FSB detains Federal Penitentiary Service Deputy Head Oleg Korshunov 

FSB detains Federal Penitentiary Service Deputy Head Oleg Korshunov
Oleg Korshunov Photo: Sergey Kulikov / Interpress / TASS

The much-criticized Penitentiary Service official may become the key suspect in the criminal case of a billion-ruble embezzlement.

Law enforcement officers detained Oleg Korshunov, the Deputy Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), RBC reported citing a source in the agency. According to Interfax, Korshunov’s house is being searched.

He had filed a letter of retirement back in July and since then has been on vacation.

According to Novaya Gazeta, it is the Department M of the FSB in charge of counterintelligence support for the law enforcement that is working on Korshunov. Sources of the publication reported that the detention of the official was related to the theft of funds the state had allocated for the construction of Kresty-2 jail in St. Petersburg.

One of the most notorious long-term construction projects in St. Petersburg was started back in 2007. In 2014, it was reported that the construction would be over in a year. However, instead, the St. Petersburg FSIN concluded a new supplementary agreement with GSK's general contractor. In March 2017, FSIN Colonel Nikolai Chernov, Krestov-2 construction supervisor, was killed, and St. Petersburg FSIN Deputy Head Sergei Moiseenko became the key suspect in the case.

The investigation process is expected to involve other high-ranking officials of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

Meanwhile, the Telegram channel Oper Slil (Leaked by Agent) shows the law enforcement officers are interested in Korshunov in connection with his partnership with Andrei Mukhetdinov, who used to be the head of Ulyanovskoye Farm and Kaluzhskoye Enterprise. As the CrimeRussia wrote previously, Oleg Korshunov’s know-how, the trading house of the Federal Penitentiary Service, was to take over all purchases of the FSIN and supposedly end corruption in the Service by not letting prison chiefs to conclude contracts, according to the original plan. The chiefs were then kept out, and companies affiliated with Korshunov got the lion's share of the Trading House contracts, while Mukhetdinov’s companies kept winning Kaluzhskoye tenders.

Oleg Korshunov made sure Kaluzhskoye got to supply prison stores, too. The enterprise stopped cooperating with former suppliers of the stores, becoming the sole seller of goods for prisoners. This led to increased prices, poorer choice and a sudden interest from the antimonopoly service. In the spring of 2015, the FSIN director Gennady Kornienko even got a letter from the FAS with an urgent request to remedy the violations committed.

On August 2, he wrote a letter of representation to the President requesting Korshunov's dismissal.

Then on March 13, 2017, the Investigative Committee of the Kaluga Region sent jurisdiction check files to Moscow stating that there were signs of the crime violating Art. 285 of the Criminal Code (Abuse of Official Powers) in Korshunov's actions, which resulted in about 1 billion rubles ($17m) stolen from the budget.

As a reminder, Korshunov started his FSIN career in 2013, when he became the head of financial and economic management. In the spring of 2014, he was deputy director of the agency, overseeing the construction and finance block.

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