Comments of Sergey Zakharov to “3 Billions for Defective Pipes” article.
Today Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia instituted proceedings against representatives of Committee for Energy and Engineering of St. Petersburg, as well as a number of major profit-making organizations engaged in heat supply in the city. It was found out that an organized group comprising officials and big businessmen managed to steal RUR 3 billions from installation of defective pipes of the main heating networks. 30 searches were performed, millions in various currencies were withdrawn from the apartment of Head of the Committee alone.
According to Ministry of Internal Affairs, the corruption scheme included supply and installation of pipes not complying with GOST and looked as follows: Committee for Energy and Engineering which is responsible for reconstruction of pipelines in St. Petersburg, held tenders via the dependent public state institution (GKU) “Upravlenie Zakazchika”. The tender winner turned out to be the contracting company “Petrocom”, a permanent executor of the Committee orders; it purchased quality-inspected and re-marked pipes and executed contractor's works. St. Petersburg company “RUSTRUBPROM” acted as the supplier of the pipes. As a result of the works performed, GKU “Upravlenie Zakazchika” transferred to “Petrocom” accounts the money which was cashed and then divided inside the organized group.
“In the course of criminal investigation and search activities it was found out that the corruption scheme included supply and installation of pipes not complying with GOST, which was carried out using fake quality certificates of manufacturers via the firms controlled by the participants of the organized group, - Ministry of Internal Affairs reports, - The obtained data are the evidence of the fact that 600 km of ill-conditioned pipes were laid according such scheme”.
Even Head of Committee for Energy Vladislav Petrov turned out to be involved in the corruption scandal, in whose apartment RUR 18 mln, USD 100 thousand and EUR 100 thousand were found. Certificates of ownership of apartments in elite districts of St. Petersburg, county-houses and land plots were withdrawn from other participants of the group.
The check which revealed the thefts was carried out at the instance of St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, as was said by his Press Secretary. On the basis of the check, criminal proceedings were instituted as per the article “Fraud of especially large size”. Let us remind you that such infringement of law is punished by deprivation of liberty for the period of up to ten years.
Sergey Zakharov, lawyer of S&K Vertical, is sure that the investigation will still have to find out and prove connection of the suspects with the committed crime and the role of each participant in this group. It is on this that the size of punishment defined by the court will subsequently depend on.
“Vladislav Petrov is a high-ranking official, - Mr Zakharov says, - From mass media it is visible that he is only a suspect, and a large sum of money was withdrawn from him, the origin of which is still to be found out. It is early and incorrectly to say about the possibility of a real term of conviction in case his guilt is proven, since the case investigation is not completed yet”.
According to “Fontanka.ru”, the only owner of the contracting company “Petrocom” turned out to be Andrey Kadkin, a co-owner of a large St. Petersburg judo club, with which such persons as Arkady Rotenbert and Vladimir Putin are connected. To date OOO “Petrocom” is carrying out 13 works in different districts of the city under state contracts. Within 2012 the company has already fulfilled 7 state contracts.
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia has also published photographs and video materials where specialists have already withdrawn defective pipes for expert examination. It is noteworthy that representatives of one of the largest heat-and-power engineering companies of the city – the state enterprise “TEK SPb” also take part in the works. And the company refused to comment the situation around the Committee for Energy and said that the scandal with the defective pipes has nothing to do with it.