Caught by the authorities
On April 4, a court in Moscow arrested the head of Udmurt republic Alexander Solovyov over charges of taking bribes of over 140 mln rubles ($2.5 mln). Katerina Karasyova collected information about the case.
Governor Solovyov was detained in his own house in Izhevsk by the FSB on April 3. Next morning he was airlifted handcuffed and with a black suck on his head to Moscow for interrogation in the Investigative Committee’s Main department. Solovyov has been charged of taking a bribe of extra large size. The court arrested him until June 4. Vladimir Putin ousted Solovyov due to “loss of confidence”.
According to investigators, in 2014-2016 Solovyov received a bribe of 139 mln rubles from a bridge-building company. He has also received a 2.7-mln-ruble share in a commercial organization. In return, the governor promised to secure payments to these companies from regional and federal budgets.
Operative Roman Mukhachyov told the court that the investigation had got evidence against the governor obtained from his full namesake and accomplice, former deputy transportation minister. The official dubbed Solovyov-junior was arrested in October 2016 for abuse of power.
The bridges were opened in November 2016. The cost of their construction has been estimated at 14 bln rubles ($250 mln) which Solovyov asked to provide from Putin personally. Out of that sum, 1.3 bln rubles had been obtained from the Udmurt republic’s budget, 2.5 bln rubles were given by the federal investment fund, the VTB bank gave a loan of 5 bln rubles for 15 years.
“We hear those demands and we’ll counter corruption to the full strength of the law regardless of personalities. We’ll cooperate more actively with the law enforcement bodies. For that, we accepted a join counter-corruption plan in Udmurt republic”, Solovyov said following the anti-corruption rallies on March 26.
The general contractor of the bridge-building works had been the Mostostroi-12 enterprise. The Russiangate learnt the bribe to Solovyov was given by Alexander Zabarsky, a head of the Mostoctroi-12.
Alexander Solovyov has been the fourth governor in two years under a criminal investigation. In spring 2015, Sakhalin governor Alexander Khoroshavin was accused of power abuse. In fall, head of Komi republic Vyacheslav Gaizer was arrested over charges of organization of a criminal gang. In summer 2016, Kirov governor Nikita Belykh was arrested while accepting a bribe in a Moscow restaurant. Former minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev was also arrested for bribery.
On the eve of Solovyov’s arrest, the republic’s court of arbitration had scheduled a hearing over the republic’s Transportation ministry’s complaint against the Mostostroi-12. The ministry claims the company failed to implement the contract and demanded to repay a forfeit of 75.5 mln rubles.
One more court hearing against the Mostostroi has been scheduled in Tyumen on April 18, where the Sberbank will try to receive debts from the company. On April 17, Udmurt road enterprise will also try to receive 208.2 mln rubles from the company in court.
The Mostostroi has been experiencing financial troubles since the fall of 2016 due to the situation around the Peresvet bank. After all deadlines have been passed, the FSB intervened.
On March 17, 2017 the Udmurt transportation and road minister Victor Vakromeev told reporters that the republic had been on a verge of losing 500 mln rubles allocated for bridges and roads repair.
Full version of declaration of ex-governor of Udmurt republic find here.