From economic crimes division to the streets. General Plugin terminates all officers of the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption
All the 340 officers of the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation have been terminated. The police command explains this staffing policy by the reorganization. However, The CrimeRussia became aware that only a few of the fired servicemen are going to return to their posts. The termination of contracts with the current operatives is likely linked with the recruitment of more loyal personnel.
The decisive order of Roman Plugin, the new Head of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, hasn't surprised the servicemen of the economic directorate. It became known in spring that the MIA General Administration is going to be reorganized. The sweeping purge will affect all its divisions. However, no one could imagine the scope of this purge. Three hundred forty persons, including the supreme command of the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption, have been terminated. Very few of them will return to their posts.
After the replacement of colonel Aleksei Brilliantov by Moscow native Evgeny Ul’yanov, it became clear that the reform of the economic directorate is forthcoming. The operatives were waiting for the ‘H-hour’. Today, the fired officers are wondering whether they manage to pass the re-attestation – that will be pretty severe, not formal as before – or not.
General Roman Plugin
Those disliked by general Plugin and colonel Ul’yanov will be assigned to the ‘field work’ – experienced operatives are in high demand on the city streets. The official goal of the reorganization – reportedly authorized by Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, – is as follows: “reinforce junior personnel at the district level”. Both general Plugin and the minister believe that the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption suffers from staff overage and needs a ‘bloodletting’.
It is logical to assume that not all operatives are happy with such innovations. Those approaching the retirement age are in the worst situation. Of course, not all the 340 fired servicemen would agree to be, in fact, demoted and assigned to reinforce district police departments.
General Plugin is going to fill the new vacancies with Moscow officers seeking promotion, graduates of the MIA University not loyal to a certain clan yet, and careerists ready to fulfill all orders of the boss without asking questions. According to sources in the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, many such candidates have already lined up. The majority of them are natives of former southern Socialist republics. For some reason, they are eager to join the economic directorate of the MIA General Administration to struggle against dishonest businessmen and corruption.
The ends justify the means
Other directorates of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region will also undergo similar reforms, especially the Directorate for Drug Control. The Directorate for Criminal Investigation will be purged, too – but not that severely. Seasoned detective Igor Paradeev, the only senior commander not only left at his post – but even promoted by the new regional police chief, will ensure that the team is preserved in the right proportions and its capacity does not deteriorate. From the tactical perspective, it is not beneficial for general Plugin to reshuffle the Directorate for Criminal Investigation now. He understands that connections, possibilities, and compromising materials possessed by the current operatives would go with them – and nobody will be able to control bandits in the city.
The official purpose of this staffing policy is to optimize the personnel and improve performance. The unofficial purpose is to purge the police ranks from henchmen of Umnov and Piotrovsky. The purging technique is as old as Adam – appointment of new people to senior positions in the high and middle rankings. For instance, the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption is currently waiting for a new commander: police colonel Dmitry Kiprushev from Petrozavodsk – a former Senior Criminal Investigator of the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the MIA for the Republic of Karelia. Similarly with Plugin, he has neither ties nor obligations in St. Petersburg. Kiprushev is going to take charge of the partially renewed and decapitated economic directorate.
Amid the above events, confusion and vacillation are currently observed both in the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region and in the St. Petersburg police. Some people say that "they must be replaced every three years; otherwise they become corrupt". Allegedly, local elite groups are drawn out of the ‘feeding grounds' to clear the space for Moscow appointees. Others believe that the ongoing purge is derogatory to the people in uniform. In the past, police officers were offered alternative positions – not thrown out on the street. Still others claim that "the number of chair warmers in the MIA General Administration is going to decrease, while the number of security guards in St. Petersburg – significantly increase".
The businessmen and ethnic communities are braced for the forthcoming changes. The most cautious ones keep their reserve funds ready – just in case. The Tajik diaspora is allegedly ready to double the ‘initial payment’ for the right to be left alone. In fact, nothing is going to change in the business sphere – except for the price tag that may skyrocket to the Moscow level.
The Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region
Another innovation introduced by Roman Plugin, Head of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, is the creation of investigative–operational brigades to be on duty in each district police department. But in reality, some servicemen would have to perform duties of several persons at once because one policeman may be the operative on call, representative of the command, and officer on duty at the same time.
Unfortunately, no one is concerned how to organize the work at the district level with such a personnel gap. Not to mention complex operative probes into grievous and especially grievous crimes, including organized criminal groups and drug dealing on a large scale. The appended reinforcements from Moscow won't change the situation – especially taking that the majority of the Moscow natives don't intend to stay there for long. St. Petersburg is just a step in their careers – no one is going to take roots on the Neva River.
Another purpose of the staffing reshuffles in the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region is to continue the inquest into a corruption story involving officials of the city administration.
St. Petersburg residents are going to elect a new governor in September. After the election, many officials in Smolny Palace not favored by the new city head will be put up for grilling. For that purpose, the MIA General Administration needs not only loyal and familiar people – but also those able to fulfill the orders regardless of any threats or temptations (i.e. operatives having no friends among the municipal officials). The current officers of the Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption definitely do not meet this requirement.
The residential inspectorate may get a scolding for corruption, too. Both the senior inspector and his deputies are under suspicion. Another potential victim is the construction committee – it is an uncharted territory for the MIA Directorate for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption and Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation. In fact, there is plenty of work in the city even for grandchildren of the new officers of the economic directorate – provided that they follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. The investment block of the municipal administration may be subjected to audits and inspections as well – these Augean stables have to be cleaned at last.