Tall in the saddle again: Sergey Zabaturin occupies another high post after corruption scandal
On June 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin conducted another rotation of office: eight generals of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Federal Penitentiary Service lost their posts. However, this day was marked not only by loud dismissals: a number of law enforcers got new posts. In particular, the Moscow interregional transport prosecutor's office was headed by Sergey Zabaturin. There was a high-profile corruption scandal in his meteoric career, which, however, did not prevent him from taking a high post again. The CrimeRussia has studied the biography and connections of the high-ranking security official.
From the cradle
Sergey Vladimirovich Zabaturin was born in 1976 in the city of Vladimir. According to his biography, he devoted all his life to the prosecutor's office. In March 2016, Zabaturin gave an interview to the Krasnogorsk regional television (KRTV). In it the prosecutor said that he had started working in the department back in 1998, when he was a junior at Vladimir State University. Then the young employee made a fast career: after working at various posts of the prosecutor's office of the Vladimir region, he moved to the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. Zabaturin did not stay long at almost any job, steadily getting a promotion every year or two. In 2007, the silovik became the Head of the Department for Supervision of the Criminal and Procedural and Operative Investigation Activities of the Moscow interregional transport prosecutor's office, and then, in the same year, he became the Head of the Moscow Interregional Investigation Department for Transport of the Investigative Committee under the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation (MMSUT).
The new Head of the MMSUT was eager to get down to business. In 2008, under the supervision of Zabaturin a high-profile case was investigated against the rector of the Russian Customs Academy (RTA), Colonel-General Viktor Chechevatov.
According to the investigation, Chechevatov paid multimillion rubles salaries to people who were not actually employees of the RTA. For example, the rector paid 2 million rubles ($33.7 thousand) to one of the 'advisors', not registered in the educational institution, for 1.5 years of 'work'. A criminal case was initiated against the General under part 1 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Abuse of Official Powers). Zabaturin commented on the situation this way: "Customs is the most corruptible field, it is seriously ill with corruption". However, the scandal soon died out: Chechevatov was not removed from office even at the time of the investigation, and after March 2009 the case was no longer mentioned in the media. Chechevatov remained the Head of the RTA until April 15, 2015: then the Colonel-General retired on the day of his seventieth birthday.
Here is an interesting fact: Chechevatov occupied the posts of the appointed hetman of the Far Eastern Cossack district and the chairman of the Board of Trustees (under the auspices of the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, head of the Russian Imperial House) of the Chevaliers Duma Fund of the Imperial War Order of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The CrimeRussia did not manage to find out what these top secret organizations are engaged in.
This is not the only high-profile investigation of Zabaturin.
In April 2008, in an interview with Gudok media outlet, the head of the MMSUT was contemplating on how to curb corruption. In it, the prosecutor honestly stated that "customs officers are often bribed for relief in carrying out control measures with respect to goods being moved, and sometimes they even turn a blind eye to outright smuggling for money". As an example of such a situation, Zabaturin presented the case of Head of the Zelenograd Customs Alexey Korshunov and Head of the customs post Alexey Zakuvayev, who received $10,000 for "speeding up customs clearance procedures". According to the prosecutor, this episode was not the only one, and their actions "were of a systemic nature".
The Head of the MMSUT also paid attention to the transport sphere. He told that he was investigating a case of investigators who extorted $500,000 from bankers for the collapse of the case on smuggling aluminum tape.
The irony is that just a couple of years after this interview, Zabaturin's closest subordinates became involved in a corruption scandal that featured much larger sums.
In February 2010, a criminal case was initiated against a group of 10 people headed by 49-year-old US citizen Mikhail Ginzburg. According to the investigation, the American organized the OСG, which members imported meat from the US, Europe and Latin America to the territory of the Russian Federation, illegally obtaining import licenses at preferential rates. Smuggling took place through customs posts in Sergiev Posad and Naro-Fominsk, and then distributed to supermarkets, including Moscow.
The case was studied by a subordinate of Zabaturin, Deputy Head of the Department for Priority Cases Evgeny Domovets. As law enforcers established, the investigator contacted Dmitry Mostman, a member of the alleged criminal group and deputy general director of Narofominsk Refrigerate Plant OJSC, and demanded a monetary reward for rendering certain services. In particular, Domovets suggested: changing the measure of restraint of the accused from arrest to a written undertaking not to leave (thanks to which the organizer of the criminal scheme Ginsb Ginzburg urg managed to escape abroad); promotion the status of a witness to Mostman; requalification of the case against Ginzburg and others from the article Smuggling to the article Aiding in Smuggling and General Patronage. Each item from the 'price list' cost $1 million, in total - $4 million. The money was transferred in tranches of $500 thousand through lawyers of Mostman. However, the entrepreneur did not want to pay the entire amount and wrote a statement to the FSB. As a result, Domovets was caught red-handed during one of the operations. By that time, the investigator had managed to get $1.5 million. A month later his chief, Head of the department Ivan Kozhevnikov was detained. In August, one of the deputies of the Moscow interregional transport department Head Alexey Malkov was arrested. Another person involved in the case is first deputy of Zabaturin Konstantin Zotov - he fled away and was declared federally wanted.
Initially, Domovets denied all charges, but after five months in jail he went to a deal with the investigation and gave evidence against accomplices in the person of his leaders. The court condemned him to three years in prison, but after the appeal the real term was replaced into a conditional one. As a result, this punishment became the most severe in such a resonant case: Kozhevnikov and Malkov were fully justified by the jury. Zotov, after spending three years in search, was detained in June 2013, and in September 2014 he was released on recognizance not to leave. Judging by the fact that there are no more mentions of the resonance case in the media, Zotov also went scot-free, and the case itself was terminated. Their former leader, Sergey Zabaturin, resigned "on his own" back in the fall of 2010.
Again in business
After a two-year 'leave' Zabaturin returned to law enforcement agencies. In 2012, he took the post of the deputy prosecutor of the Novomoskovsk administrative district of Moscow, and in the fall of 2015 - became the Krasnogorsk city prosecutor. Then, according to the old tradition, two years later he received another promotion, taking the post of the Moscow interregional transport prosecutor.
It is noteworthy how easily Sergey Zabaturin got rid of the history with a bribe and two years later, as if nothing had happened, he continued his career practically at the same place where he had finished. In such cases, high-ranking officers usually have powerful patrons. In the KRTV interview mentioned above Zabaturin modestly mentions that he "has and had relatives who worked in law enforcement agencies; Not exactly in the internal affairs agencies ..." In order to understand what kind of bodies in question, it is worth making a small digression.
In October 2015, Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksenov presented a new Deputy Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee to the regional Government. It was FSB Colonel Alexey Zabaturin. Previously, he served as Head of the Division in the South-West Administrative District of the FSB Directorate in Moscow and the Moscow Region. It is interesting that the surname and patronymic of the fighter against corruption completely coincide with the last name and patronymic of Sergey Vladimirovich Zabaturin.
It is very difficult to find any information about FSB Colonel, but the name of Alexey Zabaturin was mentioned in the press under tragic circumstances. The Colonel and his wife turned out to be passengers of the Moscow-St. Petersburg train, the Moscow Nevsky Express, which had been blown up by terrorists. Then the couple managed to get off with minor injuries - Alexey had a broken rib, bruises and abrasions. Another point is interesting: as reported by Lifenews, Alexey and Sergey Zabaturins are siblings. This version would put many things in their place: so Sergey Zabaturin, supposedly using the cover of an influential brother - a fighter against corruption - could came out dry after a loud corruption scandal, which for many officers would mean the end of their career.
Anyway, Sergey Zabaturin is again on horseback: he returned to the leadership of the transport sphere, making a forced hook along the road. How long he will work as law enforcer this time, it remains to be seen