Colonel caused 471-million-ruble damage to Ministry of Defense

Colonel caused 471-million-ruble damage to Ministry of Defense

The investigation into the criminal case of corruption in the supply of food to the military base in Gyumri has been completed in Rostov-on-Don.

The investigative bodies of Rostov-on-Don have completed the investigation into the criminal case against Colonel Denis Zorin. The military officer is accused of Swindling and Abuse of Official Powers (part 4 of Art. 159 and part 3 of Art. 285 of the Russian Criminal Code). Previously, he held senior positions in food supply of South and Central military districts.

During the investigation, experts found that Zorin is involved in the machinations with a number of food purchases for military personnel of the Russian military base no.102 in Gyumri, Armenia. According to law enforcement officers, the Colonel's fraud has caused damage of 472 million rubles to the budget. Zorin's alleged accomplice Vladimir Firsov, who served as the chief of food service of the military base, was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment in June this year.

As for Denis Zorin, he has been in Rostov-on-Don detention center since summer of 2015. Now, he is familiarizing with the criminal case materials. His lawyer has repeatedly requested the court to change the measure of restraint to a milder one for the Colonel, referring to the fact that the time limit for client’s detention had long expired. In spite of this, Zorin it is still in the detention center.

The criminal case of fraud with the supply of food to the military base was initiated in the summer of 2014. The grounds for its initiated had been inspection materials. This is when law enforcers also opened a criminal case against ex-Chief of Food Service of the Russian military base no.102 in Gyumri Vladimir Firsov. The military officer was accused of Swindling on an especially large scale (Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code) and Exceeding Official Powers (Art. 286).

According to investigative bodies, it was Firsov, who made sure the signatures of officials were on the documents, according to which the personnel had been allegedly receiving food at inflated standards. In addition, he illegally entered information about the excessive ration issue to the military personnel into the fake certificates of acceptance of services. Moreover, food products used to be written off to deadheads on this base, as well as to excessive standards provided for entering the combat duty. At the same time, military base servicemen would receive standard ration.

Later, the investigating authorities and the court found that these fraudulent activities on the part of senior military officers caused damages in the amount of 471 million rubles to the Ministry of Defence and the State. 

June 8, 2016, the Rostov Garrison Military Court sentenced Vladimir Firsov to 7 years in prison. When testifying, Firsov grassed up Denis Zorin, calling him his accomplice. 

At the same time, Denis Zorin's lawyer claims that the investigating authorities have no evidence against the former head of Food Security Service of the Southern Military District, and that they only account for Vladimir Firsov's testimony, who has changed it several times.

According to Zorin's defense, the former food service officer had initially told investigators that the products had been imported to Armenia, and the excess had been sold to local businessmen. Then during the interrogations he began telling that illegal food payment scheme meant only the movement of funds on accounts, and that he had learnt it from one from one of the locals, who was part of the scheme. It is worth noting that the investigators could not interrogate the local, as according to Firsov, the former had died.

Zorin's defense had requested to file the accounting documents of companies supplying food, but the investigation has not satisfied the request.

According to the investigation's lead, the scheme of embezzlement from the Ministry of Defense had been developed by unidentified persons, whereas Denis Zorin's function was to cover up the fraud. 

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