IZHEVSK, January 16 (Itar-Tass) — Criminal proceedings have been instituted over the trafficking of nearly 80 Kalashnikov assault rifles from the Izhmash plant, Udmurtia Interior Minister Alexander Pervukhin said at a staff meeting with the republic’s head on Monday. However, he did not specify under which RF Criminal Code article the case was opened.
According to him, “the case is opened not against certain persons, but over the fact of illegal taking out of weapons from the defence enterprise.”
The incident occurred on Thursday evening, and it became known the following day. A pensioner from the Sovkhozny settlement of the Zavyalovsky district of Udmurtia bought at a fair price from a private firm driver wooden crates for firewood. The man found in them 79 Kalashnikov assault rifles, as well as spare parts to them and 253 magazines.
The local district police officers learnt about the find. They organised an inspection that revealed that the assault rifles had been delivered from the Defence Ministry’s arsenals to Izhmash for scrapping in wooden crates that were latter used for removing rubbish. The driver who sold the crates explained what he thought they were empty.
The Izhmash plant has given official comments on the incident: “Yes, the weapons were really taken out from the plant. It happened on January 12, and already on January 12 in the afternoon the numbers of missing items were established thanks to the developed accountability system, and law enforcement agencies were timely notified of them for taking prompt action. As a result, all the trafficked weapons were found and returned to Izhmash.”
On January 24, RF Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will hold at Izhmash a sectoral meeting on small arms, as he reported in his Twitter micro blog after the story with the assault rifles trafficking appeared in the media