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Russian investigators through with Vostochny spaceport $84 million fraud

October 26, 2015, 15:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Misuse of budget money greatly delayed construction work of Russis's new spaceport
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Assembly and Testing Facility at Vostochny Cosmodrome

Assembly and Testing Facility at Vostochny Cosmodrome

© Igor Ageyenko/TASS

MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has completed its probe into a $5 billion ($84 million) fraud affair at the Vostochny spaceport construction project, IC spokesman Vladimir Markin has told TASS.

The two men involved in the criminal case are the former CEO of the Dalspetsstroi contractor, Yuri Khrizman, and the contractor’s chief accountant, Vladimir Ashikhmin. "According to the investigators Khrizman and Ashikhmin in 2011-2013 illegally spent 5.16 billion roubles of the 22.6 billion roubles disbursed in advance payments under eleven state contracts for building Vostochny spaceport facilities. The funds were illegally used to repay Dalspetstroi’s liabilities under earlier loans, which resulted in great material losses for the Russian budget," Markin said.

Also, misuse of budget money greatly delayed construction work in 2011-2013, in other words, disrupted the implementation of a presidential decree concerning federal programs, Markin said.

The Investigative Committee’s special investigations unit has completed investigative procedures regarding the Khrizman and Ashikhmin criminal case. Both men are charged with abuse of power under Article 285 of the Criminal Code," Markin said.

Khrizman was arrested on October 31, and Ashikhmin, on November 2014. Both have been in custody since.

Construction of the Vostochny spaceport began near the village of Uglegorsk, the Amur Region, in 2010. It is to become the first national civil space site. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin earlier said investigations were in progress into 20 criminal cases opened over embezzlement and fraud at Vostochny.

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