MOSCOW, May 16 (Itar-Tass) - Police have exposed a new episode of theft in the project to design the GLONASS global satellite navigation system. The former and incumbent director of the Sinertek company have been detained.
"More thefts of budget funds have been exposed within the framework of the probe into the criminal case against a number of executives of the Russian Space Systems company, accused of abuse of office," spokeswoman for the Moscow department for economic security and combating corruption Irina Volk said on Thursday.
Criminal proceedings were initiated under Article 159, Part 4 of Russia's Criminal Code /grand fraud/.
"Several searches were conducted within the probe; and the former and incumbent directors of Sinertek have been detained for 48 hours," Volk said.
Last November, the Interior Ministry said it had opened a criminal case over abuse of office and theft of 6.5 billion roubles within the GLONASS project. The money was allocated by the Roskosmos aerospace agency. A number of schemes were used at the stage of technical design specifications, which enabled the wrongdoers to embezzle the money.
Police said RKS executives had signed contracts with commercial firms to conduct research, although these firms had neither material and technical basis nor qualified personnel. The department for economic security and combating corruption /GUEBiPK/ ascertained that the work had been completed by RKS personnel, and the payment for allegedly implemented contracts was transferred to the accounts of two firms that were under the suspects' control. They money then was withdrawn from legal turnover through a chain of dummy firms.
GUEBiPK agents found the firm which accumulated the stolen money on its accounts. "They ascertained that a total of two billion roubles have been embezzled, of which 600 million were transferred to the accounts of fly-by-night firms," police said.