Voentelekom case grows more detailed

Voentelekom case grows more detailed
Aleksander Davydov, Voentelekom Director General Photo: Kommersant

The Chief Military Prosecutor's Office check found that the company's management team had overpriced telecommunications equipment up to 275 million rubles ($4.2 million).

Another instance is likely to emerge in a case on theft on an especially large scale while implementing the state programme on modernization of military communications. The Chief Military Prosecutor's Office check found that the ex-executives of Voentelekom OAO (an affiliated company of the Ministry of Defence) accused of 460 million rubles ($7 million) theft - when delivered secret communication lines routers - also overpriced telecommunications equipment to 275 million rubles ($4.2 million), reports Kommersant daily with reference to its sources.

According to its sources, it was found out following the check that in 2013, Voentelekom tied up a contract with the Ministry of Defence related to defense facilities. AO NII Masshtab and ZAO IVK close to the Voentelekom executives were involved in the project. They, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, overpriced cost of materials. According to a supervisory authority, the outputs did not correspond to the conditions of the contract. According to the check, 275 million rubles ($4.2 million) were stolen from the Ministry of Defence by Voentelekom and its subsidiaries for 4 years.

The records of the check were rendered to the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for decision-making purposes. In case the Investigative Committee finds the results of the check reasonable, another instance is likely to emerge in the Voentelekom case, and its defendants are going to be additionally charged with theft on an especially large scale (item 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). 

The investigation against the ex-executives of Voentelekom that is being carried out at the present time had commenced since the check by the Prosecutor’s Office in 2017. Then, the supervisory authority became interested in contracts tied up between the Ministry of Defence and Voentelekom. The contracts were related to rendering of military communications from an analog to digital platform - within the same state programme on modernization of military communications. The check found that the routers providing secret and special communications were delivered with a price of 1 million rubles ($15 thousand) each while their market value was 350 thousand rubles ($5.3 thousand). It was also found out during the check that the services related to installation of equipment and configuring software were overpriced, as well. As a result, the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case for swindling on an especially large scale (item 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

The investigation found that the outputs tagged as Russian products were in fact imported from China through Kazakhstan. Voentelekom business partners added a Russian encryption key to it, changed its tags and documentation - misrepresenting it as its own inventions. 

According to the investigation, losses caused by cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and Voentelekom amounted to 460 million rubles ($7 million). It all was caused by two government contract tied up in April 2012 and November 2014. In early December, 2017, the representatives of the Main Investigations Directorate carried out major searches in Voentelekom offices. Oleg Savitsky, the company’s deputy head, and Dmitry Semiletov, a former Adviser Director General, were arrested on charges of swindling. Semiletov was considered an author of the speculation related to Chinese routers. Tatiana Ilina, Director General of OOO ErSiAi, Voentelekom’s subcontracting party, was sent under house arrest.

During the check of the Voentelekom’s accounting documents that had been seized during the searches, it was found out that the company received 10 million rubles ($153 thousand) only thanks to the government contracts. The main part of the stolen funds was distributed between two intermediator firms connected to Aleksander Davydov, Voentelekom’s Director General. Thus, Davydov’s subordinates from AO NII Masshtab (that had been headed by him before he came to Voentelekom) worked at OOO Emzior supplying company that received more than 200 million rubles ($3 million) from contracts with the Ministry of Defence. OOO Emzior technology that was identified as an owner of intellectual property as to the supplied equipment and received 40 million rubles ($612 thousand) royalties was headed by Davydov’s sister - Olga Davydova. 

Aleksander Davydov was detained 3 weeks after the searches were carried out in Voentelekom’s offices. The court arrested him. His relatives and former colleagues were not prosecuted by the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia. 

In spring, 2018, Savitsky and Semiletov pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. They were put under house arrest and allowed to walk across the surrounding territory. Ilina who had been remaining under house arrest was put in a remand prison for exceeding the time of the walk. However, soon after, she was released. 

After the Voentelekom’s executives bore their testimonies, the investigation found out that Major General Aleksander Ogloblin, a former head of first directorate of the general directorate for communications of the Ministry of Defense, was involved in the swindling scheme. He used to sign ambiguous contracts and cashed the suppliers out being an instigator of modernization under the Ministry’s order. In may, the Major General was arrested and prosecuted. 

The Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia extended the term for the investigation up to the end of 2018 due to the case’s large scales and complexity. According to the sources, acting officials of the Ministry of Defense may be included in the case before the end of the year. It is not excluded that they might have received kick-backs for their services from the accused businessmen. In case financial incentive of the participants of the state programme on modernization of military communications is proved, they are going to be charged with having accepted bribes (article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

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