Zakharchenko and his dubious source of income
A law enforcement source told in detail how the senior MIA official Dmitry Zakharchenko had managed to earn such a huge amount of money.
Currently, the main version regarding the origin of the cash seized from Zakharchenko is directly connected to his career as the Head of the Crime Investigation Department for the Energy Sector, Kommersant reported.
The source clarified where the Acting Head of the General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption (GAESCC), who investigated crimes in the Russian energy sector, had managed to obtain 123 million USD, confiscated during the searches.
According to investigation, dollars were bought for cash rubles, received in the form of kickbacks by top managers of leading Russian oil and gas companies. The control over the expenditure of their funds was part of the GAESCC Acting Head responsibilities.
Zakharchenko’s criminal scheme worked as follows, according to Kommersant.
The Colonel’s subordinates were to carefully check the contracts for the installation of oil and gas pipelines, the replacement and repair of pumping equipment, as well as the construction of roads and infrastructure for the fuel and energy complex.
Such contracts in the energy sector are worth tens of billions of rubles, so each tender features fierce competition, where in an effort to get a multi-billion-dollar contract, the companies are willing to pay up to 30% of its price to the top-manager of the customer company, who is lobbying their interests, an informed source told Kommersant.
The kickbacks under this scheme are called tax on the tower, where tower means the central office of the customer company.
The investigators believe that to obtain a tax kickback in cash, the contractor hired an affiliated one-day form as its fictitious subcontractor. All the works stipulated in the contract were performed by the contractor, while the subcontractor was paid the amount needed for a kickback. After that, the shadow company cashed the received kickback through a bank affiliated with the participants of this scheme, and liquidated itself.
Such schemes were tracked and reported to Zakharchenko by his subordinates.
The investigators claim that the colonel himself was interested only in the final stage, the banks. After checking financial records of a certain corporation and identifying suspicious contracts, the senior official studied the entire scheme, often attracting other units of GAESCC, having the authority to do so.
The source claims that for some time, Zakharchenko did not intervene in the criminal scheme, only collected information from subordinates and analyzed it.
However, when the kickback was already formed, cashed out and ready for transfer, Zakharchenko contacted the Head of the credit institution and gave him no choice.
Describing the smallest details of his financial fraud scheme and naming all the Criminal Code articles he violated, Zakharchenko explained what the banker was facing for his crime.
He then promised not to move forward with the compromising material he had gathered, as the source told the newspaper, but in return wanted not only the percentage of the kickback, but the full sum (because the blackmailed bankers had no other options to avoid punishment).
This circumstance explains the huge amount of money confiscated from the colonel during the search, the source says. As a reminder, the investigators learned that, in addition to the seized money, Zakharchenko had 300 million euros in Swiss banks and property registered on his family, the luxury real estate in Moscow worth more than half a billion rubles.
Currently, the investigation examines all operational data and inspections performed by the Department T under the leadership of Dmitry Zakharchenko. The employees of the Russian Investigative Committee are interrogating the defendants from this directorate, as well as other people involved — bankers and top managers of major contractors.
The newspaper noted that all of them can become not only complicit in Zakharchenko’s crime, but also victims in the case. It depends on their willingness to cooperate with the investigation and provide the required evidence.