Do underground "aviators" hand Manturov over?
The Investigative Committee of Russia uncovered the "Bermuda" triangle of bribe takers: the structures of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation and the Nizhny Novgorod Aviation Society may be involved in the case.
The Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow has already arrested three persons involved in the criminal case: they appeared to be connected with the case of one of the employees of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. According to investigators, Head of the Department of Military-Technical Cooperation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Rizvan Gairbekov received 4.5 million rubles from General Director of the Nizhny Novgorod Aviation Society Vasily Klepalov. For what merits? For issuing permits for the supply of dual-use products to the Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the Investigative Committee of Russia, Head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Sergey Garmash was the intermediary in the bribe.
Despite the fact that the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Central Administrative District of Moscow began investigating this complicated case 3 months ago, the persons involved in the case were detained by Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives only a few hours before the court proceedings. After interrogations and searches conducted at the place of residence and in the offices of the detainees, the investigation charged all three persons involved - Klepalov, Gairbekov and Garmash.
But didn't it happen that they took intermediaries, and the "brain" of the operation remained at large?
The correspondent of The Moscow Post tried to study the "darkness" of the case on the supply of dual-use products to Azerbaijan.
"Aviator" Vasily Klepalov
The first "harbinger", that had to go to the remand centre, was General Director of the Nizhny Novgorod Aviation Society, Director of the "Sokol" DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy of Russia) club 65-year-old Vasily Klepalov. He was charged under article 291 of the Criminal Code ("giving a bribe"). This was informed by Interfax.
Mr. Klepalov is a mirage man.
All the portraits on the Internet are carefully cleaned up, as well as other information. The only family photo is on Klepalov's web page on odnoklassniki.ru, which was visited by him on March 17. The picture shows him with his wife and daughter.
Vasily Klepanov (photo taken from an open source Odnoklassniki social network)
And it is a certain Natalia Klepalova who is listed in the documents of Vasily Klepalov as a co-founder. Natalia Klepalova has been involved in her father's business affairs since 2016.
This is even more surprising because it was in 2016 that Vasily Klepalov's company concluded two very serious state contracts with JSC 308 Aircraft Repair Plant.
But we will return to this Aircraft Repair Plant under the number 308, because this factory is simply "swollen" from state orders - 308 ARP has recently completed 62 state orders as a supplier, and has carried out 394 state orders as a customer.
Therefore, the huge bribe that surfaced, probably, surprised few people, both in the Ministry of Industry and Trade and in the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.
And now the employee of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Rizvan Gairbekov, who is charged with part 6 of article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Receiving a bribe in a particularly large amount)", the court sent to the remand centre until August 4 this year, shortly after the arrest of Vasily Klepalov. This is reported by RBC.
It should be recalled that the intermediary of the transfer of a "little present" Sergey Garmash hold a post of Deputy Head of the Second Department for Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign Countries of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).
And immediately after the arrest, Garmash made a confession. Investigative Commitee of Russia asked the District Court to send Sergei Garmash under house arrest.
Khamovnichesky District Court granted the request.
According to investigators, in the spring of 2019, Vasily Klepalov asked Sergey Garmash to help in obtaining a license for certain activities. They were necessary for the supply of dual-use products to Azerbaijan. It should be noted that Azerbaijan constantly buys military products not only in Belorussia, but also in Russia.
Vasily Klepalov gave Sergey Garmash first 2 million rubles, and then another 2.5 million rubles. The money was transferred directly at the entrance to the FSMTC building on Ovchinnikovskaya embankment.
Then Garmash handed the package with the money to Head of the Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Gairbekov.
Storm clouds over the Ministry of Industry and Trade
In the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the clouds have been condensing for years. It should be recalled that the summer of 2019 turned out to be extremely exciting for Manturov's Department: the Ministry of Industry and Trade was then frequented by Security Forces. Since June last year, they have been interested in the work of several departments at once. In June 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade was searched. And one of Manturov's high officials was arrested. This was reported by RBC.
It turns out that less than a year passed, and the story repeated.
Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov is sure that the storm clouds will pass by again
But in those June days last year, Mr. Manturov was very nervous, especially when persistent journalists were asking him whether the Minister was going to go to work for the State Corporation Rostec? Manturov was furious, covered with spots, calling the rumors about the transition to Rostec "the ravings of a madman". Kommersant wrote about this in detail.
But while Manturov was on nettles in his chair, the Department of Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry Development was searched. They were looking for evidence concerning Head of this Department Aleksey Alekhin, who was and still is associated with a large biotech company Biocad JSC.
Mr. Alekhin is still considered a person lobbying for the interests of Biocad. After all, today among the largest customers of the Concern, bringing its owners billions of dollars in revenue, are the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as the capital's Department of Health. Hundreds of millions more are brought by contracts with the Ministry of Health of the Moscow region, as well as budgetary institutions of medical profile. It was written in detail by The Moscow Post.
JSC Biocad is closely connected with another pharmaceutical company - Pharmstandard. This infamous company belongs to Viktor Kharitonin (in 2014, he became a co-owner of JSC Biocad). By the way, both structures were accused of cartel collusion in public procurement under the "Seven Nosologies" program.
Searches in the Ministry of Industry and Trade passed. It became quiet again.
But at the end of June 2019, FSB operatives detained Vladimir Potapkin, the Head of the Department of Chemical and Technological Complex and Bioengineering Technologies of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, who managed to retire a few days before his detention. RBC wrote about this.
Vladimir Potapkin retired from the Ministry of Industry and Trade a few days before his arrest
According to the data available to the investigation, in 2016-2019 Potapkin received a bribe of more than 78 million rubles from the management of the Asia Les (Khabarovsk) timber company for assistance in providing state subsidies. This is about an investment project for the development of woodworking production in Khabarovsk: a subsidy of 1 billion rubles was allocated exactly for this project. But the project was not implemented. The damage amounted to 9 billion rubles. This was reported by Regnum.
But shortly before his arrest, Potapkin retired from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. And it happened after a personal meeting with Denis Manturov. Apparently, Manturov realized that Potapkin would soon be picked up. And decided to get rid of a dangerous official.
But Potapkin was not able to pull off such a large-scale scam alone. It was supposed: could Minister Manturov be in the share? What about the current situation with the supply of dual-use products to Baku?
The unfinished case of Denis Pak
In July last year, searches were also carried out in the Department of Automotive Industry and Railway Engineering of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Department is headed by a certain Denis Pak. This is the same Pak that became famous after getting a chair on the head: the official was beaten by football players Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev.
The reason for the searches were subsidies, which, according to investigators, were allocated by the Department to some one-day firms registered in the North Caucasus. The authors of the web site automania.ru wrote, that, allegedly, the Heads of these firms combined the positions of General Director and accountant in one person, and the money transferred to the accounts of "left" firms was cashed in the regions of the North Caucasus. And after that, the "tugriks" returned to the capital.
Journalists also wrote about Denis Pak's previous achievements: it is about the inauguration of Vladimir Putin, which was almost in danger of being disrupted.
We are talking about the "Kortezh" project for 24 billion rubles. An official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade Pak had a direct connection to this project.
In March 2018 (two months before the inauguration), the Federal security service became aware of the shortage of 16 cars to accompany Vladimir Putin. With great difficulty, the cars came to the address, but the media raised a legitimate question: how could a person (meaning an official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Pak) be responsible for the domestic car industry, who - firstly - did not have a technical education, and - secondly - did not work a single day in production? But specialization in such a responsible and complicated work, apparently, was not the main thing.
Apparently, to register one-day firms in the republics of the North Caucasus, one does not need to understand the intricacies of the automobile industry. It could possibly be managed. And that worked!
But the searches were carried out. Manturov again seemed to be on nettles. But Denis Pak still holds his "bread" position as before.
However, it musn't be surprising. Denis Pak's activities in Manturov's Department are carefully supervised by another notorious subject in the Ministry of Industry and Trade - Manturov's Deputy Viktor Evtukhov. And he is tightly sitting in his chair as well, despite numerous publications that tell about tricks with budget millions.
Viktor Evtukhov, Deputy of Denis Manturov
Denis Manturov has a lot of reasons for concern. And a new scandal in the Ministry of Industry and Trade may affect Mr. Manturov himself.
But let us recall the following fact: not so long ago, Konstantin Tarabrin, who previously served as Director of the Department of Defense Industry Complex became a new Director of the Department of Conventional Weapons, Ammunition and Special Chemistry Industry. Tarabrin was replaced by one of his deputies, Dmitry Kapranov.
And the reason for the personnel changes was the promotion of Director of the Department of Defense Industry Complex Oleg Ryazancev to Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. This post was previously held by Alexander Potapov. But at the end of 2016, the management of Rostec GC, the Board of the Military-Industrial Commission under the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Industry and Trade considered Potapov the best candidate for the post of Director of the Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod.
The deck was shuffled.
"Cock" got rid of foreign details
But let's return to a new big story, in which the Ministry of Industry and Trade was again involved.
To begin with — there is some more information about the 308 Aircraft Repair Plant. It is located in Ivanovo. It is at this enterprise that the aircrafts of the AN family are repaired.
By the way, the AN-22 or Antei, "Cock" - according to the NATO reporting name, is the world's largest turboprop aircraft. These days, such machines are no longer costructed. The last repaired board is more than 40 years old. And he's as good as a new one today. The AN-22 was brought back to life at the 308 Aircraft Repair Plant. Nowhere else the AN-24, -26, - 30 and -32 can be restored.
The 308 Plant is the basic one for repairing all aircraft modifications developed by Antonov Design Bureau. The Plant is able to repair 11 types of aircraft. Law Enforcement Agencies are the main customers.
Today, the plant focuses on import substitution, since before the memorable year of 2014, the plant had been receiving parts and components from Ukraine. Today, the enterprise is on the sanctions list. It has to to make the parts by itself. As a result, the production cycle is delayed. This affects the volume of production. It is necessary to expand the capacity. Modern machine-tools and other equipment to switch to digital technologies are required.
The management of the plant appealed to Governor of the Ivanovo region Stanislav Voskresensky with a request to establish relations with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, so that the projects are included in Federal Target Programs. The Governor met them halfway.
So far, the plant is upgrading aircrafts on its own, changing Ukrainian and Lithuanian parts to Russian ones: this includes radar equipment, the state identification system, the so-called "black box" and new satellite navigation equipment.
Today 9 aircraft repair plants in Russia are operating on a new schedule
According to the new schedule, 9 Russian aircraft repair plants have been operating since the spring of 2018. PJSC United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) distributed aircraft repair plants to divisions. The authority of the sole executive body of JSC 20 ARP, JSC 121 ARP, JSC 275 ARP, JSC 322 ARP, JSC 514 ARP were transferred to PJSC Sukhoi Company. The powers of JSC 360 ARP were transferred to PJSC Tupolev. The powers of JSC 123 ARP, JSC 308 ARP, and JSC 325 ARP were transferred to PJSC Ilyushin .
Vasily Petrovich Klepalov from Nizhny Novgorod worked very closely with the 308 Aircraft Repair Plant. And signed state contracts with this plant.
But what kind of military supplies for Azerbaijan are meant? Is it, apparently, about the control and measuring equipment, control and verification equipment, ground support equipment and so on? Azerbaijan purchases military equipment all over the world, including Russia. And, obviously, Baku is also interested in flight equipment.
Will there be a case of high treason as well?
Klepalov and Gairbekov have already gone to jail. The intermediary of the bribe transfer, Garmash, is under house arrest.
What will the investigators eventually dig up in this, so far very murky case, from which the ears of the Ministry of Industry and Trade are very noticeably sticking out?
While the material was being prepared for publication, it became known that a new person involved appeared in the criminal case of receiving bribes for issuing permits for military supplies to Azerbaijan by Rizvan Gairbekov. This is a certain D. N. Terekhov. The investigation accuses him of mediation in the transfer of a particularly large bribe to Gairbekov. Terekhov has already made a confession.
The investigation is being continued.