Dagestan official might escape liability for embezzlement of 162 million rubles
Ruslan Toturbiev, a former Head of the Kumtorkalinsky District of the Republic of Dagestan, might escape liability for embezzlement of 162 million rubles from the federal budget. After three years of investigation and widely publicized extradition of the official – who had fled being under a written pledge not to leave – from Belorussia, all the efforts might end up in nothing. A CrimeRussia source close to the investigation provided exclusive details on the existing situation.
In 2011 the Assembly of Deputies of the Kumtorkalinsky District has approved a municipal program Resettlement of citizens from dilapidated housing in the framework of a federal plan. This program was an element of a scam invented by the District Head and his accomplices: the officials have produced a fake database of crumbling barns and sheds located in the Kumtorkalinsky district and a list of rural residents allegedly living in these buildings and eligible for housing improvements. The embezzled millions had been cashed by the corrupt civil servants through commercial EsidBank controlled by Ruslan Toturbiev. In total, 162 million rubles have been stolen from the budget.
To implement the swindling scheme, Toturbiev has engaged the following persons: Abakar Khangishiev, the Head of the Administration of the Kumtorkalinsky District; Sapiybuly Akaev, the Chairman of the Committee for Construction, Architecture, and Public Housing and Utilities of the District Administration; Gadzhi Adzhiev, the Manager of the Alba Branch of EsidBank Commercial Bank Limited Liability Company; Umar Akaev, the Head of the Department of Agriculture of the District Administration; Dzhalak Babatov and Alpiyat Mamaeva, Heads of Adzhidada and Shamkhal-Yangi-Yurt rural settlements, etc. In total, the criminal group included 11 people.
Video: Ruslan Toturbiev, the Head of the Kumtorkalinsky District, arrested in Makhachkala
However, such a scheme could not work forever, and in September 2013, the Federal Security Service (FSB) for the Republic of Dagestan, jointly with the Main Investigations Directorate for the North-Caucasian Federal District of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), have arrested Toturbiev. The arrest was shown on the central TV and became known to the whole country. All other accomplices to the larceny of budget funds have been detained shortly after. The corrupt officials were charged under part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Swindling committed by an organized group on an especially large scale). On September 9, 2013, the Makhachkala City Court has ordered to detain Toturbiev, but some time later he was – due to unknown reasons – released under a written pledge not to leave and immediately fled to Belorussia. The fugitive was caught only in the end of 2014 by joint efforts of the FSB and ICR. It was found that initially the official has run from Dagestan to Moscow and then moved to Belorussia in order to reach Bulgaria – where his family was waiting for him – via Ukraine.
Upon arrival to Belorussia, Toturbiev found out that an international warrant has been issued against him, and in order to fly to Bulgaria, he decided to use a fake passport in the name of Ivan Stavilo, a Moldavian citizen. The Belorussian counter-intelligence quickly determined that the passport had been stolen from real Ivan Stavilo long ago and denied permission to leave the country for Toturbiev. Then he attempted to cross the Belorussian border again using passport of an Azerbaijan citizen. After the second failure, Toturbiev obtained a new fake passport, this time – Ukrainian, but the Belorussian enforcement service did not allow him to leave Minsk, charged under Article 380 of the Criminal Code of Belorussia (Use of fake documents), and put into a local pretrial detention facility.
After a lengthy investigation, Toturbiev had been extradited to Russia in the beginning of 2016. To the moment, all the 11 members of the criminal group have already been convicted: 7 suspects (including Davlet Ukaev who made a plea deal) were sentenced to 4 years behind bars, while 4 others – to 4 years conditionally.
However, a source close to the investigation told the CrimeRussia that currently there is a chance that the primary suspect in this criminal case escapes the liability again. The investigators believe that back in 2013 Toturbiev was released under the written pledge not to leave through his connections and bribing of officials in law enforcement authorities, in particular – in the Prosecutor’s Office. Therefore, the investigation is concerned that the indictment can be returned for additional examination – while the maximal permissible detention period for the suspect expires on October 9, 2016. Should the investigators fail to complete the additional examination by that date, the official is to be released. If Toturbiev leaves the pretrial detention facility again, no one can say when and where he would be caught next time.
According to well-informed sources, the investigators have done a huge work, and the investigation has been completed to its logical end. The case materials have been verified thoroughly to make sure that the indictment is signed. On September 15, 2016 the case has been submitted, in accordance with Article 220 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, to the Prosecutor’s Office of the North-Caucasian Federal District. However, the operatives have reasonable concerns that it might be returned for additional examination.
The CrimeRussia will continue monitoring this high-profile criminal case.