Primorsky Krai received almost 700 billion rubles from the Federal and regional sources on the development of the infrastructure of the region. But in the four years of preparation for the APEC summit, not all the projects were implemented as it had been intended, but it was forgotten to complete some of them at all.
Recently, on September 6, speaking at the conference “Invest in Russia” at the APEC Business Summit, the vice-governor of Primorye Territory Sergey Sidorov said that he was going “krishevaniye’ (to take under protection racket) each investor who would come to Primorsky Krai, so he would be good here”. After the London trial between Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich the word «kryshevat» is no longer a legal nonsense and becomes a part of the annals of the case legislation. And, accordingly, it is well known to the Western and Eastern investors, for whom the meeting of the leaders of the Asian and Pacific region was planned. Do you really think that they could offer such a “friendly interest” at least on the sidelines, let alone in the official speeches to the visitors of the U.S. last summit in Honolulu?! But in Russia it is said by the second person of the region and even in the “federal investments will be gone, and we understand that we need to raise funds ourselves” way. Certainly, the region won't see federal money any more while Sidorov has such appreciable assistants on their development as the media celebrity Oleg Drozdov and wife Marina Lomakina.
Vostokstroyservice JSC, the Director of which is Oleg Drozdov, won the auction on recycling of solid domestic waste by hard-dumping. To win they offered the sum reduced the size of the state contract at 37 percent. Why such generosity?
Probably, the builders of the new landfill expected that while the budgetary funds on the recultivation of Gornostai would be getting accustomed, the site would have to be closed. Meanwhile, those who took such a decision somehow forgot that the big city has no place to put thousands of tons of garbage without the landfill. Oleg Drozdov now accepts garbage trucks just unloaded nearby from the unfinished landfill, and he even starts to collect 80 rubles for this illegal operation instead of the 16 that were paid previously as a tariff for the storage of waste in Gornostai. Moreover, the tariff is charged for the collection and disposal of waste rather than for simply piling it anywhere. Thus, just for the year, the tariff for garbage removal, which, in theory, should be regulated by the Regional Council, has been increased exactly five times.
But about what tariff-controlling can we speak, if the garbage is simply dumped on the ground even outside the boundaries of the landfill?! So, citizen Drozdov is right too, in a way, having a piece of paper in his hands which allows dumping the garbage on the road if you like!
Only by this simple negotiation, from January to September 2011, the King of Vladivostok garbage collected 20 million rubles! According to rumors, the prices were prescribed by eye, without any documents.
Meanwhile, this summer the Chamber finally issued a report on “targeted and efficient expenditure of funds” allocated for the preparation for the summit. And what do we see in the paper?
“During the execution of the state contract, the adjustment of the project was implemented. As a result of it, the initially projected geogrid grade E` GRID 170R at 528.32 rubles was replaced by geogrid TGDG 170Kn (by China) with the cost estimated at 584.35 rubles per 1 sq. km. m including VAT”, the auditors write. It turns out that the tender was won by the unrealistically low prices, and then the winning organizations together with the officials have carried out the “adjustment of the project”! We wonder what the management of the city-building department of Primorsky region was thinking when signing these “adjustments”. Even if not mentioning the considerable growth of the grid’s price which makes the state auction held before absolutely useless, this grid was for some reason purchased in quantities which are 160 thousand quadratic meters more than stated in the budget. And from the documents provided by the custom officers it becomes clear that Drozdov bought the grid at the price of 118 rubles per square meter which is four times cheaper than the usual price, so the profit just speaks for itself. However, one could have stood it, if only the grid hadn’t cracked immediately, once been put on the ground. So there was no point of such a remediation minus the money spent on it.
Yet another subordinate of mister Sidorov who actively promotes the touristic cluster of Vladivostok with the “investing” first vice-governor is the general director of “Our home – Primorye” Marina Lomakina (also the Head of the self-regulated Primorye’s builders organization, which is, actually, the caretaker). This seriously-looking dame took up building two five-star hotels for the international hotel-net Hayatt in the historical centre of the city, where the APEC summit guests were to be accommodated. It was started to build them with the help of the Primorye region budget money. Taking in account the seriousness of the budget infusions the scheme of the cooperation wasn’t worked out very well, it is even safe to say that the Primorye region administration completely relied on the management of the newly created company “Our home is Primorye”. It looks kind of strange, especially if knowing that the administration itself doesn’t have the right to be involved in the hotel business, and the developer can run the hotels only up to the time of the very summit. What were the runners of the budget money planning to do if the operator Hayatt refused to work with the complex? Or such an opportunity wasn’t even taken into consideration?
In 2010 the property relations department of the Primorye region gave to the authorized capital of “Our home is Primorye” 5.7 billion rubles according to the investment agreement. This money was to be enough for the two many-storey luxurious buildings, one of which was to be situated on the Burny cape and another – on the Korabelnaya embankment. “Our home” has already signed several agreements on projecting and building of the two hotels of the five billion rubles price. The 4.5 billion went without the approval of the main investor – the property relations department. Almost 3 billion of them began to circulate in the “Primorye” bank.
The major shareholder, i.e. the owner of the money, was not aware of the movement of money, and when the regional deputies asked him to share forecasts of future profitability of the hotels, Mrs. Lomakina asked them to do their work and not to violate trade secrets. If the hotels were constructed in time, this behavior would have gotten away. But the summit passed long ago, and things are there. On top of that, “Our House” took credit for nearly two billion in Sberbank, and as a result the buildings came under mortgage encumbrance. When they began talking what to do next with the unfinished construction, Lomakina offered to give the hotel to the private sector, and let the new owners deal with the huge credit.
What sequence of the actions can we see? At first the administration allocates money for the construction of the two hotels. They haven’t been built by the time of the summit, and the guests have to spend nights at specially-brought for the occasion ocean liners. Hyatt will quite possibly refuse from the control of the complex due to the failure of the promotional campaign, for without the APEC Summit it will be difficult to unwind and display the payback of the hotels. The project will have to be frozen for the time being, because it is quite problematical to get anything from the budget or investors after the scandal. And then, indeed, the complex will have to be sold to anyone who would wish to buy it. In this case the object, in fact, will be sold in the best fraud traditions for two times: once - to the state, then – to a private investor.
“At the time of the audit, the engineering and cost documentation on the construction of the hotel complexes didn’t pass the state examination to confirm the reliability of the construction cost estimates due to deficiencies that prevent provide a positive opinion on reliability of the estimated cost”, - the bulletin of the ubiquitous Audit Chamber claims. That is, they did spend money but it is unclear on what. The federal authority recognized officially only that. What kind of budget is that, in which one end has not converged to another by two billion which were also not enough to finish the hotel?
Well, now the vice-governor Sergey Sidorov, accompanied by his “highly effective managers”, describes the Vladivostok’s investment attractiveness in Singapore. Remembering the “authoritative” statement during the summit, one can only wonder about the ticket prices.
Tim Murton, specially for Rumafia.com