What scandal has led to dismissal of unsinkable Nizhny Novgorod police chief?
The public had been waiting for termination of Ivan Shaev, Head of the Russian MIA General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region, for several years. But somehow he had managed to keep this post against all the odds. Shaev has nearly lost his chair after an audit carried out by the Moscow commission. The most recent scandal with the disappearance of 45 million rubles in material evidence is being soft-pedaled. Still, the President has signed an order to dismiss Shaev.
The General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation has been in fever for several months already. In the end of 2016, a commission from Moscow chaired by general Eduard Sobol had arrived to Nizhny Novgorod. The commission has found that the entire work of the regional police was “unsatisfactory”. Even though the General Investigation Administration, Administration of Criminal Investigation, and Administration for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption have passed the exam, the overall score of the General Administration under the command of Shaev was unsatisfactory. Immediately after this, the police chief of Nizhny Novgorod has submitted a vacation request; no one had expected him to return back because his resignation letter was submitted at the same.
Ivan Shaev had started a career in the Ministry of Internal Affairs as an inspector in a district MIA office in the Omsk region. In 1992, Shaev became a Deputy Head of the Department for Economic Security of the City of Omsk and then a Deputy Head of the Regional Department for Economic Security. In 1996, he became the Head of the Administration for Combating Organized Crime of the MIA Administration for the Omsk Region. In 1999, he became a Deputy Head of the MIA Administration for the Omsk Region and Chief of Staff of the MIA Administration for the Omsk Region. At the same time, Viktor Kamertsel became the Head of the MIA Administration for the Omsk Region; Shaev fell afoul of him and in 2000 was appointed the Head of the MIA Administration for the Mytishchi District of the Moscow Region. Five years later, Ivan Shaev has advanced to the First Deputy Head of the MIA General Administration for the Moscow Region, and on November 30, 2010 he has been appointed the Head of the MIA General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region by an order of President Dmitry Medvedev.
Ivan Shaev, ex-Head of the MIA General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region
Immediately after the New Year holidays, operatives of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) and Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation have arrived to the MIA General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region. It is still unknown what was the reason behind their visit and what were they looking for. According to the main version actively discussed in the media, the primary targets of the Moscow commission were senior officers in the Administration for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the General MIA Administration – Sergei Nikitin, Deputy Head of the Administration, and Evgeny Kosov, Deputy Head of a department. Allegedly, they were accused of disappearance of 22.3 million rubles kept as material evidence in a case against Bogorodsky Bank pertaining to cashing in of money.
In 2012, a criminal case had been initiated against Nizhny Novgorod-based businessman Maksim Osokin on suspicion of illegal banking activities. In the course of two searches, sums of 22.7 and 22 million rubles had been seized, recognized material evidence, and entrusted to the MIA custody. Allegedly, Osokin had been siphoning off funds through various dummy companies; one of such companies was located in the same building with the bank branch. In 2014, the charges against Osokin have been reclassified into illegal enterprise, and the case was closed under an amnesty. The sum of 44.7 million rubles has been returned to the businessman against a signed receipt because the fact of cashing in hadn’t been proven. However, lawyers working for Bogorodsky Bank have later proved that a portion of the seized cash in the amount of 22.3 million rubles had belonged not to the company of Osokin, but to bank’s clients. The case was heard in the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation that has ruled to collect the money from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation at the expense of the state treasury for the benefit of Bogorodsky Bank or, more precisely, for the benefit of the Deposit Insurance Agency – because the Central Bank had revoked the license of Bogorodsky Bank in 2016.
The Central Bank had revoked the license of Nizhny Novgorod-based Bogorodsky Bank in 2016
But Osokin claims that he had signed the receipt to avoid punishment for the incriminated offences. Instead of the 44.7 million rubles, he has got bricks wrapped in newspapers in the security bags. He has confessed to this only after another arrest in the framework of the second criminal case. Osokin has been accused again of complicity to illegal banking operations committed by an organized criminal group. In addition, the investigation believes that he had appropriated 150 million rubles belonging to the same Bogorodsky Bank. The businessman has submitted a letter to the ICR stating that the seized money had been stolen by some persons in the police.
Allegedly, these ‘some persons in the police’ were Nikitin and Kosov. Millions of rubles, valuables, and title deeds for undeclared real estate belonging to them have been found during searches.
However, Zercalo.org Internet portal has reported, citing its sources in law enforcement authorities, that 200 million rubles had been delivered to Moscow from Nizhny Novgorod to hush up this criminal case. No official comments had been provided yet with regards to the investigative activities of the law enforcement structures after the New year holidays.
Even if the scandal with bricks wrapped in newspapers is brushed under the rug, the “unsatisfactory” mark given by general Sobol can’t be forgotten so easily. It is necessary to note that Viktor Bratanov, the predecessor of Shaev, had also got an “unsatisfactory” mark from a Moscow commission – but managed to hold his position for 2 years after this and retired on pension.
The official income of Ivan Shaev, Head of the MIA General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region, for the year of 2015 was some 2 million rubles. The police chief owns a land lot with the area of 2,139 square meters, residential home with the living space of 239.5 square meters, and household outbuilding. His spouse has earned 1.5 million rubles; she owns a residential home with the living space of 319.7 square meters, nonresidential premises with the total space of 125.7 square meters, land lot with the area of 727 square meters, Lexus RX 350 built in 2009, and ¼ share in an apartment and land lot with the area of 803 square meters.
But in relation to Shaev, the Moscow commission was actually not carrying out an audit but rather putting pressure on the regional police searching for compromising materials against its command; some officers had to sign slanderous reports. According to the local media, a policeman serving in the Police Division №1 of Nizhny Novgorod has submitted a complaint against operatives of the Administration of Internal Security. The local police press service has reported that this information is currently being verified, but did not provide any results yet.
After the vacation, Ivan Shaev, Head of the MIA General Administration for the Nizhny Novgorod Region, had returned to work and performed his duties as usually for more than a month. But yesterday President Vladimir Putin has signed an order of his termination. The order does not provide reasons for the dismissal.
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