Corrupt subordinates and illegal constructions of retired General from Tatarstan Administration of Federal Penitentiary Service
President Vladimir Putin dismissed Daufit Khamidishin, the Head of the Administration of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in the Republic of Tatarstan, in early May. It must be said, however, that the lieutenant general had announced his departure and submitted a resignation letter a month ago. Allegedly, it was his own decision to leave the post due to a transfer to another appointment. In addition, the maximum age for this position and rank is 55 years – while Daufit Khamadishin is already 58. Also, his subordinates were frequently mentioned in regional criminal reports.
The departmental farewell press release if full of laudatory epithets, positive characteristics, and awards received by Khamadishin. However, the lieutenant general, who was in charge of the Administration of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in the Republic of Tatarstan for almost 15 years, has left so many ‘corruption traces’ that his voluntary resignation seems highly unlikely.
Subordinates of Khamadishin were frequently mentioned in regional criminal reports. This explains the price of achievements the correctional system of Tatarstan is proud of.
The ex-Head of the Administration of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in the Republic of Tatarstan is known as a harsh man obsessed with order. But the perfect order had to be maintained using the internal resources of penal colonies. In other words, jail wardens had to raise money through the ‘sponsorship’ of inmates and their relatives.
A correctional system officer told in an interview that the Republican Directorate of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation was concerned about the activities of Khamadishin back in 2013. At that time, he had been ‘politely’ asked to resign – and after his refusal, numerous bribe-taking criminal cases were instituted against his subordinates.
In June 2015, FSB operatives have arrested 7 officers of the Administration for the Republic of Tatarstan of the Federal Penitentiary Service, including two supreme functionaries of the Penal Colony № 10: colonel of internal service Fail Karimov and lieutenant colonel Ruslan Yusupov. According to the FSB, they had committed some 100 crimes of professional misconduct, including bribe-taking in exchange for releases on parole, provision of lengthy visitations, and relaxation of the penitentiary regime. The bribe amounts had varied from 5 to 150 thousand rubles ($88.4–2.6 thousand).
“You have to pay for everything, – says Igor Golendukhin, Coordinator of Gulagu.net Project. – If you want to be released on parole, you must pay 100–150 thousand rubles ($1.8–2.6 thousand); if you want a visitation – it can be arranged even if you are not eligible for it. The ‘price list’ slightly differs in various penal colonies, but the average cost of a visitation is 3–7 thousand rubles ($53–123.7). It is even possible to arrange a tree-day visit to an unrelated inmate – but this is more expensive: 15–70 thousand rubles ($265–1.2 thousand). Relatives of inmates had provided such figures to us”. Golendukhin also claims that extortion complaints are not processed and investigated.
The investigators have found that officers of the penal colony had received some 3 million rubles ($53 thousand) in bribes in two years, but only Vitaly Ryabov, the Head of the Department for Educational Work with Inmates, had confessed to this and was prosecuted and sentenced to 4 years and 2 months in a maximum security regime penal colony.
In August 2016, a bribe-taking criminal case has been instituted against Almaz Tazeev, Warden of the Penal Colony № 19. According to the investigation, he had received money and construction materials from the spouse of an inmate. Yuri Nekrasov, defense attorney for Tazeev, has stated that his client had never taken anything; when asked about the paint for the colony, the lawyer said that this is within the limits of the law. “The law permits gratuitous contributions from inmates’ relatives and other persons. In the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, such contributions are called ‘humanitarian aid’ – an application is submitted to the head of the institution, and then the aid is recorded by the accounting department and handed over to the logistics officer,” – he explained.
Igor Leonidov, the Deputy Warden of the Penal Colony № 2 of Kazan, is under investigation on suspicion of bribe-taking. According to the law enforcement authorities, the total amount of the bribes exceeds 1.6 million rubles ($28.3 thousand). Azfar Kadirov, the direct superior of Leonidov, hanged himself in his office in January 2016 after discovering payment receipts for funds transferred to him.
In December 2015, a criminal case has been initiated against Rustem Nigmatullin, Deputy Warden of the Penal Colony № 8, and Artur Sizhazhev, Detachment Commander of the Department for Educational Work with Inmates, on the same suspicion. The investigation believes that they had received bribes from inmates for improvement of their living conditions.
There are plenty of such examples. There are also indications, however, that not all the monies had ended up in the wardens’ pockets. Some portions of the bribes were spent to rectify deficiencies identified by Khamadishin during inspections and implement his ideas.
But now the ‘unsinkable’ General of the Federal Penitentiary Service has left the office; his first deputy Eduard Khialeev is currently the Acting Head of the Administration for the Republic of Tatarstan. It would seem that the story is over.
But the name of Daufit Khamidishin has suddenly popped-up in another scandal. An inspection carried-out in Narmonka and Obukhovo villages located not far from Kazan has identified an unauthorized land seizure near the Mesha River. Contrary to the law requiring to leave free access to the 20-meter beach line, the homeowners had erected fences there, thus, blocking the access to the river. One of such fences has been found on the land belonging to Khamidishin.
It became known that his home is located on the Mesha River bank near Narmonka village. The environmentalists have requested to remove the stone fence and pier. It turned out that the garden of the retired general occupies the prohibited shoreline zone as well.
The photo shows that the fence around his lot extends as far as the river. Later it became known that the two merged land lots are surrounded by the same fence. The second lot and illegal constructions on it belong to some Gazizova, a relative of the general. The two homeowners had built a joint pavilion and established a barbecue place on the river bank. Their children used to be married; now they have already divorced, but the two lots were not separated by a fence. However, the lawsuit requiring to remove the fence was filed only against Gazizova yet.
Following the court verdict, she had to demolish the pavilion, pier, and fences. But somehow Khamidishin did not remove his fence near the water.
The watchdog authorities are going to perform another inspection in the near future in order to determine which defendant has complied with the requirement to rectify the defects and which hasn’t. It is quite possible that the conflict involving the retired general would be taken to court.
According to the income declaration of Khamidishin, the home with the living space of 189.3 square meters belongs to him and his spouse. The total income of the general for the year of 2016 is 1.9 million rubles ($33.6 thousand), while the income of his wife is 10 times higher – 20 million rubles ($353.5 thousand). In addition, she owns other real estate and a Lexus RX330 vehicle. It is necessary to note that the wealth of the spouse of Khamidishin has been steadily growing in the last years.
No information about the new job of Daufit Khamidishin is available yet. A new senior appointment may, in fact, save his fence near the river from demolition. The higher is your social status, the more things you can do without any repercussions.