USD 11 mn theft prevented in Russian tech firm

Moscow, March 27 : Police have prevented the embezzlement of over 350 million rubles' (USD 11 million) worth of assets at state-run hi-tech corporation Russian Technologies (Rostech), the interior ministry said.

Police suspect retired police general Alexander Kalinin of using a premeditated bankruptcy scheme to seize assets belonging to a Rostech enterprise, the ministry said.

"During the course of an investigative operation, police obtained information that this scheme was aimed at illegally taking possession of the assets of GIGKhS (a mining and chemical raw materials research and development institute) that comprised 18 properties worth over 350 million rubles," the ministry said in a statement.

A criminal case has been opened against Kalinin on charges of abuse of office and premeditated bankruptcy, and the suspect has been detained, the statement said.

According to police, Kalinin, who headed GIGKhS from 2008 to 2010, signed contracts with controlled shell companies for consulting and renovation services worth 19 million rubles.

Taking into account fictitious penalties and fines, the enterprise accumulated a debt of over 24 million rubles, and in December 2010 the suspect initiated bankruptcy proceedings for the institute.

The suspect, who previously held a senior post in the interior ministry's central organisation, also "used corrupt connections in the executive authorities to ensure the appointment of one of his accomplices as the enterprise's bankruptcy administrator", the statement said.

Rostech incorporates both defence and civilian producers, and the theft case is the latest episode in a string of high-profile scandals involving the defence ministry.

A fraud involving the Oboronservis defence property agency led to the sacking of defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov last yea

--IANS (Posted on 27-03-2013)

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