Presidential airline plunders budget
According to investigators, the company's management overstated prices for transportation, using the services of an intermediary controlled by the airline's ex-management.
The Investigative Committee Main Investigative Department is investigating a criminal case of fraud against the leadership of the 224th Flight Unit airline. As reported by Kommersant , former deputy general director of the enterprise Dmitry Novitsky was arrested by decision of the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow. Investigators believe that from 2010 to 2015, the leadership of the 224th Flight Unit committed the theft of Rosoboronexport's funds allocated for the organization of air transportation and freight forwarding services.
It is a question of prices overstatement for logistical services rendered to Rosoboronexport. Overestimation of prices was due to the involvement of an intermediary firm, which was controlled by the airline's ex-management. The money received from Rosoboronexport was withdrawn from its accounts in several Middle Eastern banks, the source of Kommersant reported. The newspaper considers former general director of the airline Konstantin Vartanov, who hid from law enforcers, as another figurant of the case.
The criminal case was initiated under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation after the statement of the leadership of Rosoboronexport, which suspected fraud on the part of its contractor.
Damage from fraud works out 2 billion rubles ($35.5m).
224th Flight Unit State Air Company JSC is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Defense. Initially, the squadron was established in 1979 to provide transportation during the war in Afghanistan. After 1993, the airline began air transportation on the orders of the President, the Government and the Ministry of Defense. Now the 224th Flight Unit is engaged in air transportation in the interests of state structures, including the delivery of automobile corteges for the first persons of Russia. The Unit was engaged in the transportation of military and dual-purpose cargo to Vietnam, Syria, Algeria, Ethiopia, Cambodia and other countries. The company is also engaged in commercial transportation, which should replenish the Air Force budget.