Corruption Weekly: June 12-16

Corruption weekly news:  June 12-16
19.06.2017
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June 13. The Meduza online newspaper publishes a report about the system of bribe-taking set up by police in St-Petersburg to rack-rent the heavy trucks’ drivers. The system of “subscription fees” allows the drivers to avoid paying fines for excessive weight of their trucks.

The drivers pay 20,000 rub ($360) monthly fee which gives them a right to drive the overweight trucks. The Meduza calculates that the corruption payments might amount to 20 bln rub ($36 mln) per year.

June 13. Center for management of investigation reports that the VIP “Princess Olga” vessel belonging to the friends of the Rosneft head Igor Sechin was detected in St-Petersburg during the St-Petersburg International Economic Forum. According to the Center, the ship owned by Iskander Makhmudov and Andrei Bokarev should be a venue of the Rosneft party.

According to the Center, the meals onboard the “Princess Olga” are served in silvered dishes Ercuis и Robbe & Berking Silber (12-person tableware worth €426 to €22 300), a Champagne cooler Сhristofle costs €1550,  deck chairs cost €1050 and up. The guest cabins are equipped with English mattresses Robert Langford.

June 13. Showman Vladimir Solovyov on air of the Full Contact show on Vesti FM radio station calls the participants of June 12 the anti-corruption protest actions at Tverskaya street "eternal two percent of shit" and "children of corrupted officials".

After that, the media disseminate information on Vladimir Solovyov's activity. Authors of the blog "Lapshesnimalochnaya" on Twitter said that in the state contract which was media refers the contract signed by the SV Consulting company with the PJSC Sberbank of Russia concluded in 2015. A purchase subject is consulting services. The cost of the contract is 101 mln rubles.

The necessary file with documentation is posted on the website of state procurements, however it contains an empty sheet. Despite it, the show host Vladimir Solovyov answered on Twitter to the Lapshesnimalochnaya: "And all this in open access and the taxes have been paid from all income))) so on what money do you live?"

As the Russiangate found out, 70% of the SV Consulting company belong to Vladimir Solovyov. Besides, the showman has also other business. He is a founder of two more companies – the VM Development LLC, the SV Music Management, and also a SP. In the past, Solovyov owned a share in Modny Kontingent LLC closed in 2008. Nellie and Olga Gruzdevs – mother and the wife of the ex-prosecutor of Tula region Vladimir Gruzdev - were his business partners.

The contract on 101 mln rubles has not been the only case of cooperation of the showman with the Sberbank, the "Open Russia" adds. It says that for 11.7 mln rubles the showman taught the bank’s employees the art of public speech. Solovyov's company also received two more contracts from the Sberbank. He earned 113.4 mln rubles in 2014 and receive 101 mln rubles for consulting services in 2016. Instead of documents in all those contacts there are empty files.

Editor-in-chief of the Esquire Russia Sergei Minayev has been in the epicenter of another scandal. The BBC Russian Service reports he assisted billionaire Alisher Usmanov to record a video address to the opposition politician Alexei Navalny. BBC obtained the information from three sources close to the businessman.

BBC adds Usmanov and Minayev have common business. The investor of Minayev’s projects has been a member of the BOD of the Metalloinvest, Valery Kazikayev. The Metalloinvest, in turn, belongs to Usmanov’s USM Holding.

BBC also cites its sources who insist that Usmanov informed the Presidential Administration and the government about his intention to record the address. “The Kremlin also supported Usmanov’s decision to file a lawsuit”, BBC adds.

June 15. Yabloko’s anticorruption center publishes information about a cartel agreement among the “Putin’s chef” companies working on the school catering market. Five out of the six companies that obtained the contracts totaling 50 bln rubles ($865.7 mln) have the way or another been linked to businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, Yabloko says.

The results of 36 tenders on school catering were finalized on June 13. The winners were Shkolnik-YUZ LLC, Moskovsky Shkolnik LLC, Konkord Kombinat Pitaniya LLC, CJSC Kombinat Shkolnogo Pitaniya, Socialnoye pitanie Tsentr and VITO-1 LLC.

Five out of the six companies that obtained the contracts totaling 50 bln rubles ($865.7 mln) have the way or another been linked to businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, so-called Putin’s chef, Yabloko says.

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