Environmental Official Suspected of Accepting UMMC’s Bribe

24 February 2012 (09:19)

Criminal action was taken against Rosprirodnadzor officials who are suspected of accepting a ?90,000 bribe for their audit of Svyatogor (a member of UMMC Holding); they are also suspected of taking 11.8m RUR from the company for covering up the detected legal offenses. Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow has already ruled that head of Rosprirodnadzor’s Environmental Control Department Lyudmila Plushch must be taken under arrest, Kommersant reports.

The official was under the Federal Security Service and the Internal Affairs Ministry Economic Security Departments’ officers’ observation for over a year. The observation started when the Federal Security Service officers discovered she had received ?90,000 in August 2010 for the organization of an unscheduled investigation of environmental violations at Svyatogor. The bribe was accepted by Plushch and her former deputy, the currently unemployed Daniil Yakovlev at a restaurant called Chaikhana. However, no criminal proceedings were instituted back then. Nevertheless, the official’s later actions provided the investigators with ample material.

The orchestrated inspection of Svyatogor in 2010-2011 revealed some violations of the environmental law; fines would amount to millions of rubles. Svyatogor’s management, Kommersant claims, were fully aware of the fact that the inspection had been schemed by the enterprise’s competitors, but they had no intention of paying the fines.

‘The ore processing plant’s management tried to persuade the official to turn a partially blind eye on their environmental offenses for a sum of money; they used an intermediary, who was the director-general of a company whose name has been kept secret for the sake of the inquest efficiency, and who could come in contact with Lyudmila Plushch. The negotiations took quite a while. It is unclear at the moment how much money was offered at the start, but in the long run Svyatogor ended up paying Rosprirodnadzor officials 11.8m RUR. The newspaper’s informants from the law-enforcement agencies report the officials received the money in two installments, into the account of a fly-by-night business that they controlled,’ Kommerant says.

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