Severstal ex-director declared internationally wanted

Severstal ex-director declared internationally wanted
Vadim Larin, former director general of Severstal

The investigation has no reliable reports as to the accused person's whereabouts. It is noteworthy that Larin, who resigned from the post of director general of Severstal on November 7, is hiding in Great Britain.

Former Director General of Severstal Management JSC Vadim Larin, suspected of giving bribes to Komi's supervisory bodies, has been put on the international wanted list through the Interpol line.

A criminal case against the former Severstal director was initiated on November 30. He was in absentia charged with three episodes of the criminal case under Article 291 of the Russian Criminal Code (Bribery), which provides for imprisonment for up to 15 years.

Yesterday, it became known that the Komi court had in absentia elected a preventive measure in the form of arrest against Larin under the investigation's petition.

According to the investigation, the former top manager who escaped abroad is involved in bribery as part of a previously initiated criminal case on corruption in the interests of Vorkutaugol JSC, owned by Severstal.

RBC notes that Vadim Larin is suspected of giving a bribe when inspecting the emergency mine Severnaya in Vorkuta, where 36 people died on February 25, 2016 as a result of the explosion of methane. The accident drew the attention of the country's top officials and supervisors to the low level of security in Russia's coal mines.

Apart from Larin, defendants in the case of bribery in Komi include former Director General of Severstal's subsidiary, Vorkutaugol (in charge of the emergency mine Severnaya), Vadim Shablakov. He left his position in the company after his supervisor, but expressed willingness to cooperate with the investigation.

The criminal case against the officials, to whom the Severstal top managers had allegedly been giving bribes, was initiated on November 28. Head of Pechora Administration of Rostekhnadzor Aleksandr Goncharenko, Head of the Vorkuta department of the State Labor Inspectorate in the Komi Republic Pyotr Gilts, and Commander of the Militarized Mountain Rescue Unit Leonid Lobkov were charged with bribe-taking on a large scale (part 5, 6 of Art. 290 of the Russian Criminal Code) for official connivance when conducting inspections of the Vorkutaugol enterprises. According to the ICR, the amount of bribe was 2.7 million rubles (45.7 thousand dollars).

According to the investigation, in December 2015, Shablakov personally handed over a bribe to the head of the Pechora Administration of Rostekhnadzor Aleksandr Goncharenko for "mitigating the response measures" in favor of the company as ordered by Larin. As the ICR representative reports, it was about planned inspections before the mine accident.

Kommersant notes that Aleksandr Goncharenko is awaiting trial under house arrest; as for Leonid Lobkov and Pyotr Gilts, the court has elected a preventive measure in the form of detention for them. However, in December 2016, one of the accused, Pyotr Gilts committed suicide in the cell of a remand facility.

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