From criminal meeting to jail? Former St. Petersburg Vice-Governor detained in Moscow

From criminal meeting to jail? Former St. Petersburg Vice-Governor detained in Moscow
Marat Oganesyan

Marat Oganesyan was dismissed in 2015. The official’s dismissal was connected with the conflict of interests: he hired a team of managers from Moscow in Smolny, who were handing out state contracts to Moscow businessmen. The FSB and the Audit Chamber had questions over the finance scheme.

The former St. Petersburg Vice-Governor Marat Oganesyan was detained in Moscow on suspicion of fraud, as reported by the Main Investigations Directorate of the ICR in St. Petersburg.

The investigation has information about Marat Oganesyan’s involvement in a criminal case on fraud during construction of the football stadium on Krestovsky Island, known as the Zenit-Arena. Its construction began in 2007, and the stadium was intended for the football club Zenit’s use. Yet in connection with the World Cup in 2018, which is to be held in St. Petersburg, the project was sent to a significant revision in order to bring the stadium into compliance with the FIFA standards on capacity and security of public sports facilities.

Within the framework of the Oganesyan’s criminal case, the fact of theft of more than 50 million rubles in 2014 was estimated. The money was seized during conclusion an agreement between the general contractor of the JSC Transstroy and the TDM Company on supply of video boards to the football stadium, according to the ICR website.

Oganesyan is also accused of illegal involvement of the TDM Company in the construction of the stadium on Krestovsky Iseland as a subcontractor. According to the investigation, Oganesyan transferred 50.48 million rubles to the TDM Company. The money was got out later trough fly-by-night companies.

The ICR reported, Oganesyan was aware the TDM did not intend to spend the money on supply of video boards for sports facilities.

Along whith Oganesyan, a number of officials and businessmen were defendants in the case. The former First Deputy Head of the Construction Committee of St. Petersburg Administration Alexander Yanchik and the Head of the TDM Grigory Popov were also recognized participants in the case. As well as another two employees of the company were involved in the thieft: Artem Kuspits and Elena Kovaleva. Kuspits was sentenced to a prison term. Popov, Yanchik and Kovaleva are actively cooperating with the investigation.

Up to now, the FSB and the ICR make searches in Oganesyan’s places of residence in Moscow and the Moscow Region. Investigation of the case is underway. The decision on the measure of restraint for the former St. Petersburg Vice-Governor is being made. Officers of the ICR are holding the investigation with the help of regional departments of the Federal Security Service and the UEBiPK.

Marat Oganesyan served as the St. Petersburg Vice-Governor in the period from 2013 to 2015.

The dismissal of the official in 2015 was connected with the conflict of interest. It was reported that he hired a team of managers from Moscow in Smolny, who were handing out state contracts to Moscow businessmen. The FSB and the Audit Chamber had questions over the finance scheme.

In addition, just before the resignation, law enforcement authorities suspected Marat Oganesyan was a participant in the meeting in the Bochka restaurant in Moscow, where, according to the police, a criminal gathering of thieves in law was held. One of the participants of the criminal gathering looked very similar to Oganesyan, who was in Moscow these days. In addition, Oganesyan has close relations with the thief in law Eduard Asatryan and his son.

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