Official Stripped of Real Estate over MiG Airframe Fraud

MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) – A district court in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod Region has ordered the seizure of real estate from a former official found guilty of fraud involving fighter jets for Syria, according to the court’s website.

Andrei Silyakov’s land plot and house qualified for confiscation because he had other places to live, the Vachsky court said on Friday without specifying the property’s value.

But Silyakov, a former regional official at the Federal Reserves Agency, was not using the house anyway because he has been on the run since 2011.

In 2006-2007 Silyakov illegally sold four airframes for MiG-31 fighter jets from the state reserves, investigators said earlier.

The buyer was Nizhny Novgorod’s Sokol aircraft maker that was contracted to supply the jets to the Syrian Air Force, media reported in 2010.

Silyakov managed to sell the airframes – which cost 115 million rubles each ($3.8 million) – to a firm he controlled for 153 rubles ($5) apiece. He later resold them to the Sokol plant for 4 million rubles ($130,000).

He was also accused of swindling 35,000 tons of fuel oil through similar machinations.

The official pleaded not guilty but was convicted of fraud and sentenced to ten years and eight months in prison in 2011. He disappeared days before the verdict and remains on the run.

Total damages in the case were estimated at 1.3 billion rubles, but the court only sentenced Silyakov to a fine of 315 million rubles ($10 million).

The airframes were never turned into jets for Syria and remain on Sokol’s premises, Kommersant said on Monday.


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