The youngest came back. How Vekselberg’s protege Pasler was heading region
Lobbying of interests of the father’s company, stealing of a 150-ton pipe and bringing to bankruptcy the largest in Russia poultry farms – the CrimeRussia collected the most interesting details of government of ‘the youngest prime minister of the Sverdlovsk Region’.
Business community of the Sverdlovsk Region discusses the unexpected return. The former Prime Minister of the region Denis Pasler ‘get back to his roots’. He held a post of the acting CEO of the T Plus energy company in spite of the fact that he denied such opportunity earlier. Before this structure of Renova holding of oligarch Victor Vekselberg was headed by Boris Vaynzikher, being the president of T Plus. However after he was detained on a charge of bribery, the position was abolished. Before Denis Pasler ran CJSC GAZEKS, also entering into Renova holding, for 7 years.
Boris Vaynzikher is under arrest on suspicion of giving especially large bribes
The CrimeRussia will tell how the ‘youngest Prime Minister’ in the history of the Sverdlovsk Region distinguished himself.
Rough disputes on the question who is Denis Pasler are still conducted on the Internet – ‘self-made man’ or a puppet in the oligarch Vekselberg's hands. As usually, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Denis Pasler is the native of the city of Severouralsk, started his career from work on the mine, then passed into CJSC Concrete Goods North Ural Plant where during short term made flash-like career take-off: rose to a position of the head of department of sale, then to the commercial director, and soon became the CEO of all entity. He remained the head of the plant (in combination) up to election as the Prime Minister of area in 2012. Later he managed to work on the leading posts in the JSC Krasnoturyinskmezhraygaz companies, CJSC GAZEKS and JSC Ekaterinburggaz until at last steeped in policy. It should be noted that all above-mentioned companies are in one way or another connected with T Plus of Victor Vekselberg that gave the grounds to consider Pasler a ‘Vekselberg's person’. Also there was information that protection of Pasler was rendered by his fellow countryman from Severouralsk, the ex-president of IES-Holding (entering into Renova holding) Mikhail Slobodin.
According to some information, Mikhail Slobodin helped the fellow countryman Denis Pasler to promote on a career ladder
Father for son, son for father
According to some information, big help in development of career of future official was given by his father, entrepreneur Vladimir Pasler, famous in local circles. The son returned the favor, and on a post of the Prime Minister helped business of his parent that led to very unattractive history which got to media.
In the summer of 2014 seven heads of the motor transportation entities of the region submitted applications to local offices of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Prosecutor General’s Office and Federal Secuirty Service. Businessmen required to check actions of Prime Minister Pasler for violations of the anti-corruption legislation. The official was suspected of protection of Kontinent private company which without tender acquired the rights to transportation of passengers along routes No. 960 Yekaterinburg – Ivdel and No. 1021 Yekaterinburg-Volchansk. And, not just without tender – the decision was approved before tender, without the existing routes and necessary check of the legal person. One of owners of LLC Kontinent was Vladimir Pasler, the father of the prime minister of the Sverdlovsk Region. Besides that the company easily entered on the market of transportations, it also received advertizing in municipal media which praised highly its buses as the most high-quality and comfortable.
The savor of a situation was added by the fact that new routes along which Kontinent was authorized to transport passengers were unsuitable for journey of transport. In particular, the road along a route Yekaterinburg – Soviet was not completed yet: it is covered only with one layer of asphalt though, according to regulations, still the upper layer 5 cm thick. Besides, there were no borders, route signs and a marking on the site. The road was not officially put in operation when Pasler's buses already carried passengers on it, putting their lifes to risk.
Having considered the received application, the Investigation Directorate of ICR across the Sverdlovsk Region sent it to regional prosecutor's office which confirmed the fact of violation of the law. At the same time, as law enforcement authorities noted, after issue of permission the regional Ministry of transport “withdrew from control of activities of carrier”. As a result the Arbitration tribunal confirmed conclusions of prosecutors, permission was withdrawn, however criminal cases were not initiated.
‘It is a wash-out’
The prime minister's brother Vladimir Vladimirovich Pasler who is the deputy of Severouralsk was also ‘lit’ in quite dirty, but at the same time comical history. He became defendant in the case over plunder of the physical evidence … a 150-ton pipe.
Vladimir Pasler. A photo from odnoklassniki.ru website
In the fall of 2012 the management of Komenergoresurs Municipal Unitary Enterprise located in Severouralsk decided to sell a reserve water supply system on scrap metal. The pipe condition, unsuitable for operation, became the official reason of sale. The municipal unitary enterprise announced competition, the winner of which was LLC Uralvtorsyrye, which paid for purchase of 4 million rubles. Later, at the initiative of the local deputy Victor Ilyin, at The Ural institute of metals, expertize of a piece of a pipe from the sold lot, which established that depreciation of a pipe makes 1% was carried out, that meant that the water supply system was almost in perfect tune. However repeated judicial examination established that depreciation makes 32%. Based on the first conclusion criminal case under Art. 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Embezzlement or waste) was initiated.
In December the management of the Municipal Unitary Enterprise was replaced, and the initiator of check Victor Ilyin and the brother of the regional prime minister Vladimir Pasler were appointed representing its commercial interests. Pipes were returned back to Komenergoresursa on storage as physical evidences, however soon a ‘small’ part of pipes weighing 150 tons enigmatically evaporated. How did the ‘pipe’ history ended - it is unknown, media does not comment on it.
Waved the tail – broke the egg
In the summer of 2013 the Ura.ru portal published investigation on how the new prime minister of the region profits on local property – poultry farms. The process of privatization of the entities which began in 2012 in case of the ex-governor Misharin was well under way. On a game there were state poultry farms Reftinskaya, Sredneuralskaya, Pervouralskaya and Sverdlovskaya. The total cost of the entities at the time of the announcement of privatization constituted 6 billion 100 million rubles.
The main players who were aware of a situation long before the official announcement already decided among themselves who will ‘win’ which entity. According to the portal, before Pasler's return the alignment of forces was following: Refetinskaya poultry farm will be taken by the Minister of Agriculture of area of that time Ilya Bondarev, Pervouralsk − the Sverdlovsk deputy Ilya Gaffner, Sredneuralsk and Sverdlovsk was not devided ‘fraternally’.
Deputy Ilya Gaffner who became known in the Internet for phrase “you should eat less”, applied for purchase of the Pervouralsk poultry farm.
When Pasler came on a post of the prime minister of the region the situation in the ‘chicken’ market promptly changed. All previous arrangements lost force: Pervouralsk passed under control of Pasler and Bondarev who lost a post, lost an opportunity to apply for Reftinskaya. Further, according to the media, Pasler’s protégé Konstantin Surin was actively was engaged in withdrawal of funds from factory, intentionally bankrupting the entity. As the proof it is possible to compare financial performance of factory for 2011 and 2012: 2011 Pervouralsk finished with profit in 65 million rubles, and the 2012th (after Paslera came) – at a loss 7 million 998 rubles. In the first quarter of 2013 the loss grew to 30 million rubles. It is difficult to justify it with temporary failures - the purposeful policy on withdrawal of funds can be seen. After that the management at the entity was replaced, and instead of the close protege of the prime minister, closer protégé - childhood friend of Pasler, Andrey Pestov came. According to the media, it was also closely connected with T Plus and personally Slobodin.
The story with the Sverdlovsk poultry farms still is not finished. Lately the policy of the region changed, the idea of privatization was changed by the idea of merging of poultry farms in single holding. It was sharply opposed by directors of the entities, who declared a big difference in the income of the entities, for example, Reftinskaya which did not get under control of friends of Pasler for the first quarter 2015 earned 72,8 million rubles, and distressful Pervouralsk for the same period suffered a loss in 21 million rubles.
Own flesh and blood
Lobbying of interests of the T Plus company remains the main claim to the former prime minister. The CrimeRussia repeatedly covered methods of work of energy holding of Vekselberg in different regions who is mercilessly sweeping away everything on the way. The Sverdlovsk Region did not become an exception – here T Plus works according to the old, long ago acquired scheme: thanks to an administrative resource the operator of thermal networks ‘enters’ the city, collects the raised payment for heat, at the same time without putting money in repair of pipes. As a result, when the city appears on the verge of catastrophic crash because of numerous breaks of the decayed heating systems, the company works by the principle ‘thanks to this house, and we will go to another’ and ‘leaves’ the city.
Usually managers of T Plus look for ‘insider’ local administration, so he can pursue the policy profitable of the company. In the Sverdlovsk Region everything was much simpler – the ‘insider’ came to the second position in the region initially – Pasler headed the structure entering into Renova holding, − CJSC GAZEKS for 7 years.
Now the T Plus works in seven cities of the region: Yekaterinburg, Berezovsky, Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Pervouralsk, Lower Tura, Lesnoy. In the city of Lesnoy the holding from the middle of 2016 received all heating systems of the city in own use under the agreement of concession, according to some information, with active support of Pasler.
Pasler also did not hide his friendly spirit to T Plus. For example, in April, 2013 the prime minister of the region together with then CEO of T Plus Vaynzikher and city manager of Yekaterinburg Alexander Jacob went on a meeting with the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak where they discussed a possibility of the combining TGC-9 (controlled by Victor Vekselberg) and Ekaterinburgenergo Municipal Unitary Enterprise. “Networks, especially such difficult system, shall be in one hands”, the Prime Minister of the region argued. At the same time it was difficult to call the described plan ‘consolidation’, rather it was transfer of assets of Ekaterinburgenergo under control of structures of Vekselberg.
Boris Vaynzikher and Denis Pasler went on a meeting to the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak
Obviously, Pasler's work for the benefit of the company was highly appreciated by Vekselberg, time to the former prime minister entrusted to head energy holding. Now structures of the oligarch firmly gained a foothold in the Sverdlovsk Region – thanks God the territory is rich and it is possible ‘to milk’ her for a long time. The fact, that T Plus will remain in the region for a long time confirms signing by the governor Kuyvashev and Vekselberg of the agreement on a construction in the region of a hothouse complex. In addition to the Sverdlovsk Region, the similar project will be realized in Perm Krai, Chuvashia and Komi.
And the former Prime Minister of the region Denis Pasler needs only to wish success in work for the benefit of the chief employer − Vekselberg. In the past Pasler perfectly coped with this task.
The prosecutors want the former Russian Federation Council member to go to prison for 14 years instead of 9 and pay a 500-million-ruble ($8.8 million) fine instead of 70 million rubles ($1.2 million).