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Russian Authorities Investigate Corruption Case In Electronics Producer For Nuclear Submarine And Spacecraft

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Russian Authorities Investigate Corruption Case In Electronics Producer For Nuclear Submarine And Spacecraft

IILLUSTRATIVE

The Russian Ministry of Interior Affairs is investigating a company that supplies electronic components for nuclear submarines.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs filed a fraud case during work for the Central Research Institute “Elektropribor”, which produces navigation equipment for nuclear submarines. The head of the company said that the delivery of some orders may be impeded due to the investigations.

The Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region opened a criminal case of fraud on a particularly large scale (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code) during the construction of an object for the St. Petersburg Central Research Institute Elektropribor, carried out by a commercial contractor.

Russian Authorities Investigate Corruption Case In Electronics Producer For Nuclear Submarine And Spacecraft

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This follows a decision to institute criminal proceedings from June 5th. Russian web portal RBC claims it has a copy of the document, and its truthfulness was confirmed by an anonymous source familiar with the case.

As part of the case, searches were conducted in the building of the Central Research Institute in St. Petersburg and in the apartment of one of its top executives throughout July and August. The head of the company YiStroy, which performed contract work for the concern, was arrested.

As per two anonymous sources, the main suspect in the case is also the chief engineer of the Central Research Institute of Electropribor Vitaliy Postnikov, who signed a contract with YuiStroy for construction work.

The construction company YuiStroy entered into an agreement with the Central Research Institute Elektropribor for construction and installation works for the needs of the concern’s branch in Gatchina (Leningrad Region) in October 2014.

According to a RBC source familiar with the case file, the contract amounted to about 89 million rubles.

“The contract was designed for seven months, but due to various circumstances, the construction took two years and was completed in 2016,” he said. The total cost of construction amounted to 110 million rubles, he said.

On June 5th, 2019, the deputy head of the inter-municipal department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for particularly important and sensitive facilities in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region Major of Justice Maximov decided to institute criminal proceedings against an unidentified person from among the leaders of YuiStroy.

“An unidentified person among the managers of YuiStroy, having received money at an inflated cost of work relative to the actual work performed in the total amount of 5.4 million rubles, stole and disposed of it at its discretion, thereby causing damage to the Russian Federation represented by the concern “Central Research Institute Elektropribor” in a particularly large amount for a total of 5,397,341 rubles.”, documents from the criminal proceedings said.

Three months after the initiation of the criminal case, the General Director of the Central Research Institute, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Peshekhonov sent letters to the prosecutor of St. Petersburg Sergey Litvinenko and the head of the Main Directorate of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for St. Petersburg, Major General Oleg Antropov.

These mentioned letters aren’t published, but RBC claims that it has them in its possession.

In letters, Peshekhonov said that on July 3rd, 2019, large-scale searches were “intensively conducted” on the premises of the concern for eight hours. According to Peshekhonov, no compromising information or documents were found during the searches.

On July 23rd, the Petrograd District Court of St. Petersburg examined the complaint of the Central Research Institute regarding the recognition of the searches as illegal.

According to Peshekhonov, the head of the investigation team, investigator Fadeyev, explained to the lawyers of the concern in the court corridor that he “will not calm down until several people from the leadership of the concern are sent to jail, no matter what, because that is his job.”

A similar incident, as Peshekhonov notes, took place on August 16 – after completing the inspection of the concern’s facility in Gatchina.

Peshekhonov says, investigators and officers, in the presence of employees allegedly admitted that they would soon send a number of employees to prison for allegedly being part of an “organized criminal society” inside the state institute.

RBC sent a request to the press center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The official representative of the Central Research Institute “Elektribribor” confirmed to RBC that a criminal case has been instituted against its contractor.

“Since the general director of the company, Yuri Duranin, is under house arrest and cannot perform his official duties, and all employees of the contracting company have been dismissed, the facility built in 2016 is not serviced. This may affect the implementation of the state defense order,” a representative said.

Peshekhonov claimed that essentially the employees of the concern were being “harassed.”

“The employees of the concern are tired of constant calls, demands to provide a large array of documentation, searches and interrogations with an addiction,” Peshekhonov writes. According to him, the “unique specialists” of the concern “express a desire to quit.”

In letters to law enforcement agencies, the head of the Central Research Institute “Elektribribor” claims that since 2016 the concern has been the subject of constant and ongoing inspections and criminal cases.

This isn’t the first time Elektropribor is being investigated.  In July 2016, a senior investigator in the investigative department of the inter-municipal department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at especially important and sensitive facilities in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region opened a criminal case against Vitaly Postnikov, chief engineer of the Central Electropribor Research Institute. Back then he was investigated for illegal use by a group of persons of a foreign trademark and warning marking.

The case was dismissed in December 2016, due to lack of corpus delicti (insufficient evidence that a crime had been committed).

Elektropribor is a company that supplies navigation systems for diesel and nuclear submarines, navigation systems and spacecraft orientation systems. It is a leading institute in the field of high-precision navigation, has the status of the state scientific center of Russia. It is a part of the Russian state concern – Rostec. The transfer of ownership has been on-going since November 2016 and still hasn’t been finalized.

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