Investigators comb office of Pereslavl-Zalessky Mayor over Rosnano raids
A criminal case has been initiated against the city Mayor. Investigators suspect that 1 billion rubles allocated for construction of a pharmaceutical complex had been misused and the allocation of the land had been illegal.
The Pereslavl-Zalessky Administration building was searched, including the Mayor's Office; documents were seized. The Investigative Committee of Russia has opened a criminal case against the NT-Pharma’s founder Rustam Ataullahanov and the CEO Evgeny Sultanov, as well as against the Mayor Denis Koshurnikov. Ataullakhanov and Sultanov are suspected of Embezzlement of entrusted property on a large scale (part 4 of Article 160 of the Criminal Code), Koshurnikov is suspected of Exceeding Official Powers of a local authority with the infliction of grave consequences (item (c), part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code).
Earlier, searches were carried out in the Rosnano Moscow office. The state institution suggested that the investigative activities were associated with the delay in construction of the pharmaceutical complex NT-Pharma in the Yaroslavl region. The plant is actually located in Pereslavl.
Rosnano has been investing into NT-Pharma since 2009. However, once private co-investors started having difficulties with the payment schedule, Rosnano suspended its investments. The project then could be scrapped, but in 2015, the company found a new private investor and renewed funding of the project. Since 2010, Rosnano has invested over 1 billion rubles into the project. Project managers pledged to finish and launch the plant in September 2012, but the deadline has been repeatedly shifted. According to investigators, the invested money has been misused resulting in the plant never being finished.
Claims investigators have against Koshurnikov are related to the allocation of a land plot for the plant construction. Ataullahanov and Sultanov purchased the land from Koshurnikov’s Protekt Company in 2011 (Koshurnikov then was the Head of Pereslavl district). Meanwhile, permission to build should have been obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources, not from Koshurnikov.
The City Duma Deputy Sergey Khabibulin also linked the searches to Slavros and Protekt companies headed by Koshurnikov before he was elected as the Mayor.
We should also point out that the local authorities have taken a number of issues with the Mayor himself. A year ago the Yaroslavl region Prosecutor Yuri Verkhovtsev suggested to the Governor Sergey Yastrebov that Koshurnikov should be dismissed. An inspection revealed that the Mayor had a secret family business in Germany. It turned out that between 2008 and 2014 the Mayor was co-founder of milk drinks manufacturer ProBioTan GmbH. The paper said that on May 28, 2014 the official transferred his stake to his wife. Koshurnikov’s income declaration did not in any way reflect his overseas business, but he was able to retain his position nevertheless.
Koshurnikov was elected the Pereslavl-Zalessky Mayor in 2012. Prior to that, he headed the Pereslavl region, was a City Duma deputy and was also engaged in business.
Vyacheslav Abroskin believes that the influence of criminal leaders extends from control over the collection of money obtained by criminal means to control in the field of energy and natural resources extraction.