Balashikha Mayor filmed discussing kickbacks, local business expropriations
Yevgeny Zhirkov has compromised himself on yet another video, mentioning oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and Moscow region Governor Andrey Vorobyov.
Mayor of Balashikha (the Moscow region) Yevgeny Zhirkov has been featured in yet another video on the Internet, telling how he distributes kickbacks to the region and expropriates local businesses. In particular, the official mentions the agreements with the administration of the Moscow region to ensure the victory of his henchmen at urban development auctions. The companies that are supposed to win belong to either Zhirkov or Petrukha (local kingpin Anatoly Petrov), Gosnovosti reported. The auctions are conducted for the repair of roads, schools, kindergartens, health centers, stadiums, baby food companies, and so on. For ensuring the desired result Zhirkov is to send 10% of the contract amount to the region.
"My job is to find the money and settle things with the region, so that our companies could win — that's my job," the mayor says. "As soon as the auction is completed, our companies win... We have already agreed with Alexander on how he will act... When we have these ten percent... he gives it a go, I'm just calling and sending him the money..."
In addition, he mentions the PIK Company and its founder Suleiman Kerimov, and shares his plans to develop the land, which allegedly belongs to the defense minister and the governor of the Moscow region:
"They take 160 hectares from there. They came from the governor. He called and gave a recommendation. He gave the recommendation from the director of PIK... Sergey... Sergey... What was his name? Well, he just called and said: "Zhenya [short for Yevgeny], he is a decent fellow, I vouch for him. We shall discuss everything later. And I’m saying: "Not here, let's meet later, everyone knows each other." That kind of talk we had. The land there has not been documented yet. We can enter with such projects, but this time for the price. Either we have... we all agree together... After all, this is the land of Shoigu and Vorobyov."
Furthermore, Zhirkov explains how he intends to expropriate Balashikha businesses, in particular, companies that still do not belong to him. He intends to ‘deploy’ his people there, and then completely take away the business:
"Just one choice here — to negotiate. Or to do it the hard way. There is no other option."
In the conversation, Zhirkov also mentions Kozyrev (Dmitry Kozyrev is the First Deputy Head of the Balashikha Administration).
Video: corruption in Balashikha. How the auctions are held and who gets 10%
Earlier, a video was published on the Internet, in which the Mayor of Balashikha discusses the circumstances of a possible kickback for the municipal land. He refers to some Vorobyovs — "senior"and "junior." Zhirkov’s interlocutor may be a local kingpin called Petrikha.
The date when the video was made still remains unknown. So far, there has been no response from either law enforcement agencies or Zhirkov himself.
In October 2016, Legal.Report wrote that law enforcement agencies were inspecting the mayor of Balashikha. Allegedly, he could have been involved in fraud with billions of dollars for the municipal contracts. In December 2016, police arrested head of the advertising department at Balashikha administration, Ilya Lezhnev. Law enforcers believe that the official demanded 500 thousand rubles per month from a businessman for the overall protection and allowing him to conduct his business freely.
Video: Zhirkov discusses kickback amounts
Video: Zhirkov, Balashikha
Video: Zhirkov decides the fate of land in Balashikha
Since early February, there has been a preventive operation of the National Police of Ukraine in cooperation with the border and migration services called ‘Migrant’. Its aim is to identify and expel thieves in law and foreign crime lords out of the country.