MOSCOW, May 17 (Itar-Tass) - The former and incumbent directors of the Sinertek company have been arrested in the case over theft of funds allocated for the program to develop the Global Satellite Navigation System /GLONASS/, city police told Itar-Tass on Friday.
Earlier reports said law-enforcement bodies had ascertained a new fact of embezzlement of budget money by Sinertek executives. The funds, in the amount of at least 85 million roubles, were allocated within the scope of the GLONASS federal goal-oriented program, for allegedly completed research.
Criminal proceedings over fraud were opened on May 13.
Police conducted a series of searches within the case.
Sinertek was set up in 2005 as a joint venture of Russian Space Systems and two European companies: EADS Astrium and Tesat Spacecom to develop cooperation between Russian and European aerospace companies in designing and using modern innovative technologies in the production of spacecraft avionics.
On November 9, 2012, the Interior Ministry said it had opened a criminal case over abuse of office and theft of 6.5 billion roubles of GLONASS project funds. 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 They money then was withdrawn from legal turnover through a chain of dummy firms.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.