Colonel Maksimenko accused of taking Jeep Wrangler as bribe

Colonel Maksimenko accused of taking Jeep Wrangler as bribe
Mikhail Maksimenko

In exchange for the car, the former Head of the Department for Interagency Cooperation and Internal Security promised to facilitate the termination of the investigation in respect of the construction firm management.

Ex-Head of the Department for Interagency Cooperation and Internal Security Mikhail Maksimenko has faced a new charge of bribe-taking, TASS reports referring to its sources in law enforcement bodies. According to the investigation, the colonel extorted a 1.5-million-ruble ($22.605) Jeep Wrangler from the construction business owner Dmitry Smychkovsky in exchange for facilitation of termination of the investigation in respect of a construction firm associated with the businessman. 

It is reported that Maksimenko disagrees with the new charges brought against him. He also denied his involvement in other bribes, including from thief in law Shakro Molodoy’s people. Dmitry Smychkovsky has been hiding from the investigation for more than a year now; he is on the international wanted list. According to the investigation, the businessman is in London. 

Maksimenko’s lawyer Andrey Grivtsov said that he was unaware of the new charges against his client.

It was reported that it was Smychkovsky who transferred Maksimenko a bribe of 500 thousand euro in exchange for his assistance in releasing Shakro Molodoy’s henchman, crime lord Andrey Kochuykov (Italyanets) from the pre-trial detention center. Another part of the bribe for Italyanets’s release was transferred through an intermediary by owner of the restaurant business Oleg Sheykhametov, who pleaded guilty and made a full confession. 

Mikhail Maksimenko, his deputy Alexander Lamonov, and First Deputy Head of the ICR Directorate in Moscow Denis Nikandrov were detained in July 2016 on suspicion of Bribe-Taking on an Especially Large Scale. Maksimenko denied all allegations. 

The materials against the colonel were separated from other charges and referred to court earlier than the cases of other defendants. In April 2018, Maksimenko was sentenced to 13 years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of 165 million rubles ($2.5 million). The Court also deprived him of his Colonel of Justice title and banned him from holding public office for three years after serving his sentence. 

Maksimenko was tried on two episodes of taking bribes. According to the statement of prosecution, in October 2015, he received $50 thousand from entrepreneur Badri Shengeliya, who had been convicted on swindling charges in the early 2000s. With the help of the bribe, the businessman sought the prosecution of police officers, who had allegedly illegally seized his Hublot watch from him.

The second episode is related to the shootout outside a restaurant on Rochdelskaya Street in Moscow. It involved the associates of the thief in law Zakhar Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) on the one side, and former KGB Colonel and lawyer Eduard Budantsev and colleagues on the other. As a result of the shootout, two people were killed and five injured. Shakro’s henchman Andrey Kochuykov was arrested after the incident. High-ranking ICR officers received bribes for his release. 

Lamonov and Nikandrov pleaded guilty and testified against their colleagues. The trial of Lamonov in the Moscow City Court was held using a special procedure. He was sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment. The case of Nikandrov has been referred to court but has yet to be considered. 

During the investigation, Nikandrov said that he had received the 500-thousand-euro bribe from his superior – Head of the ICR Main Investigations Directorate in Moscow, Major-General of Justice Alexander Drymanov. In June 2018, Drymanov resigned from the post. July 16, FSB officers detained him as part of the case of Bribe on an Especially Large Scale. July 31, the Moscow City Court approved his arrest. Then the Lefortovo Court of Moscow put a conservatory attachment on Drymanov’s means in the amount of 2 million rubles ($30.380) and 18 thousand dollars, which had been seized from him during the searches.

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