, a representative of Subrogalia in Russia was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for human trafficking. He was found guilty of selling a child abandoned by one Spanish couple to another Spanish woman.

TOP