Officials Implicated In $9M Trash Fraud

Officials Implicated In $9M Trash Fraud

Published: February 6, 2013 (Issue # 1745)

Officials from the Primorsky district administration are suspected of fraud concerning a contract worth 270 million rubles ($9 million) for the removal of garbage.

The Investigative Committee on Thursday carried out a search of the offices of the administration of the Primorsky district of St. Petersburg as part of a criminal case into fraudulent practice committed by an organized group or on a large scale.

In 2012, the district’s administration signed a state contract with a commercial organization for 300 million rubles ($10 million) to liquidate illegal refuse dumps in the district and to create an ecological zone, the Investigative Committee said in a statement issued by its press service. According to law enforcement agencies, the district’s administration listed the commercial organization as being paid more than 270 million rubles for services rendered, but more than 174 million rubles’ worth of the work described in the invoice had not been carried out.

An Internet tender for the liquidation of illegal refuse sites was held by the Primorsky district administration in January 2012, according to the state commissions website. Its only participant — and the winner — was a company called Temp, with whom a contract for more than 270 million rubles was signed. The contractor was due to carry out the work by Sept. 1, 2012. Vedomosti was unable to reach the company for comment last week.

According to data from Spark, Temp was set up in June 2011 and belongs to its general director Sergei Anisimov. According to data from the state administrative and technical inspectorate, in 2012, Temp was given 18 orders for the clearing of illegal waste sites in the Primorsky district.

The Primorsky district administration failed to respond to questions from Vedomosti. The district’s council has been headed since November 2011 by Vyacheslav Chazov; for six years before that he was the chairman of the city’s Physical Exercise and Sports Committee.

Bringing in federal investigators to work on a regional criminal case could be a sign that the federal authorities are seeking to strengthen control over regional officials, as the local law enforcement agencies could be connected to the local elite, said political analyst Alexei Makarkin. When changes are made in the local administration and a new team comes in, there is often a wave of denouncements against officials from the previous government, he said.

Last fall, searches were carried out at the city’s Energy Committee, as a result of which the committee’s former chairman Oleg Trishkin was arrested, along with Konstantin Mosin, director of the Upravlenie Zakazchika (Client Management) state company, and the owners and directors of the contractor firm Petrokom. They are suspected of having laid pipes using counterfeit quality certificates, causing losses of 6 billion rubles ($200 million) to the budget.

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