Clarification of authorities – corrupt crimes in Crimea 

Clarification of authorities – corrupt crimes in Crimea

About 120 criminal cases, connected with corruption have been initiated in Crimea this year. Approximately, one third of them concern bribes, however a significant number of criminals were caught on the crimes connected with procurement, use of the state and municipal property, reported the media service of the Prosecutor’s Office in Crimea. Number of crimes of dishonesty, conducted using abuse of official powers, has also risen. It is notable, that 90% of defendants are officials.⁠

Corruption in Crimea continues to rise, in spite of loud statements of the authorities. In 2014 head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov declared: “The process of clarification of power begun right after a victory of the Crimean Spring, it will continue for as long as it is necessary”. It seems, though, that the process was drawn out. The CrimeRussia brings to your attention a selection of corrupt scandals, which have happened in Crimea for the last year.

Was taking bribe for vending kiosk

A criminal case over extortion and bribe taking on a large scale (item b,c part 5 Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) was initiated against an official in Sevastopol. According to the investigation, in March 2016 the Head of Administration of Economy and Regional Economy of Department of Gagarinsky District Nikolay Ovsyannikov demanded from an entrepreneur to create a trading pavilion, which costs approximately 200 thousands rubles, personally for him. In case of refusal the official threatened not only to deny allocating trade places for legal activity of the businessman, but also to create big problems in his work in future.

While the proceeding is being conducted, Ovsyannikov was released on recognizance. He could be judged for up to 12 years of imprisonment and a penalty in a 90-fold size of a bribe.

The 10-day mayor of Koktebel was put in prison for 8 years over a bribe

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Photo: Sergey Padyukov

In August 2015, the acting Head of Administration of Koktebel Sergey Padyukov and his assistant Nikolay Ermuraky received bribe from a businessman of 4,2 thousands dollars (more than half a million rubles) for permission of organization of excursion business. During the transfer of money they were detained red-handed. Court has found both guilty of taking bribe by a group of persons by previous concert. They were sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment (each). They will serve the sentence in executive maximum-security penal colony. Besides, each of them has to pay a penalty of 16,4 million rubles. The former head and his assistant are deprived of the right to hold state positions for 3 years. It is remarkable that on his post Padyukov has managed to work only 10 days.

In Sevastopol officials diluted gasoline … with rubles

On May 26, 2016 it was reported on a fact of swindling, conduct with participation of CEO of State Unitary Enterprise of Sevastopol (SUES) State Refueling Complex of Sevastopol Oleg Golovchenko and his deputy Sergey Kushnarenko. They have created a scheme for budget funds’ embezzlement by means of false firms – laying. In fact, SUES was engaged in speculation of fuel, reselling oil products to public industries at inflated price. Only from their last deal, the accused got profit of 1 million rubles. A criminal case under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Swindling committed by an organised group or on an especially large scale) was initiated. In is interesting that in 2015 State Refueling Complex of Sevastopol became one of the most unprofitable enterprises under control of Sevastopol’s government. In the same year it became known that the SUES was selling fuel of poor quality, in which the maximum permissible content of sulfur exceeded norm five times.

Investigation upon the offense is being carried on and the defendants were placed in custody.

Mayor-millionaire

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Photo: Sergey Pisarev

On June 21, 2016 Mayor of Kerch Sergey Pisarev was detained for taking bribe of 50 thousands dollars. This sum went to mayor’s pocket for allocation of land parcels under commercial use.

The bribe of marked notes was handed to the Head of the city by a person close to him, so he did not hesitate whether to take or not. Today Pisarev is being incriminated part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Bribe-Taking on a large scale). The parcels, one of which is located at Teatralnaya street, 33, four others – at Arshintsevskaya Kosa, were to be turned into rent of a businessman after signing of necessary documents.

The story of an establishment located at Teatralnaya St., 33 is rather curious. Once there was a legendary café Grifon. In 90-s this café was famous because members of so-called organized criminal grouping Grifon and members of Kelzon’s gang (famous crime lord of Kerch) used to gather there. This building with its parcel in 2013 was received as a gift by the son of the ex-Mayor of Kerch, the militia colonel Oleg Osadchy. In September of 2015 a parcel in 350 sq.m and the building have been transferred by the resolution of the head of administration to the municipal possession. On cadastral card it is written the parcel’s purpose – pubic catering. Not so long ago there was a legal office and then a Limited liability company Stroyevroservice, which is being headed by Dmitry Ponomarev. The same person is runs LLC, which primary activity is accounting and technical recommendation of real estate.

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Photo: Kerch, parcels, which Pisarev promissed to let on a lease

As for other three parcels at the Arshintsevskaya Kosa their total area estimates at more than 4 hectares. Right after his arrest Pisarev declared that it is a case of only two parcels under cadastral numbers 90:19:010101:354 and 90:19:010101:357 (purpose – sport). It is known that, according to LLC Stroyevroservice, allowed purpose of one parcel was changed, while the fourth parcel did not appear on cadastral card at all. These lands, located in a coastal area, were supposed to be used as yacht moorings.

Construction of the Old Crimea gas pipeline

On June 15, 2016 it appeared that during construction of gas pipeline in Old Crimea, 5 million rubles were laundered. According to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Kirov District, a criminal case under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal of the Russian Federation (Swindling committed on an especially large scale) was initiated. Law enforcers tried to cover up the case. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in Kirov District issued decree on refusal in initiation of legal proceedings. Later, during examination, the Prosecutor’s Office canceled this resolution as illegal and unreasonable.

In 2014 a contractor for construction of gas pipeline to many-storeyed buildings of the Old Crimea was defined. At the same time, according to the results of judicial-construction expertize, the difference between the cost of actually performed and paid works amounts to over 5 million rubles. It became clear at final stage of the construction in 2016. The investigation is being carried on.

The total cost of Crimea-Kuban gas pipeline is estimated at 20 billion rubles, while the cost of pipes does not exceed 14 billion rubles. One of the investors – Gazprom, and the main contractor is Stroygazmontazh, controlled by Arkady Rotenberg, who is currently engaged in construction of Kerchensky Bridge. Local companies contractors are engaged in laying of the gas pipeline at the scene. In the interests of the investigation, name of the caught stealing company is being concealed. 

The disappeared official

The Investigative Committee of Russia initiated a case against the Head of Department of property and land relations of Sevastopol and CEO of Joint Stock Company Electronny Arkhiv (Electronic Archive Elar) Aleksandr Svechnikov.

The investigation established that in 2015 JSC Electronny Arkhiv concluded a contract with the Department of property and land relations. Services in transfer of data on real estate objects in the city to the state inventory were described in the document. The sum of the contract amounted to 37 million rubles. As a result, from supposed 265 thousands documents that should have been included in the state inventory, slightly less than a half was actually included. At the same time, the investigation believes that Svechnikov fraudulently provided false data regarding the 100% of the services. A criminal case under part 3 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Abuse of Official Powers) was initiated against Svechnikov. He is bring accused of causing more than 16-million damage to city budget of Sevastopol, including by means abuse of official power.

It is interesting that several days before the criminal case’s initiation, Svechnikov disappeared from his place of work and has not appeared there for several days. His phone was switched off. And this happened on his birthday. A “day off” in his personal holiday the official asked personally from mayor of the city Sergey Menyaylo. In two days the employees discovered loss of keys from the safe in Svechnikov’s office. Later, the defendant of the scandal appeared at his work, explaining his disappearance by the fact that he “forgot to turn on his phone” and “had days off”. Now Svechnikov is on treatment in Simferopol’s hospital the measure of restraint isn't chosen yet.

Sevreestr takes bribes of apartments

Former chief of department of Sevastopol Administration of the State Registration of Right and Cadaster (Sevreestr) Tatyana Martynova got 7 years of imprisonment and a penalty of 500 million rubles with deprivation of right to hold positions in public service. The sentence was announced on July 14, 2016. Martynova was found guilty in crimes under part 4 of Art. 291.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Mediation in bribery effected on an especially large scale).

Court held that at the request of a head of other department of Sevreestr Olga Ivannikova, Martynova was extorting a bribe from a chairman of housing cooperative. Both women wanted to get a reward for issuing certificate on the state registration of the property right to 65 real estate objects. What is meant here are many-storeyed buildings and private houses on the cape Fiolent, in the picturesque place of Sevastopol. The women asked for two- and three-room apartments in the total cost of 14 millions rubles as a bribe. Indictment over the criminal case, against Olga Ivannikova who was managing this process, was affirmed under part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Bribe taking by a group of persons by previous concert on a large scale). The case was brought to trial.

Just – Kindergarten

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Photo: kindergarten

During repair works in Kindergarten №87 in Sevastopol in 2015, officials of State Public Institution Kapstroitelstvo siphoned off 17 million rubles. The investigation proved significant damage to the rights and legal interests of society and the state by means of putting knowingly false information into the documents. Thus, sum of the state contract was unreasonably increased from 58 to 75 million rubles.

It is interesting that the SPI Kapstroitelstvo regularly overstated estimates of construction. Incorrect calculation of the cost of construction works was carried out throughout the whole enterprise’s activity. According to Gosfincontrol, the total damage from the work of the state-owned enterprise amounted to 37,1 million rubles and the total amount of all violations by Kapstroitelstvo is estimated at 58.6 million. At the same time, the sum of works was taken by fictitious acts amounted to 69 million rubles.

Two criminal case were initiated over abuse of official powers and forgery (under part 1 Art. 285 and part 2 of Art. 292 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) against the head of the SPI Kapstroitelstvo Eduard Kozlov. According to the investigation, the official acted in the interests of a contractor LLC Kubankotloremont.

Prosecutorial responsibility

The Assistant of Prosecutor of Feodosia Vladimir Sapron fell under suspicion of his colleagues and now is charged with illegally obtaining property and cash for a total amount of about 25 million rubles.

The investigation established that in April 2016 the suspect offered a businessman engaged in construction of apartment houses, to provide support and assistance in resolving any issues, including violations committed by the owner during the construction of objects. For turning a blind eye to all violations at 9 objects of the incomplete construction works, the official asked to hand him 5 objects of real estate and 1,5 million rubles. In May the Prosecutor’s official got caught, when receiving 1,5 million rubles of marked bills. The case is currently under personal control if the Crimean Prosecutor. The Prosecutor’s Office employee, suspected in fraud, was dismissed for violation of the oath of Prosecutor. Kiev District Court of Simferopol placed him into custody for a period of two months.

The mayor of Feodosia: “I did not take it!”

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Photo: Dmitry Shchepetkov

Dmitry Shchepetkov with his Deputy Makar Makarov demanded 300 thousand dollars from a businessman as a bribe for extending the lease of land (400 thousand rubles more they had demanded from another merchant). Presumably, the complaint to the authorities wrote the entrepreneur suffering from blackmailing, builder Roman Lukichev. However, during the confrontation, he refused to testify against Shchepetkov, stating that the defendant did not put pressure on him. Earlier Lukichev said that the ex-mayor could exert pressure on witnesses.

Shchepetkov was detained on 21 December 2015. He is currently being kept in pre-trial detention center, while his partner in crime Makarov is under house arrest. At the last hearing, Shchepetkov’s arrest was extended up to 21 October. Shchepetkov has not pleaded guilty.

Shchepetkov and Makarov are accused of a crime under part 6 Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Bribe taking on especially large scale), part 4 of article 291.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Mediation in bribery effected on an especially large scale).

The Prosecutor's office calculated that the average size of bribes in Crimea amounts to about 100 thousand rubles. For the first half of 2016 almost 120 criminal cases were initiated over corruption. This means that in a year about 300 of such offences are being conducted. About 30 million rubles every year are leaking from the budget in the pockets of officials. Given the statistics of detection, this is not the end.

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