ICR revealed massive embezzlement in liquidation of chemical weapons
The Director of Ecros-Engineering CJSC has been arrested as part of investigation into embezzlement of money allocated for the federal program implementation. The Head of another company has been declared wanted.
The Director General of Ecros-Engineering CJSC Nayil Bulkhin has been arrested on charges of embezzlement of budget funds allocated for the implementation of the federal target program "Destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in the Russian Federation."
According to Kommersant, ICR Main Investigations Directorate has initiated a criminal case under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale) against 56-year-old veteran of military service, participant in the Chernobyl clean-up operation, and disable person of category II on the results of operational search activities complex conducted by officers of the General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption under the MIA.
Implementation of works under a contract concluded with the Federal Directorate for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation in October 2014 by Ecros-Engineering has caused the initiation of proceedings. In accordance with its terms, Bulkhin’s company was to supply 85 tons of monoethanolamine and 370 tons of special lime worth 16 million rubles to the plant for destruction of chemical weapons in Kizner, Udmurtia.
According to investigation, Nayil Bulkhin has conspired with unidentified persons from the Udmurt branch of the Federal Directorate for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons (military unit 55498) by inflating the cost of reagents supplied by more than 10 million rubles.
The company, which has been working in Udmurtia since 2013, uses the reagents for the destruction of large-caliber artillery shells containing poisonous substances, such as sarin and lewisite. As of today, Russia has destroyed 95% of chemical warfare agents. According to a plan, the factory should dispose of 2 million shells of this type, which have been supplied to the armed forces of the USSR since the 1950s.
It should be noted that the Basmanny District Court of Moscow has decided to take Bulkhin into custody despite a request about house arrest or release on bail for 30 million rubles filed by his lawyers. The Prosecutor's Office has also opposed this decision, asking ICR to provide additional substantiation for selecting the most stringent preventive measure.
However, the investigation has explained its request by quite an unexpected argument. According to investigator, Bulkhin may continue embezzling money from budget, while at large. In 2016, the military unit 55498 intends to hold a new tender for the supply of reagents, and there is no guarantee that Bulkhin's company will not once again receive such profitable contract.
Nayil Bulkhin's lawyer Vladimir Kitsing stated that ICR has not provided any evidence linking his client to the alleged crime. In addition, he argues that the cost of reagents and the amount of damage were calculated incorrectly as the fact of import production was not taken into account.
The lawyer says the reason behind the criminal case against Bulkhin and his arrest is unfair competitive struggle. According to the defense, net profit on the transaction amounted to less than 1 million rubles, the contract was fully executed in due time, and Ecros-Engineering did not receive any claims from the customer or the state.
The General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption is currently checking other contracts concluded between Bulkhin's company and the Federal Directorate for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons since 2011. The company has supplied the plant for elimination of chemical weapons not only with reagents, but also equipment, consumables, and protective clothing. The total cost of contracts reached 300 million rubles, the news agency says.
Apart from Ecros-Engineering, inspection of a number of other companies, which had participated in tenders for the supply of chemicals, is under way. As part of the investigation, head of one of the companies has been declared wanted for embezzlement of budgetary funds allocated for the disposal of chemical weapons.
Major general Igor Vasiliev, Head of the Engineering Support Service of the Federal Protection Service (FPS), and lieutenant general Ulitin subordinate to him are currently in the middle of a scandal. However, it is unlikely that they lose their posts. Reportedly, the two generals are just the tip of the huge corruption iceberg in the law enforcement structures. This is not the first embezzlement episode in their careers.