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MOSCOW, January 14 (Itar-Tass) — During the past year, Russia’s Investigative Committee sent over 200 requests to foreign counterparts for legal advice in investigation of corruption cases, Head of the Investigative Committee’s Department on Control over investigation of corruption crimes Vladimir Makarov said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday.
As a rule, the requests were addressed to “the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, where many companies are registered, to Germany, France and the Netherlands,” Makarov said.
“Our task is to make corruption unprofitable. So that a person knows that for a stolen million he will have to pay 100 million, and thus a major task is to find the assets,” he said. “For example, we had a case, where the suspect had organised three companies abroad, and one company inside the country, and re-sold equipment at twice the price, which he claimed had been purchased from foreign companies, to a Russian state purchaser. We produced to him a document proving the companies had been registered in his name.”
At the same time, there are occasions, where we have to wait for responses for twelve or even eighteen months, he said regretfully.
“Most crimes in state purchases and major theft are made with use of a scheme, which uses transfer of monies, including via off-shore zones or foreign companies. This means, that, as a rule, theft is organised by confusing a financial trace. Without a clear idea as to whose company it is, we find it difficult to finalise an investigation. As for the state purchases, we have sent to a European country about 30 requests, and we have been waiting for a reply for over a year now.”
Following a presidential order, the Investigative Committee probed into violations during purchases of CT scanners.
“Over two years, we opened 138 criminal cases, indicted 111 persons, where 70 persons are former or current officials. They included 32 department heads or regional ministers of healthcare. The total losses under those criminal cases made 4 billion and 794 million roubles. We arrested assets worth 483 million roubles, as well as shares in charter capitals of commercial organisations,” Makarov said.
Totally, he said, over the past year, before opening the case of Oboronservis, investigations of corruption criminal cases revealed losses of 7 billion 904 million roubles. At the stage of investigation, 1 billion and 252 million roubles were reimbursed, and property worth 1billion and 212 million roubles was arrested.
“Surely, without good operative support the investigation activities only could not reach results of the kind,” Makarov said. “The operative measures help us in untangling a clew made by skilled financial thieves and in learning how and to whom this or that money was transferred,” he said.
He said that most reports about corruption cases comes from the police and from individuals /over 30,000 reports over the past year/. Similar information also got from FSB, the Accounting Chamber and from Rosfinnadzor /financial supervising authority/.
Makarov stressed that the Investigative Committee did not ignore a single report on corruption.