What was looked for at Lenenergo?
Searches that took place today in the Lenenergo building in St. Petersburg and in the house of the company’s deputy director for security are linked with several criminal cases.
As the media reported earlier, the investigators came to Lenenergo in connection with the case of Abuse of Authority, which caused grave consequences (part 2, Art. 201 of the Criminal Code). It was initiated against the former CEO of JSC Lenenergo Andrey Sorochinsky and the former Director of Finance Denis Slepov. According to the investigation, from 2013 and 2015, they have placed more than 13 billion rubles belonging to Lenenergo on the accounts of Tavrida bank. Subsequently, the bank has undergone rehabilitation, because of which the energy company suffered damages.
However, according to TASS which refers to a source in law enforcement, we are talking about fraud in the amount of 380 million rubles for cabling between Petersburg and Kronstadt. The criminal case was instituted by the Investigative Committee Main Directorate in St. Petersburg in October 2015. Then, the investigators conducted searches and seized the documents on 15 locations in the premises of Lenenergo and branch of Peterburgskiye vysokovoltniye seti (St. Petersburg high-voltage grid). To improve the reliability of power supply of Kronstadt in June 2014, Lenenergo has contracted with the construction organization Trest TriNiti on laying several cable lines on the bottom of the Gulf of Finland. Later, it turned out that in fact outstanding works have been fully paid by the former management of the network company in advance. As a result, the state suffered damage amounting to more than 380 million rubles. The ICR has informed about the initiation of the criminal investigation on fraud.
After the company's management has tried to interfere with the investigation, last month, another criminal case was initiated under the article Obstruction of Carrying out of Justice and of Preliminary Investigations (part 2 of Art. 294 of the Criminal Code).
At the same time, Fontanka reported that the security Head of Lenenergo Alexander Nikonov, in whom the investigators are interested in, is involved in another case. The title said that he could impede the law enforcement agencies in the investigation of corruption in the reconstruction of the 18th substation. It is to be noted that it supplies electricity including the Mariinsky Theatre and the Legislative Assembly building. In October 2015, the Lenenergo and the contractor’s offices were searched, following which the Director of the company Wendelin Sergey Nikulin engaged in the reconstruction of the substation was arrested. It turned out that after getting contracts for 1.8 billion rubles from Lenenergo, the contractor did not perform any work required in respect of the 18th substation. Nikonov then wrote a letter to Wendelin, which Lenenergo sent to the management of the Chief Directorate of economic security and anti-corruption police. However, according to the investigation, after the change of management in Lenenergo, the company changed its attitude towards the case. The acting Director of Lenenergo Roman Berdnikov sent to the head of the Chief Directorate Sergei Umnov a letter asking him to stop the investigation on the substations. As a result, the investigators suspected that the deputy director of the energy company Alexander Nikonov was behind these manipulations.
As the law enforcement agencies told Fontanka, the past searches should help the investigation to find out whether Berdnikov took decisions on his own, or conformed them with the management of Rosseti (the group of which includes Lenenergo). In this case, the suspicion can also involve federal officials.
Alexander Nikonov has worked for the state security agencies for a long time: first in the KGB, after – the FSB. In the late 90s, he joined the private security firms – Mentalitet-Neva, Galaxy. For Lenenergo he has been working since 2013.