Scrooge McDuck of St. Petersburg
Svetlana Radionova, Deputy Head of Rostechnadzor, urgently came to St. Petersburg. The scandal that broke out after the arrest of Rostechnadzor North-West Department Head Grigory Slabikov and his daughter Elena was the ground for 'emergency movement.' While the management is trying to disown from the blatant 1 billion rubles ($16.1m), found at its subordinate, the siloviki have already given Grigory Slabikov the nickname Scrooge McDuck.
Meanwhile, an insulting nickname appeared at the department. On the websites of developers, the institution is called just Rostechsham (Rostechpozor), and the main hero of this story is 'St. Petersburg's Colonel Zakharchenko'. As it is already known, a criminal case was initiated against Head of the North-West Department of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological, and Nuclear Supervision (Rostechnadzor) Grigory Slabikov under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale). At the moment, the preliminary investigation estimates the damage from Slabikov's actions at 4.76 billion rubles ($76.9m).
The plot of the case is as follows: Slabikov is suspected of receiving bribes from self-regulatory construction organizations (SROs). The amount of each bribe was not less than 1 million rubles ($16.200). But this is only part of charges. As follows from official statements of representatives of law enforcement agencies, it is a criminal scheme of enrichment through the SRO. Vast amounts magically disappeared from the compensation funds (they were created to cover losses in case of detection of shortcomings on the part of developers). Tacky envelopes with money point out that the chief technologist was plundering for a long time. As the sources of The CrimeRussia states, the scheme was on-stream for about nine years.
More than 700 million in rubles and foreign currency were found in the apartments of Slabikov and his country residence. Also, the investigators found 15 safe-deposit boxes in which another 305 million rubles were found. Thus, the total amount of seized money reached 1 billion rubles. This amount does not take into account a few kilograms of jewelry and luxury watches found. Specialists now evaluate their value. In total, searches were conducted at 13 sites.
The volume of seized wealth offended sensibilities of the FSB officers, so they called Mr. Slabikov by the name of the famous cartoon miser Scrooge McDuck. According to the investigation, the victims of Slabikov's ‘appetites’ were three companies included in the SRO – Stroitelny Resurs, Stroy Project and Stroy Izyskania. The amounts that firms contributed to the compensation fund were also replenished with membership fees. These manipulations were necessary to obtain admission to work. According to the investigation, the official withdrew the amounts from the fund's accounts, as they were under his control, and transferred them to the company Nord-West Capital under fake trust agreements. Then the funds were siphoned off to the accounts of one-day firms. The intermediary was daughter Elena Slabikova. According to the investigation, she was the one who gave her father money and valuables.
15 safe-deposit boxes and a stinker’s chest
According to sources, the employees of the law enforcement agencies were also humming a song from the Treasure Island: "Fifteen safe-deposit boxes and a stinker’s chest." As it turned out, these 15 banking safe-deposit boxes were ‘full-height.’ That is, as big as a man since bundles of banknotes would just not fit.
At the same time, as the mass media write, the official income mentioned in the declaration is rather modest - 1.5 million rubles ($24.300) per year.
Also, according to the declaration, Slabikov did not own a personal car. He keeps only an apartment, a dacha, a garage, a motorcycle and a quad bike. The rest of the property belongs to his wife. The arrestee claims that he did not take any bribes, and "did not take part in embezzlement." Nevertheless, the court was also impressed and arrested Grigory Slabikov until July 9. His daughter Elena is also placed into custody.
Elena Slabikova is the head of the Waterskiing federation of St. Petersburg. In addition, she is the owner of the Sunpark waterskiing complex. The complex includes three companies - Extreme Park Positive in the elite part of Ozerki, Ozero LLC and Vilna Park LLC. Ms Slabikova had previously owned the Myata restaurant and the Draugs security company. The investigation believes that she acted as an intermediary between Rostechnadzor and SRO.
However, the billion is only part of the iceberg. The ideological inspirer of this scam, according to law enforcement officers, is businessman Alexey Eliseev, who is hiding abroad; the investigators believe that he siphoned off the lion's share of the stolen funds to Spain. It is still unknown how many. In total, the criminal case includes eight figurants. In addition to Slabikov, his daughter, and fugitive Eliseev, businessman Alexey Shuvalov is also charged. The names of the other participants have not been announced yet.
Grigory Slabikov's daughter Elena
The Head of the North-West Rostechnadzor fell for surveillance after the liquidation of Nord-West Capital.
Businessman Alexey Shuvalov. Photos - 47news.ru
As Igor Reshetnikov, the lawyer of Alexey Shuvalov, told The CrimeRussia, the situation with the client was as follows: "Alexey Shuvalov is the best among professionals in the SRO market. That is why he became a hostage of the story with Grigory Slabikov, the head of the North-West Rostechnadzor. As soon as the illusion that this official is following the interests of the state has dissipated, my client decided to cooperate with the investigation. Shuvalov did not bring any benefit from SRO, unlike Slabikov. Searches results prove it. It’s obvious."
The arrested official
Under-the-table billions operation
Deputy Head of Rostechnadzor Svetlana Radionova promised to offer a knee to law enforcement agencies and conduct its audit and comprehensive verification of the North-West Department, although it was not the first corruption scandal in the structure.
Svetlana Radionova, the Deputy Head of Rostechnadzor
Large-scale mopping-up among the staff of Rostechnadzor in Moscow and regions began nine years ago, in 2009. Then, more than two-thirds of the executive team was dismissed, and the department was seriously cleaned up. But the very essence of the works performed by Rostechnadzor is a great temptation and a ground for bribes.
Established in 2004, Rostechnadzor checks regulatory compliance in the field of nuclear energy, industrial safety requirements at hazardous production facilities, oversees the safety of subsoil use, and conducts environmental audit. The service has the duty to carry out more than 20 types of supervisory activities.
The situation with Slabikov demonstrates how large the ‘appetites’ of officials are. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. People say that today there are about 50 clumsy billionaire officials as Slabikov in St. Petersburg, and if the security forces roll up their sleeves, the country's budget can grow significantly. According to our sources, Rosteсhnadzor is Klondike for nippy people. So, an ordinary employee who got into the office by chance after the university, visits France, New Zealand or the USA twice a year, has a Mercedes E-class, a cottage in an area of 300 meters with an official salary of 40 thousand rubles ($650).
Searches at Mr. Slabikov's apartment
There are different versions of Slabikov’s empire wreck. Some state that the official "did not pay in full and became a can-carrier." The second suggests that Slabikov has just kept this money. And if he does not say anything, he will get off with a conditional punishment; if he clears up a mystery, he will be imprisoned. According to the third, Moscow feels that a "more accurate person" is needed and Slabikov was simply "ratted out." The fourth version says that the official stole money exclusively for himself and even intended to buy an island in the Caribbean, where he would be a happy retiree surrounded by family and children. Which of these versions turns out to be true is unknown. It is too early to draw conclusions because the investigation will not only assess the value of the diamonds found in the apartments of the North-West Department of Rostechnadzor Head but also find out how many billions have been siphoned off overseas.