Kuban: district head suspected of buying prisoners' barracks for orphans
The administration may have purchased the buildings for displaced residents at an overpriced price.
In the Krasnodar Region, the ICR initiated a criminal case against head of the Ust-Labinsky District Nikolay Artyushchenko. The official is suspected of buying for orphans prisoners barracks unsuitable for housing. For the nine buildings in which previously prisoners were held, the district administration paid more than 9.4 million rubles ($ 143,000), the press service of the regional investigating bodies reported.
In 2017, under the state special program ‘Children of Kuban,’ the official signed municipal contracts for the purchase of housing and relevant acts of acceptance, thereby confirming the compliance of the barracks with sanitary and technical standards. At the same time, the relevant expertise, according to the investigation, was not conducted, and the premises are not habitable and were sold at an inflated price.
The head of the district is charged with exceeding official powers (part 2 of Article 286 CCRF).
The administration’s website states that eight apartments were bought, the information on the public procurement website was published in January 2017, while Artyushchenko took office on June 21, 2017. Therefore, he, allegedly, could not influence the choice of the auction winner.
From July 11 to July 20, 2017, Artyushchenko signed eight contracts for the purchase of housing. “The interests of 7 of the 8 sellers of residential premises were represented by an individual entrepreneur Zinchenko Dmitry Igorevich”, who “may have been a person affiliated with some officials of the previous administration” of the district . Before signing the housing acceptance certificate, the administration officers conducted an actual inspection of the premises and “no defects were detected”.
In January, the regional governor, Veniamin Kondratiev criticized Artyushchenko’s work. On January 29, the district head wrote a letter of resignation, but the deputies did not support the decision, and on February 1, Artyuschenko withdrew the application.
Several new criminal cases against corrupt officials have been instituted in Dagestan. The high-ranked suspects include Abdulmedzhid Suleimanov, ex-Mayor of Izberbash; Amir Magomedov, ex-Head of the Izberbash Administration; Magomed Dzhelilov, Head of the Derbent District; and El’dar Karagishiev, Head of the Babayurt District. In the past, all of them were suspected of similar crimes – but somehow managed to get off the hook. The new arrests occur amid the anti-corruption campaign in the republican law enforcement structures. What are the true reasons behind the new wave of the personnel purge? Can the anti-corruption slogans conceal a fierce battle waged by local clans for redistribution of assets with the purpose to create a new ‘untouchable’ elite in Dagestan?