Sakhalin Head interceded for officials accused of $17.4m damage

Sakhalin Head interceded for officials accused of $17.4m damage
Sakhalin Governor Oleg Kozhemyako

The details of the corruption scheme, in which officials from the regional Ministry of Agriculture are accused, were disclosed.⁠

The Head of Sakhalin, Oleg Kozhemyako, believes that detained regional Minister of Agriculture Mikhail Kuzmenko and his deputy Tamara Mulenkova did not damage the regional budget by their actions. They were accused of exceeding their official powers in the case of transferring more than 1 billion rubles ($17.4m) of budgetary money to the commercial enterprise Green Agro Sakhalin.

According to investigators, in early 2016, the previously detained Minister of Property and Land Relations of the Sakhalin region, Elena Gakh, allocated funds to a private company under the guise of targeted loans. Thus, she exceeded her powers.

More than 2 billion rubles ($34.8m) allocated by the Sakhalin Government for the construction of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinskiy State Farm, 1 billion rubles were transferred to Green Argo Sakhalin at just 0.5% per annum for 15 years with a deferral of the first payment for 5 years. The investigation is sure that there have been no works on the development of the state agricultural enterprise. On the same case, officials of the Ministry of Agriculture were detained the day before. Their role in the embezzlement of budget funds has not yet been reported.

At the same time, the Governor of the Sakhalin region said that the scheme for allocating financial resources had passed all the necessary approvals. The implementation of the investment project of Green Agro Sakhalin began in 2015 and was presented at All-Russian Economic Forum. "The interest rate - 0.5% per annum - is established, based on the rate of the Corporation for Development of the Sakhalin region for projects in dairy cattle. All money was used only for established purposes and returned to the budget. That is, it is not necessary to talk about the damage done to the budget," Oleg Kozhemyako explained.⁠

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