General Romanyuk’s case to be merged with Gaiser or code-bound thief Pichuga’s case
Testimonies on several high-profile cases (related to building a criminal organization) from the former deputy chief of the Main Directorate of Russia’s Ministry of the Interior in Sverdlovsk region who has been detained are being expected.
The former deputy chief of the Main Directorate of Russia’s Ministry of the Interior in Sverdlovsk region Major General Vladimir Romanyuk who was detained in Moscow last week was offered a plea deal. His scope of activity turned out to be spreading far beyond the Sverdlovsk region. According to Znak.com, Romanyuk’s testimonies on Viktor Vekselberg’s actions in the Urals are being expected. The name of the head of the notorious Renova Group is linked with the fact that Romanyuk had been appointed to the Main Directorate of Ministry of the Interior in Sverdlovsk region. There’s a chance that another Gaizer case is going to emerge out of his testimonies. According to the investigation, the defendants passed on around 800 million rubles ($12 million) in bribe money to the Komi Republic’s senior government officials for the establishment of best possible heating and electricity tariffs, as well as other bonuses in the pursuit of operations by KES ZAO owned by Vekselberg.
Otherwise, the former high-ranking police officer’s neighborhood to a code-bound thief Yury Pichugin (known as Pichuga in the criminal world) can be prosecuted. As was reported earlier by CrimeRussia, they dwell in the neighboring houses in a settlement in Podmoskovye (localities near Moscow). Their vicinity is close so that there’s no fence between the former police officer and the thief’s areas. In case Romanyuk declines to give evidence against Vekselberg’s activities, he can be prosecuted for participating in Pichugin’s organized crime group, believe sources close to the Federal Security Service (FSB). However, the local media reported that Pichuga’s activities were also connected with the head of the Republic of Komi Vyacheslav Gaizer who is now also in custody on charges of building a criminal organization.
There’re other preconditions for the elimination of the Sverdlovsk security officials, believe the sources. What served as a basis for the investigative activities resulting in the detention of the General Vladimir Romanyuk and Major Eduard Voronin - head of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department of Russia’s MIA in the city of Yekaterinburg - was the intelligence information that was started to be gathered even when Aleksander Kozubsky was the head of the M department of the Federal Security Service Directorate in Sverdlovsk region. There allegedly emerged a conflict between the chekists (secret service agents) and police officers owing to an ambiguous fact that Anton Lobanov - head of the department of usage and protection of water resources of Russia’s RosPrirodNadzor environmental watchdog in the Ural Federal District - extorted a bribe from a local businessman. In summer, 2017, representatives of the M department of the Federal Security Service Directorate and MIA’s Chief Directorate in Sverdlovsk turned out to be drawn into the case, as well. Kozubsky had to leave the office following the subsequent interdepartmental investigations. Oleg Kurach - acting deputy chief of the Directorate (instead of Romanyuk who had left the office) - was expected to follow the same path. However, it was only in April 2018, when Kurach left the office.
So far, Eduard Voronin’s case bears no relation to the detention of Vladimir Romanyuk. The police officers are accused of Exceeding Official Powers (part 1 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The investigation that insisted on the arrest of the Major of the police is suspecting Voronin of covering-up of a gambling business. He is being connected to a high-profile case that earlier resulted in a sentence of a founder and coach of a fight club Khrabr Nikita Maltsev, and a criminal investigator of the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department of Russia’s MIA in Yekaterinburg Sergey Kondrashin. Both were convicted of extorting a 1.2 million rubles (around $18 thousand) bribe from a representative of a bookmaker's office DylSys LLC for helping to return equipment that had been seized by the operatives of the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department in 2015, as well as for securing the bookmaker's offices against subsequent police raids.
There’re testimonies of four persons in the case: a certain businessman Samvel Martirosyan who is involved in organizing of gambling games and bookmaker's activities; head of consumer market department of the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department Andrey Berdnikov who stated that certain orders came from the General Romanyuk in the DylSys case; and the convicted Sergey Kondrashin who eventually led to Voronin. The Sverdlovsk Regional Court is expected to be reviewing a judgment as to Maltsev and Kondrashin (there’s a chance that the latter’s sentence can be lightened) on October 16.
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?