"Vasilyeva from Ural" trying to get out of jail
A huge theft from the Ministry of Defense has turned into a profitable bargain backed by generals and lawmakers.
Investigation of theft from the Ministry of Defense has been finished in Yekaterinburg. The case was sent from the Russian Investigative Committee to the Prosecutor’s Office in mid-November and features former functionary of the rear service of the Central Military District (CMD) Vyacheslav Samarin and a business woman Alsou Sultanova. The criminal duo was running from the investigation across the whole of the European Union and Russia, stole nonferrous metals using forged documents and sold it for dozens of millions to Ural Mining and Metallurgic Company (UMMC), which was swarming with fraudsters. Apart from them, the case includes army generals and military prosecutors. In early 2014, representatives of the supervisory authority revealed Sultanov’s crimes, but two years later refused to see it consider her a criminal. Turns out Samarin will also escape prison, just like her.
This history of theft from the Ministry of Defense is an unsophisticated one. In fall 2013, Samarin, as chief of the department for implementation of military property in Central Military District, forged documents for a state contract between UMMC and the Ministry of Defense.
Having already done this before, the official provided this sham to the district authorities and received the documents for the export of 320 tons of expended cartridge cases.
Alsou Sultanova evacuated the practically stolen property from the arsenal in Kungur. Being the director of Metallstroykonstruktsiya (MSK) LLC, through a series of intermediaries, Sultanova sold the metal to UMMC under the guise of a previously concluded state contract. A series of straw persons served not so much to hide the involvement of Sultanova herself, but rather her partner, a beneficiary of MSK, Andrey Gorislavtsev, currently a member of Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk.
These criminal schemes were revealed quite quickly. Already in February 2014, an inspection conducted by the military prosecutor's office identified the fake documents and sent the materials to the CMD Military Investigative Department. Once the information was assessed, a criminal case into fraud was opened, with the above mentioned people becoming first suspects and later defendants.
In the course of the investigation, law enforcers collected evidence that Sultanova and Samarin had acted in concert. As a result of their actions, fake documents turned into a 40-million gain on the sale of metal, while the money was cashed by Sultanova herself. The latter made the scheme look like a civil transaction, trying to compensate for the value of stolen property. At the same time, Samarin, according to a source of URA.Ru, confirmed only the fact of preparing a forged document used by Sultanova to export shot cartridges. By the beginning of 2015, both defendant were on the run. The former military officer bought a fake passport of a Belarus citizen, but was caught while crossing the border, when he attempted to leave for permanent residence in Thailand with a tourist visa. Sultanova was a little luckier: having gone to Montenegro, the lady was hiding there in a villa of her, a then Sysertsky lawmaker, Andrey Gorislavtsev.
However, both Samarin and Sultanova (thanks to Interpol) met the spring of 2016 in a Yekaterinburg jail. Still, strange events started to unfold when the summer came: the military prosecutor’s office, which had previously agreed on qualifications of this case and the necessity of putting the defendants on the wanted list, changed its position. According to the supervisor, Samarin was indeed involved in fraud, while the actions of Sultanova bore the signs of civil relations. By this logic, the CMD functionary, being the only defendant in the case, may hope for a less severe sentence for forgery. The responsibility for this crime does not even provide imprisonment. Nevertheless, the military prosecutor's position is that only Samarina should be held responsible.
The investigation of this crime has been ongoing for more than two years. However, by a strange coincidence, in the summer of 2016, the Military Prosecutor's Office changed its position. Its members started to drag with the wording of the indictment for Sultanova. In midsummer, the materials of the already completed investigation were suddenly returned to the ICR. "In mid-November, the case once again was transferred to the prosecutor’s office. It remains to be seen whether they plan to send it to court. It is possible that it will go back again for some reason," the source of URA.Ru said.
It is also worth mentioning that the deals with nonferrous metal, sold to UMMC, were heavily criminalized. At the end of 2016, a trial is ongoing against one of the scrap suppliers, Yevgeny Dorinsky, who stands accused of fraud. His brother Igor Mokhnatkin was one of Samarin’s accomplices in a deal similar to the theft of shot cartridges in Kungur. And finally, Andrey Gorislavtsev, who formally was not involved in the machinations with metal, has strong connections with the company and was a contractor in dealing with the military, who now hopes Sultanova will be released.
Responding to the request by URA.Ru to comment on the situation, Gorislavtsev said that he would not answer "provocative questions," adding that he was not familiar with Samarin.
The CMD Military Prosecutor’s Office refused to comment on the investigation over the phone and asked to send a formal request.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.