Fraudsters from Roscosmos laundered over a billion rubles in Hong Kong

Fraudsters from Roscosmos laundered over a billion rubles in Hong Kong
Fraudsters from Roscosmos laundered over a billion rubles in Hong Kong
26 May 2021, 09:57Business
The Office of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Moscow Region has completed an investigation into the theft of over a billion rubles in the supply of the electronic component base of the scientific energy module (SEM), which has not yet been launched to the International Space Station (ISS).

The charges were brought against, among other things, the ex-general director of the Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia, Vladimir Solntsev.

An investigation launched in 2019 found that funds were laundered through Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kommersant reports.

The investigation was initially initiated by Roscosmos and was conducted against unidentified persons. Later, charges were brought against eight persons involved, including the former head of RSC Energia, Vladimir Solntseva.

According to the case file, in December 2012, a state contract was signed between the Federal Agency and RSC Energia for the “creation of a scientific and energy module” for 15 billion 15 million rubles.

Solntsev entered into a criminal conspiracy with several accomplices. They fraudulently stole about a billion rubles, causing significant damage to both Energia and Roskosmos.

Investigators found out that in 2017, between Energia and OJSC TsNII Tsiklon, a contract was signed, according to which 1.32 billion rubles were transferred to the company's accounts - for the supply of components for the creation of NEM. At the same time, the contract price was overstated three times. Forensic experts concluded that the market value was RUB 489 million.

After several transactions, the money settled on the accounts of Rosaero FZC and Somontaj general trading LLC in the UAE and Jushi com limited and Seanet trade limited in Hong Kong. The defendants spent only 278 million rubles on the actual purchase of parts, and appropriated the remaining funds.

Now the majority of the defendants in the case have been charged with large-scale fraud. Two of them are charged with legalization of funds acquired by criminal means.

At the same time, Vladimir Solntsev does not admit guilt and calls the criminal case "punishment".

Roscosmos reported that Solntsev left RKK after Dmitry Rogozin was appointed CEO of the corporation in May 2018. Labor relations with him were terminated due to a large number of questions about his activities. General Director of the state corporation Dmitry Rogozin asked the head of the Accounts Chamber, Alexey Kudrin, to conduct a comprehensive audit of RSC Energia. However, the audit was carried out by the internal audit service of Roscosmos itself, and as a result, the case got under way. In RKK itself, after 2018, leaders were replaced three times.

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