Enes
Moscow
WINNER OF THE RF MINSTROY MEDIA COMPETITION 2016
Go to mobile

LATEST NEWS

11:48 27-04-2017
Slovenian investors set to build greenhouses, sports centers in Russia
10:58 27-04-2017
Huge Leroy Merlin store to be built in Russian city of Perm
10:40 27-04-2017
R-Pharm and Fujifilm to set up joint production of dietary supplements
10:19 27-04-2017
Xiaomi intends to open up to 20 new shops in Russian cities
09:53 27-04-2017
Gazprom considers gas production on shelf of Thailand and Cambodia
17:53 26-04-2017
Austrian authorities suspect Airbus CEO of $2-billion fraud
17:36 26-04-2017
Kamchatka’s priority development area to draw over $230m in investment
17:07 26-04-2017
NASA invents inflatable greenhouse for Mars and Moon
16:49 26-04-2017
Russian TVEL to supply fuel to Chinese companies for $1bn
16:29 26-04-2017
USA might start to export coal to Ukraine
16:16 26-04-2017
Gazprom plans to increase gas reserves by 469,9 bcm
16:01 26-04-2017
Construction of Eugal gas pipeline to begin next year
15:45 26-04-2017
Housing in Russia to become more expensive by 10-20%
15:06 26-04-2017
Japan studies Russian proposals to cooperate on Kuril Islands
14:53 26-04-2017
South Africa’s court cancels deal with Russia on NPP building
14:34 26-04-2017
Hungary to take part in Congress Hall construction for BRICS summit
13:41 26-04-2017
New entity for Islamic banking to be set up in Tatarstan
13:15 26-04-2017
Canada pledges to protect its domestic producers
12:57 26-04-2017
Rosnano to sign contract with Finns over wind farms building
11:24 26-04-2017
Russia reaches agreement with Boeing over Sea Launch program
10:33 26-04-2017
Russian escalator market might become world’s largest
09:42 26-04-2017
Chinese develop transport projects in Russian region of Leningrad
17:58 25-04-2017
Sales of new buildings in USA see 6% growth
17:49 25-04-2017
Moscow begins testing of Finnish electric bus of future
17:38 25-04-2017
Russia and Qatar consider joint projects worth $12 billion
17:07 25-04-2017
Why BIM technologies so popular in Finland
16:36 25-04-2017
French Minister pushes for sanctions against LafargeHolcim
16:03 25-04-2017
Russia plans to supply electricity to Ukraine’s breakaway region of Lugansk
15:47 25-04-2017
Chinese to build three metro stations in Moscow
14:33 25-04-2017
Tatarstan reduces cost of road construction, applying BIM technology
All news

ARCHIVE NEWS

«    April 2017    »
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

The “Gaizer case”: two governors charged with corruption

logo russianconstruction.com
The “Gaizer case”: two governors charged with corruption

Who is to blame for large-scale corruption in the Republic of Komi?

Another former Head of the Republic of Komi, Vladimir Torlopov, governor of the region in 2001 – 2004, has been arrested. He is charged with the organization of a criminal community and participation in it under art. 210 of the RF Criminal Code. Even for hard-boiled Russia this is a unique incident, in which two governors of the same region are charged with corruption simultaneously.  

 

Resources did not help

Nevertheless, Vladimir Torlopov has never been a key player in the so called Gaizer group. He is likely to have become a pawn of his own decisions.  On the other hand, if Torlopov had not striven for power so much there would not have been any “Gaizer case”. But first things first.

In 2001 Vladimir Torlopov headed the republican parliament – the State Soviet of the Republic of Komi. Actually he was the second-in-command after the Head of the RF region, who at that time was the former first secretary of the CPSU regional Committee and Ex-Chairman of the Supreme Court of Komi ASSR, Yury Spiridonov.

It was smooth sailing to the elections for the head of the region, and Spiridonov was sure of his victory: he was a bit scary, people called him “papa” and all important sections were reliably controlled via administrative resources. It's no laughing matter — 13 years in the main seat of power of the republic.  

He governed heavy-handedly, in haughty ways. But as compared with what happened later, all his extravagancy looks now like childish mischief.  

Just before the elections, entrepreneur Alexander Zarubin appeared in the public arena of the republic For the previous 10 years he had risen through the ranks from being director of a shop selling videotapes to deputy Chair of the Board of the RF Pension Fund and Deputy of the RF Presidential Envoy in the Volga Federal District.

It was Torlopov who opened the door to Zarubin, having invited him into the secretariat. Zarubin appreciated it and thanked Torlopov by financing his election campaign. Zarubin then took about 2,000 people from outside the region to provide for vote counting in Torlopov’s favour. The fat was in the fire, and Vladimir Torlopov occupied the main chair of the republic for nine long years.  

The “Gaizer case”: two governors charged with corruption 

It benefits nobody

But he was quickly moved away from the real levers of power.  An economic bloc was being formed by Zarubin, having received the position of the governor’s top advisor.

However, he was soon called to Victor Vekselberg’s “Renova”.  And he gave way to his successor, Alexei Chernov, who is now waiting in “Matrosskaya Tishina” to be taken to court. By the way, Zarubin himself has not been arrested; he escaped abroad well beforehand. 

The looting of the republic started almost immediately. Zarubin took a whole team from the Stavropol region who considered the region as an enterprise yielding profit. But they took up only projects bringing profit to themselves, not to the republic.  

Actually, all long-term and medium-term investment projects initiated by Spiridonov were frozen at once. For decades, the “Seregovo” health retreat and the new airport could not be completed.

When I was Editor-in Chief of the large republican newspaper “Krasnoye Znamya” (Red Banner) I had a talk with the former Syktyvkar Mayor, Roman Zenischev (who is now also imprisoned for corruption). He asserted then that both the health retreat and the airport could be financed from the federal budget, but the decision was blocked… by Komi officials. The reason? They could not find any money. And if so — it benefits nobody...

 

Playing on a grand scale

Meanwhile, people played on a grand scale. They even managed to find support in the higher echelons of the Russian authorities and successfully lobby for the necessary appointments both in the republican government and the regional departments of federal structures.  For example, within several years they had fully changed the law enforcement authorities, having appointed their own people to the posts of the Republic’s Prosecutor, Minister of the Interior and FSB.

After that, nobody prevented them from doing what they wanted. First they began to control the enterprise of “Intaugol”, then energy tariffs, road construction, agriculture, schemes with state property...

Profits disappeared offshore via sham companies. And though all Zarubin’s Russian accounts were frozen, he is sure to be wealthy abroad.

Viacheslav Gaizer first appeared in Torlopov’s team in 2004, as republican minister of finance. Before that he had worked in the “Komi Social Bank” headed by Zarubin. And in the 1990s Gaizer, like other persons of interest, was mentioned in police reports as a member of the “Ivanhoe” organized crime group in Syktyvkar.  His nickname, “Slava- affaire”, spoke for itself.

In 2010, when the governor was to be re-elected, Torlopov was absolutely sure of his “floodability”. But Zarubin’s group was so influential, and their appetites were so immense, that Torlopov ceased being amenable.  

 The “Gaizer case”: two governors charged with corruption

Neither here nor there?

And a “child” swallowed its “parent”, sending him to honourable exile – to Moscow, to be senator in the Federation Council. The Republic of Komi was headed by Viacheslav Gaizer who did not need to offer any explanations – and there were no obstacles to him for spoiling the republic.  

Within the period of his government, Vladimir Torlopov, who focused on the social sphere, seemed to be uninterested in economic issues. But investigators think differently – he seems to have signed some papers and he is charged with the wasteful spending of as much as 2.5 bln roubles.

Torlopov admitted his guilt and is cooperating with the investigation. He must be offended by his former subordinates, who did not practice what they preached.

Evgeny GORCHAKOV

Picture by Oleg Khromov

Related publications

PARTNERS

UP