$5.1 million allocated for space embezzled

$5.1 million allocated for space embezzled

Charges were brought against the defendants in the case of swindling of Russian Space Systems (RSS) and Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energiya (Energy).⁠

The fourth department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) accused representatives of RSS and RSC Energiya companies, employees of firms related to them and contractors. As Rosbalt points out, some of the accused are hiding now. The issue of declaring them wanted is being discussed.

The examination of documents seized during searches, which ended earlier this year, revealed that only a preliminary amount of damage exceeds 300 million rubles ($5.1 m).

According to investigation, swindling took place through RSS and Energiya allocating hefty sums to contractors for carrying out pilot-plan works. For that persons making decisions on budget allocation requested a payoff. It was transferred to accounts of shell companies using fictitious contracts. Then these sums were cashed, and then special couriers took them.

One of such places through which money was withdrawn was discovered in Moscow in spring 2016. Then the Main Investigation Department in Moscow launched a criminal case under Illegal Banking Activity article (Art.172 of the Criminal Code). However further investigation revealed connection of ‘laundries’ with RSS and RSC Energiya contractors and subcontractors companies. They, in particular, developed up-to-date space equipment.

The investigation involved the 4th Department of the MIA, engaged in the identification of crimes at sensitive sites, including the enterprises associated with space. They brought a separate criminal case on Swindling (Art. 159 of the Criminal Code).

During the operational experiment a large sum of money meant for a payoff was marked with a special solution, and as a result an intermediary who came for the money was detained. Subsequently, some CEOs of fly-by-night companies, through which funds received under contracts with RSS and RSC Energiya were ‘laundered’ and cashed, began to cooperate with the investigation.

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