‘Sweep clean’ in Rostec
Nikolay Volobuev, an officer of the FSB apparatus of assigned employees, has performed a true ‘sweep clean’ in the state corporation.
In the first day of summer it came to public that two persons suspected of stealing 800 million rubles from the Rostec State Corporation led by Sergey Chemezov have been detained: Murad Safin, ex-Principal General of Compas Moscow Engineering Bureau Open Joint Stock Company supplying radio-navigational equipment and high-precision munitions control systems to the Ministry of Defense; and Ruslan Suleymanov, President of the Martial Arts Club #1 and former principal of defense-related Prompostavka Open Joint Stock Company. The investigation suspects Safin and Suleymanov of stealing more than 800 million rubles from the largest state corporation. The investigation believes that the funds have been stolen through signing sham contracts which, according to the peculators, were essential for the Russian defense. The new corruption case, comparable only with the large-scale fraud case in Evgenia Vasilieva’s Department, has strong development potential, - a source familiar with the matter told the CrimeRussia. This is a story of a Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer who has launched an anti-corruption campaign in the state corporation.
A special operation to arrest Safin and Suleymanov has been performed jointly by Directorate "P" of the Economic Security Service of the FSB and the Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption of the Russian Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA) General Administration for the City of Moscow. The special operation command group knew that both Safin and Suleymanov are escorted by numerous guards and deployed a special ops unit of the FSB and the Russian Special Police Force to detain the suspects – but nobody resisted the arrest. While Safin and Suleymanov were handcuffed, searches and seizures of evidence have been performed in their apartments and offices of their affiliates; items and documents important for the investigation have been found. The state corporation confirmed the arrest of former principals of Compas and Prompostavka and noted that the corporate security service works continuously to identify violations, including fraud, and closely cooperates with law enforcement.
A decision to dismiss Murad Safin and Ruslan Suleymanov has been made at a session of the Rostec Management Board back in December 2015. The board members, chaired by Sergey Chemezov, heard results of audit of Compas and Prompostavka financial and economic activities. The violations were so glaring, that a procedure has been initiated to remove the two principals from their offices. The most severe situation was in Prompostavka, and the board members voted to put on hold all company operations. Audit results have been submitted to the General Investigation Department of the Russian MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow. The investigation found that in the period of 2011-2016, more than 800 million rubles have been withdrawn from companies’ accounts through sham contracts. Contracts to perform experimental and engineering works, purchase various articles, including defense-related, and perform their further testing had been signed with dummy companies.
A criminal case against ex-principal of Compas and his colleague from Prompostavka has been initiated by the General Investigation Department of the Russian MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow based on Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
A source familiar with the matter told the CrimeRussia that evidence against the fraudsters have been gathered by Nikolay Volobuev, Deputy Principal General of the Rostec, whose duties include, inter alia, FSB supervision of corporate activities.
Volobuev is an FSB officer; in 1975 he graduated from the Krasnoznamensk High School of the USSR Committee for State Security (KGB); then served in the KGB and the FSB. In 2004-2006 was Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia. In 2006-2007 he was a Director for Special Assignments of Rosoboronexport and then has been appointed Deputy Principal General of the Rostec. With such an impressive service record, Volobuev was a perfect candidate to run counter-espionage activities in state corporations. Nikolay Volobuev, an officer of the FSB apparatus of assigned employees, has performed a true ‘sweep clean’ in the Rostec.
The source states that the Rostec case has a huge potential, while Safin and Suleymanov are only the tip of the corruption iceberg, and soon we may expect even higher-profile arrests, including deputies of Sergey Chemezov. Volobuev has uneasy relations with them; not all Rostec deputies support his eagerness to protect the state corporation from peculators. Media may announce resignation of one of the Chemezov deputies in observable future. Chances are high for him to become the next suspect in the case of large-scale fraud in the state corporation: the investigation already has evidence that one of the Chemezov deputies is involved in the larceny. At the same time, the investigation progress depends on testimonies of detained Safin and Suleymanov and the Rostec Principal General’s position.
As the CrimeRussia source states, some people are unhappy that Volobuev continues serving in the FSB. This includes equal-ranked deputies who, during the years of work, have adjusted various aspects of the company management for their personal benefit and in accordance with their own management style. These radically different positions towards fundamental principles of life and service caused an internal war in the Rostec, while Volobuev’s actions are aimed at strengthening his influence and authority among his the FSB superiors. Time will show whether the Rostec case will develop further or not, but the the CrimeRussia source believes that the outcome will largely depend on administrative resources behind the opposite sides.
After scaring Dagestan with inspections, arrests, and searches, the interdepartmental commission of the Prosecutor General’s Office and ICR has identified key priorities for the regional watchdog authority. After the crackdown on the old clan-based system, the management reforms became more constructive – however, another wave of criminal cases, terminations, and arrests is expected in the republic. The CrimeRussia was figuring out what other Dagestani officials are currently at risk.