Primorskiy Aquarium Constructor to reimburse $13 mln
Andrey Poplavsky, the ex-director of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise (FSUE) Directorate of building in the Far Eastern Federal District, is accused of embezzlement of more than 1 billion roubles ($17 mln).
The Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation (UDPRF) filed a lawsuit to recover 757.6 million roubles ($13 thousand) from Poplavsky, the former director of FSUE Directorate of building in the Far Eastern Federal District. According to some sources, his property worth of about 800 millions ($13 mln) has already been seized. Land property, cars and apartments are among the items seized.
Meanwhile, the Frunzenskiy District Court of Vladivostok left Poplavsky in custody for another three months as he is accused of embezzling 1.1 billion roubles ($18 mln) when constructing Primorsky Aquarium. The investigators revealed that he got another 145 million roubles ($2.5 mln) as bribes from the commercial entities involved in the project.
Earlier, his defense appealed with a request to change the preventive punishment in respect of their client and take him to hospital as he had a grave disease requiring appropriate treatment. However, the court did not heed these arguments.
In addition, the lawyers of Poplavsky complained about investigation flaws (it has been lasting since the end of 2014) in determining the amount of damage, time and scene of the crime their client is charged with. They are also not pleased about the fact that the second victim has not been defined. Due to this they asked to pass the criminal case for additional investigation. The hearing on the request will be held on February, 15.
The construction of the Scientific and Educational Complex called Primorsky Aquarium, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, began on the order of the President. Initially it was planned to be opened in September 2012 by the beginning of the APEC summit, but the construction finished only 4 years later.
Poplavsky is charged with offenses under embezzlement and bribery in a profit-making organisation articles (Art.160 and 204 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation accordingly).
According to the investigation, from June 2009 to March 2010 Poplavsky re-allotted over 75 million roubles ($1.2 mln) in favor of ZAO Kosandra. For this he received compensation in the amount of the approximately 26 million roubles ($500 thousand) from the CEO of the company. Beides, from April 2010 to June 2013 Poplavsky transferred more than 1 billion roubles ($17 mln) to the account of LLC NPO Mostovik (Scientific Development and Production Centre) for a bribe of 120 millions ($2 mln). According to the official deputy of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the prosecution's position is supported by confessions of NPO Mostovik CEO Oleg Shishov and head of CJSC Kosandra Aleksander Kosyachenko.
Last spring Frunzenskiy district court sentenced Shishov, who pleaded guilty and concluded the pre-trial agreement on cooperation with the investigators, to 3 years in a standard regime penal colony and fined him for 300 thousand roubles ($5 thousand).
Kosyachenko died in the beginning of last year and the case against him was dismissed.
Poplavskiy does not plead guilty and claims that he could not spend the money of the head of the Department of Presidential Affairs as he received nothing from this department. According to him, the funds in question were received by Konstantinovskiy charity fund. Poplavsky points out that did not dissipate the money, but saved considerably when constructing the aquarium thanks to his hard-line attitude.
Since early February, there has been a preventive operation of the National Police of Ukraine in cooperation with the border and migration services called ‘Migrant’. Its aim is to identify and expel thieves in law and foreign crime lords out of the country.