Russia's Top-10 of greediest corrupt officials
Despite economic crisis in this country, bribes are now growing even higher. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2014, the average amount of a bribe was about 109.000 rubles. In 2015, this number grew to 208.000 rubles.
Some corrupt officials are actually the champions of bribetaking in Russia. The CrimeRussia has prepared a list of high-profile economic crimes that happened in the past few years.
Former leadership of the Komi Republic
800 million rubles
On September 5, law enforcers detained the Managing Director of the Renova Group of Companies Evgeny Olkhovik and the Director General of T Plus (formerly Kompleksnie Energeticheskie Sistemy CJSC) Boris Vainzikher. These top managers from the structures controlled by Viktor Vekselberg were arrested following the searches at the companies’ offices in Moscow. Olkhovik and Vainzikher are suspected of giving considerable bribes to members of the organized crime group led by the former head of Komi Vyacheslav Gaizer, who was detained in the capital last September, along with 18 other suspects. According to the investigation, for seven years, from 2007 to 2014, both managers, as well as other unidentified persons, were passing multimillion bribes to the senior management of the republic, acting in the interests of KES CJSC and its affiliated organizations. For the money and other property rewards, officials assisted in establishing favorable tariffs for heat and electricity in the republic. The sum in question is at least 800 million rubles. The Investigative Committee believes that the bribes were disguised as charity, RNS reported, citing its source.
The third defendant in the Renova case, the ex-CEO of the VimpelCom company Mikhail Slobodin was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list.
MIA Main Investigative Department for Moscow
600 million rubles (10 million USD)
In November 2015, law enforcers detained members of the MIA Main Investigative Department, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Andrievsky and his colleague Colonel Viktor Rubashkin, when they were receiving a major bribe in Moscow. The third person taken into custody turned out to be a businessman Roman Manashirov, who, according to investigators, was going to pay them 10 million USD for softening the indictment against his business partner, a millionaire and former owner of the AST-Kargo company Zhanuko Rafailov and his brother Don. The latter are accused in a criminal case on organizing illegal immigration and establishing clandestine sewing workshops in the Izmailovo district. They were charged under art. 322.1 of the Criminal Code (organization of illegal migration), art. 180 of the Criminal Code (illegal use of a trademark), and art. 210 of the Criminal Code (organization of a criminal community). The ICR believes that the senior police officers promised Manashirov to remove the last article, which was also the gravest and threatened with life imprisonment. All three defendants in the new criminal case were detained during the transfer of the first tranche of a bribe in the amount of 2 million rubles.
Alexander Khoroshavin, ex-governor of the Sakhalin Region
340 million rubles (5.6 million USD)
Former governor of the Sakhalin Region Alexander Khoroshavin was arrested along with his three deputies in March 2015 held after the Federal Security Service (FSB) and investigators had searched the building of regional administration. The official, who led the region for more than eight years, is accused of taking bribes worth 5.6 million USD. During the search, large sums of money were seized from Khoroshavin. Investigators believe that he worked through intermediaries, in particular, through his assistant Andrey Ikramov. Khoroshavin’s case contained more than ten episodes. For instance, the governor demanded that the leadership of the Energostroy Sakhalin Company pay a bribe in the amount of 6% from the money received for performing the works stipulated by the contract. Later, it was reported that the former governor could have also received about 27 million rubles from the candidates to the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk city council during the election in 2014.
In March 2015, Khoroshavin was dismissed from office "due to loss of confidence." On May 20, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Court order to seize
the property of the former official in favor of state, as well as that of his wife and son for the total amount of more than 1.1 billion rubles. Khoroshavin currently remains in jail — he is facing up to 15 years in prison. Along with the governor, law enforcers detained the deputy chairman of the Sakhalin Region Government Sergey Karepkin and Minister of Agriculture, Trade and Supplies Nikolay Borisov. The arrests were preceded by a series of scandalous resignations and criminal cases. In particular, in 2014, the chief of MIA department for the Sakhalin Region, General Vladislav Belotserkovsky was detained on charges of having ties with the so-called "fish mafia." The Sakhalin Region prosecutor and the chief of the local FSB department, Major General Igor Struchkov, were also released from their offices.
Members of the Russian Investigative Committee (ICR)
300 million rubles (5 million USD)
FSB believes that certain ICR staff members were taking bribes from a crowned thief Zakhary Kalashov, also known as Shakro Molodoy. Investigators insist that the kingpin’s henchmen handed over the first tranche of a bribe worth 1 million USD to the head of the ICR Main Directorate of Interagency Cooperation and Internal Security Mikhail Maksimenko, his deputy Alexander Lamonov, and the first deputy head of the ICR Main Investigation Department in Moscow Denis Nikandrov, for the release of Kalashov’s associate, Andrey Kochuykov nicknamed Italyanets, from prison. The latter was arrested after a shootout at the Elements restaurant on the Rochdelskaya Street. The total amount of bribe was to be 5 million USD. The suspects’ negotiations and actions were monitored by the FSB Directorate M, who had planted a bug in a samovar, which they themselves had presented Maksimenko. The defendants claim that the case is the result of interdepartmental conflict between the ICR and the FSB.
ICR Moscow Interregional Investigation Department for Transport (MMSUT)
240 million rubles (4 million USD)
In February 2010, MMSUT initiated a case of meat smuggling. In this case, investigators decided to indict the Head of Naro-Fominsk Khladokombinat JSC Dmitry Mostman. However, soon he was approached by several intermediaries (MIA ex-employees), who offered their help. An MMSUT investigator who led the case, Grigory Domovets, asked 4 million USD from Mostman in exchange for closing the case. In spring 2010, having already transferred two tranches of a bribe worth 500 thousand USD, Mostman turned to FSB, and Domovets was caught red-handed. At first, the investigator denied his guilt, but then made a deal with the justice system and confessed to transferring most of the bribes to his bosses — the chief of the investigative department Ivan Kozhevnikov, MMSUT deputy head Alexey Malkov, and the MMSUT first deputy head Konstantin Zotov. However, they were later acquitted by the jury, saying that they Domovets had simply defamed them for lenient punishment. The investigator himself received three years’ probation.
Dmitry Zakharchenko, ex-member of the MIA anti-corruption department
35 million rubles
Deputy Chief of the Directorate T at MIA General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption Dmitry Zakharchenko was arrested by the Presnensky Court of Moscow in September 2016. He was charged with abuse of power and taking a bribe. Foreign currency in the amount equivalent to 8.5 billion rubles was then found at his sister’s apartment. FSB also discovered additional 13 million rubles, 170 thousand USD, and 5 thousand EUR in Zakharchenko’s car. Finally, it was reported that the Swiss bank accounts registered on his father contain about 300 million EUR. There was a whole variety of theories about where the money had come from. Certain sources implied that Zakharchenko had connections with the kingpin Zakhary Kalashov, also known as Shakro Molodoy. Another theory touched upon the so-called "Spanish trail." In turn, investigators insist that Zakharchenko was detained while receiving a bribe worth 35 million rubles from a former employee of Nota bank in exchange for information on upcoming operational activities against her. The money found at Zakharchenko’s place is considered part of the funds withdrawn from the bank. The colonel himself denies his guilt, calling the case "fabricated." However, he still failed to explain where the money in his sister’s apartment had come from.
Ultimately, Zakharchenko was dismissed from the post of Deputy Head of the Directorate T of the MIA GUEBiPK. His superior, Alexander Tishchenko, was soon ousted as well. The chief of the MIA GUEBiPK Andrey Kurnosenko, head of the GUEBiPK conspiracy, staff and public service department Vladimir Abmetko, and Head MIA department for transport in the Central Federal District Oleg Kalinkin became subject to disciplinary sanctions in form of "a warning about incomplete adequacy."
This former police officer could have taken the top spot in this list of major bribetakers, but so far there have been no evidence that he earned all of this fortune on bribes.
Nikita Belykh, former governor of the Kirov Region
24 million rubles (400 thousand EUR)
Former Governor of the Kirov Region Nikita Belykh was detained with marked bills by the FSB in a Moscow restaurant on June 24, 2016. According to the Investigative Committee, he received a total of 400 thousand EUR (24.1 million rubles). The former head of the region is charged with taking a bribe in exchange for protecting entrepreneurs. On July 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his resignation "due to loss of confidence." Belykh himself pleads not guilty and claims that the money was intended for the needs of Kirov, including for the construction of the chapel of the Blessed Matrona.
After Belykh had been arrested, a number of the officials, who had been close to the former governor, were also sacked. In particular, in August, Vice Governor Sergey Scherchkov and Alexey Vershinin, who served as the Minister for Business, Trade and External Relations and oversaw the development of tourism and industry-based towns, also left their posts, seemingly at their own volition. They were later followed by the deputy chairman of the regional government Dmitry Matveev and Acting Health Minister Elena Utemova. Belykh currently remains in the Lefortovo detention center — the Basmanny Court of Moscow has extended
his arrest up to December 24, insisting that the detainee may try to flee. The ex-governor faces up to 15 years in prison.
Yevgeny Urlashov, ex-mayor of Yaroslavl
30 million rubles
In August, a guilty verdict was passed for the former mayor of Yaroslavl Yevgeny Urlashov. The court sentenced him to 12 years and 6 months in a penal colony of strict regime and a fine of 60 million rubles. Urlashov was convicted for receiving (through a mediator) the first tranche of a bribe in the amount of 17 million rubles from the overall promised 30 million rubles from the CEO of Yardorstroy Eduard Avdalyan. In exchange, Urlashov was going to help the company to obtain a controlling stake in a unitary enterprise Gorodskoe Dorozhnoe Upravlenie (Road City Management). In addition, investigators believe that in 2012-2013, the former mayor demanded 18 million rubles from the director of the Radostroy company, which carried out road repairs in Yaroslavl, Sergey Shmelev. In case of failure to pay, he was threatened to lose the money stipulated under the municipal contract. During the trial, Urlashov has been staying for two years in a Moscow jail, Matrosskaya Tishina. The former mayor himself claims that the case is political — in 2012, he entered the civil committee of Mikhail Prokhorov’s Civic Platform party.
Ivan Senichev, former Vice Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region
18 million rubles
Former Vice Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region, Ivan Senichev extorted two jeeps worth 18 million rubles from the Piton private security company. The two Range Rover cars were bought purchased by Piton on lease in 2014 for transporting the governor of the region, which they had been doing for several years. After the termination of the contract, Senichev demanded to provide him these cars, and promised to destroy their business if they refuse. Demands and threats made with foul language were recorded in a telephone conversation, which served as the main proof of Senichev’s guilt. The security company first handed it over to the FSB, but there was no reaction and no prosecution. Then the audio recording was published and the officer resigned voluntarily.
Alexey Ganush, member of the General Administration of the Federal Penitentiary System for the Perm Region
15 million rubles
In October, the Industrial Court of Perm sentenced the former Head of the department of logistics support of the General Administration of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service for the Perm Region, Colonel Alexey Ganush. He was found guilty of taking bribes on a considerable scale. In 2012-2013, Ganush promised to assists a businessman Konstantin Belyaev in transactions for the supply of food between the institutions of the penitentiary system of the Perm Region and the companies controlled by the businessman. In exchange, Belyaev transferred Ganush two objects of commercial real estate worth more than 13.3 million rubles and a Range Rover car worth more than 2 million rubles. The crime was revealed by FSB, MIA GUEBiPK department for the Perm region, and the regional administration of the Federal Penitentiary System. The court sentenced Alexey Ganush to 11 years in a penal colony of strict regime and a fine of more than 15.3 million rubles.
UK investigators believe they have identified the suspected perpetrators behind the Novichok nerve agent attack on the Skripals through CCTV and have cross-checked the footage with records of people who entered the country around that time.