воскресенье, 16 октября 2011 г.

$10 million embezzlement in Russia’s e-government project


Unnamed officials, developing e-Russia program, have stolen approximately 280 million roubles ($10 million), the probe by the Prosecutor General’s Office showed. The Ministry of Internal affairs will decide whether the evidence is sufficient enough to bring charges against the suspects, who face 10 years in prison for what falls under Article 159.4 of the RF Criminal Code or “large-scale fraud”.

The probe revealed facts of corruption in the Ministry of Communications and state-controlled telecommunications company Rostelecom over the equipment supply contracts in 2009-2010. For instance, the state allocated 270 million roubles for purchasing software and hardware, according to the contract signed on 15 November 2010. But the contract price was seriously overvalued.

Rostelecom bought 155 servers from IBM, a source in the Russian company said. But the ministry received just 127 servers, less than it had been stipulated by the contract. A system integrator company called Nvision Group (owner Dmitry Taraba) was the contractor of Rostelecom.

The probe found out that the chain of resellers was set up in order to make the price higher.

Envision Group purchased 383 million roubles worth software and hardware, which Rostelecom bought for 511 million roubles. The communications ministry bought it from Rostelecom for 653 million roubles.

Aleksei Tarasenko, director general of Nvision Group, said that the calculations of the investigators were incorrect, because they did not include VAT and the price of software. The company paid 409 million roubles for IBM products, he said.

Rostelecom said that it had also bought 47.5 million worth equipment from Kraftway under the same contract.

Deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov, responsible for IT, is reported by Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) and other sources to have links with Nvision Group.

There was a “conflict of interests” between the companies purchasing products for e-Russia project and the companies selling it, according to the August statement of the Prosecutor General. Aleksei Naschekin, vice president of Rostelekom and former head of Nvision Group, was involved in the situation, the Prosecutor General referred to.

A spokesman of the Ministry of Communications said, that the ministry “had sent official explanations and objections” to the conclusions made by investigators.

However the probe into Rostelecom goes on, a source said. No charges have been brought yet.


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