Sergey Kelbakh could cause Avtodor damage by 2 billion rubles

The criminal case against the former head of Avtodor Sergey Kelbakh is connected with violations during the construction of the Central Ring Road. He was suspected of exceeding his authority, including when transferring an advance to “Crocus” Araz Agalarov.
Origin source
The investigation assesses the damage caused by the actions of the ex-head of Avtodor, Sergei Kelbakh, at more than 2 billion rubles, the press service of the Investigation Committee (SK) reported on Thursday, June 4. A criminal case was initiated against him under Part 3 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code (abuse of power), providing for a maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison.

A few hours before, Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said that the case against the former head of Avtodor was initiated because of the “large volume of violations” identified during the inspection of the construction of the Central Ring Road (CKAD) in the Moscow Region. According to investigators, in 2015, Kelbakh agreed an illegal payment to OOO Koltsevaya Magistral of a commission for a bank guarantee in the amount of 3.9 million rubles. in Gazprombank and the “unlawful provision” in 2017 of an additional advance payment of Araz Agalarov's JSC Crocus International in the amount of 2 billion rubles. SK believes that Kelbakh, being the head of Avtodor, “unreasonably used” budget allocations and funds of the National Wealth Fund, intended for the construction of the Central Ring Road in 2014–2018, and also abused its powers.

“The illegal actions of Kelbakh entailed grave consequences and substantial violations of the interests of the state protected by law, causing damage in the amount of more than 2 billion rubles,” the press service of the UK indicates. A source familiar with the investigation, told RBC that Kelbach was not detained. "Previously, he testified, is currently under obligation to appear," said the source. Kelbakh himself, after the prosecutor general’s speech, told Radio Moscow Moscow that he had heard about the case from journalists, refusing to comment on the essence of the claims. RBC sent a request to the representative of Crocus.

The Agreement on long-term investment cooperation for the construction and maintenance of the first start-up complex of the Ring Road (CKAD-1) with a length of 49.5 km (96th-146th km), which will pass through the territory of the city district of Domodedovo, Podolsky district, Moscow region, Moscow and Naro-Fominsky districts of the Moscow region, Avtodor signed with Crocus International in August 2015. This agreement was added to the contract concluded on the basis of an open tender with Stroygazconsulting. Shortly before this, Crocus reached an agreement with Stroygazconsulting on the transfer of rights and obligations for the implementation of the Central Ring Road-1 project. The total construction cost of this site was 48.9 billion rubles. VAT included. Under the contract, Avtodor was supposed to submit 42.1 billion rubles, a private investor - 6.8 billion rubles. The plot must be completed by December 25, 2019.

In Russia, cases of criminal proceedings against the heads of state-owned companies, heads of regions and law enforcement agencies are not uncommon, says Sergey Varlamov, partner at the Business Fair law bureau. So, in June 2016, the UK initiated a criminal case under Article 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud) in relation to the ex-head of RusHydro, Evgeny Dod. The investigation considered that Dod accrued a 353 million rubles premium at the end of 2013, inflating it at least 73 million rubles, as well as other top managers, the total amount of claims amounted to 706 million rubles. But in September 2017, the Prosecutor General’s Office refused to approve the indictment because of contradictions in financial examinations and returned the case file to the Investigative Committee. Last year, the case was retrained at st. 201 of the Criminal Code (abuse of authority) and stopped under an amnesty, said RBC source close to Dod.
Part 3 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code falls into the category of serious crimes, and the punishment for it is often associated with actual deprivation of liberty. The real reasons that Kelbach has not yet been arrested are not known, but this may be due to his confession of guilt, the active assistance to the investigation, if such circumstances exist, suggests Varlamov.

Ring unfinished

Kelbach worked at Avtodor in 2011–2019. In February 2019, after the Accounts Chamber announced numerous violations during the construction of the Central Ring Road, Kelbakh was dismissed (replaced by Vyacheslav Petushenko). The Accounts Chamber and the Prosecutor’s Office became interested in the implementation of the Central Ring Road on the instructions of President Vladimir Putin, who was dissatisfied with the deadlines and the rising costs of the project.

In 2017, the cost of construction was estimated at 313.2 billion rubles, the audit of the Accounts Chamber at the end of 2018 revealed that the project would have to be financed by another 20 billion rubles, to 333.2 billion rubles. Terms of delivery were repeatedly postponed. The Central Ring Road has not been completed yet - according to current plans, the road must be passed in mid-2021.

“In order to timely complete the construction of the Central Ring Road (TsKAD), the President of the Russian Federation in October 2018 decided to conduct a comprehensive audit of Avtodor Group of Companies with the participation of representatives of the Accounts Chamber, the General Prosecutor's Office and the Investigation Committee. All the necessary materials and information were provided to the authorized bodies in a timely manner, ”the message of Avtodor, received by RBC, says. The company stressed that they “do not have” information on the ongoing investigative measures against former employees (Kelbakh), but indicated that no procedural decisions were taken regarding the current management of Avtodor.

Now Kelbach is at work, RBC said on Thursday afternoon a source in the government. March 25, he became an adviser to the general director of Russian Railways. The representative of the Russian Railways declined to comment.

New ring

The Central Ring Road - a new ring around Moscow with a length of 339–344 km. On a paid basis, sections of start-up complexes No. 1, 3 and 4 with a total duration of 251.3 km, or 74.1% of the total length of the road, will be operated. The customer of the project from the state was the state company Avtodor. Crocus International by Araz Agalarov was the general contractor of the first section, the fifth was Ring Highway (ARKS group). The third section was received by the Road Construction Corporation (owned by Avtoban GC), the fourth - by the Southeast Highway (a consortium of Avtoban GC and RDIF).