MURMANSK, April 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has exposed and cut short an attempt to steal large sums of money allocated for the construction of housing for servicemen and the upgrade of the protection system for the Northern Fleet, the FSB told TASS on Friday.
A total of 21 criminal cases have been opened on various episodes of the theft, the FSB branch for the Northern Fleet said.
"The criminal schemes in the sphere of capital construction in the Northern Fleet have brought eight guilty persons to the defendants’ bench. The FSB of Russia has returned hundreds of millions of rubles to the state budget. The investigation of other cases continues," the FSB branch for the Northern Fleet said.
Specifically, the Northern Fleet garrison military court has ruled on Friday to give from four-year to six-year prison terms to five members of an inter-regional criminal group accused of gross embezzlement of budget funds allocated for the construction of housing for servicemen and the reconstruction of military infrastructure facilities. The court also granted a civil lawsuit to recover damage of over 126 million rubles ($1.85 million).
Following the results of the inspections, state contracts were cancelled and losses of over 135 million rubles ($1.9 million) were recovered from dishonest contractors. The law violators will have to pay penalties of more than 110 million rubles ($1.6 million). Law-enforcers have also managed to channel about 30 million rubles ($440,000) worth of taxes into the state budget.
All these measures were taken as part of a probe into the criminal activity of earlier convicted heads of several construction companies who had done damage worth 78 million rubles ($1.1 million) to the state and the Defense Ministry. These firms failed to fulfil contracts on the construction of housing for servicemen in the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions and the upgrade of the physical protection system at one of the fleet’s facilities.