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The Oboronservis property misappropriation case is becoming more sweeping

November 29, 2012, 12:09 UTC+3

Now six defendants are put under arrest

1 pages in this article

The number of the arrested in the criminal case over a massive fraud and misappropriation in the Oboronservis holding and its affiliated companies increased again. On Wednesday, head of the main military investigation department of the Russian Investigation Committee Alexander Sorochkin told reporters about the arrest of director of the closed joint stock company Security and Communications Andrei Lugansky. Now six defendants are put under arrest. The deals over the misappropriation of the property at the enterprise were struck on the orders of former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The criminal case over massive misappropriations in Oboronservis has seven episodes now, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily affirmed. “All seven criminal cases were combined in one criminal case,” the newspaper quoted Alexander Sorochkin as saying. “This is 14 real estate sites. The total damages inflicted on the state are estimated at 6.7 billion roubles. No less than one billion roubles of funds and valuables were confiscated in the criminal case,” he said.

The newspaper noted that the detectives had not brought any accusations against Anatoly Serdyukov yet, because no one from arrested and accused of fraud have stated about his role in frauds. They obviously hope for the support and defence of Serdyukov, who remained beyond any apparent suspicions. It looks like that someone is constantly informing Serdyukov about the events during the investigation. It is not accidental that official representatives of the Russian Investigation Committee make regular vague statements that former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov can be interrogated in the criminal case over misappropriation in Oboronservis, if there will be sufficient grounds for this. The same statement was made again on Wednesday.

Already nine criminal cases are already included in the so-called basic criminal case of Oboronservis, each of them concerns the inefficient sale of some real estate sites, which were previously owned by the Defence Ministry, the Kommersant daily reported. The inefficiency consists in that private experts hired by the military, including former head of the legal support centre Expert Yekaterina Smetanova, deliberately understated the cost of buildings and facilities put up for sale, the detectives believe. The participants in the criminal organized group received a margin in the price in kickbacks and divided it between each other. The detectives found that their second article of criminal incomes was the real estate audit in the Defence Ministry, for which they received the agent’s commission that is compared in size with the cost of the buildings (the Oboronservis services cost higher).

The role of former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is far from being clear in this criminal case, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported. “The press is concerned about this question, we are also following the publications,” Sorochkin said. “But these criminal cases are intricate, we have some experience for investigating these criminal cases, and I would like so that we will not make errors in this matter. I would like so that our investigative actions – the summoning for testimony and the participation in the interrogation – were not futile. Believe me, we are working. The time will come and we will ask about it from the former minister, if there are some reasons for this,” he underlined.

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