CrimeRussia's source: Ulyukaev could not expose himself so blatantly

CrimeRussia's source: Ulyukaev could not expose himself so blatantly
Alexey Ulyukaev Photo: TASS / Artem Geodakyan

New details of the detention of the former Minister of Economic Development give rise to even more questions. However, we can assume who could benefit from this set up by comparing a number of facts and drawing some parallels.

The arrest of the Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukaev strongly reminds a story that occurred in the summer with the Governor of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh. On June 24, 2016 he was arrested in a restaurant of the Lotte Plaza shopping and office center on Novy Arbat in Moscow. The operational footage featured a confused man showing his palms under the light of the ultraviolet lamp reflecting a strip, allegedly formed by contact with labeled money. Although, it is hardly easy to take anything, money included, with palms, not fingers. And to count too.

Никита Белых во время задержания

Nikita Belykh during detention

With Ulyukaev’s detention, only an oral statement was made – the Minister was arrested on November 14 for a bribe of $ 2 million. The official website of the Russian Investigative Committee (ICR) added only that "Ulyukaev was caught red-handed." Meaning, supposedly, at the moment when money was being transferred.

Investigators believe that Ulyukaev demanded a bribe from the representative of Rosneft for issuing a positive opinion for the deal on the acquisition of state-owned shares of Bashneft by Rosneft. "Moreover, the defendant made threats to employ his authority and thus create further obstacles to the company’s activities," ICR stated.

According to media reports, on Monday evening Ulyukaev had a call and then headed to meet someone in the Rosneft office. There he received the case with $ 1 million. It is assumed that under the terms of this illegal deal, the other half was to be brought directly to his car. But why was not the whole amount given at once?

However, as competent sources told the CrimeRussia, Ulyukaev could hardly expose himself so blatantly. "Most likely, the minister was assured that the hard case contained documents or a gift. By the way, just like that, a bottle of wine was found in the package handed over to Belykh. Therefore, the prints on Ulyukaev’s hands, if they even were in this case, could remain from the hard case handle, or from a handshake. And even if we assume that Ulyukaev was extorting a bribe from a representative of the company, led by Igor Sechin (which in itself is unlikely), then the money would not have been passed on to him in this manner. There are many subtle ways of doing, for instance, by transferring money from offshore to offshore. Most likely, Ulyukaev did not expect such a gross provocation," the source concluded.

Алексей Улюкаев и Игорь Сечин

Alexey Ulyukaev and Igor Sechin

A person, who could have arranged such a provocation, also deserves an honorable mention. In September 2016, the former Deputy Head of the 6th unit of the FSB Internal Security Service Oleg Feoktistov (General Fix) headed the security service of Rosneft. However, he and Sechin appear to have a long history. Feoktistov is associated with the most high-profile arrests in recent years. In 2014, he directly supervised the detention of the Head of MIA General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption (GUEBiPK) Lieutenant-General Denis Sugrobov and his deputy, the Major-General Boris Kolesnikov. During the questioning at the ICR, the latter jumped out of the window on the 6th floor (according to the official version). Earlier, these police officers conducted the case against the FSB Internal Security Service employee Colonel Igor Demin.

In March 2015, members of the 6th unit arrested the Governor of the Sakhalin region Alexander Khoroshavin and later the Head of the Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaizer and officials of his Administration. In 2016, Feoktistov’s colleagues detained the Mayor of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev and, finally, the same people took Nikita Belykh.

Dmitry Medvedev has called Ulyukaev’s detention "an extraordinary incident". And it is no joke — 1953 was the last time the Acting Minister was arrested. It was the interior Minister Lavrenty Beria.

Besides, other members of the government received this sort of black mark, when it was reported that the Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Assistant to the President and the former Minister of Economic Development Andrey Belousov, the Head of Department for Corporate Economic Management Oksana Tarasenko and Igor Shuvalov’s assistant Marina Romanova had all be subject to an internal investigation.

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