Toxic chemical waste company "destroyed" on a dummy

Now businessmen can be attracted ... for fraud.
Origin source
Eighty tons of waste containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - a compound that can destroy the human immune system and cause the so-called chemical AIDS - disappeared in the forests near Moscow in early 2018. The Daily Storm then managed to find out that the company that was hired to destroy PCBs did not have the equipment for such work. Moreover, these people have been caught more than once on illegal discharge of chemical waste and environmental pollution. Only a year and a half after the Daily Storm investigation, law enforcement agencies became interested in Progress, a recycling company. But the reason was not illegal unloading of PCBs in the Moscow Region, but suspicions of fraud: the environmental prosecutor's office recorded that the installation for neutralizing PCBs was a dummy.

On October 17, the environmental prosecutor’s office found a fake installation for the disposal of a substance that causes “chemical AIDS” - polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The model belonged to Progress - it, together with related companies, for a decade destroyed hazardous waste throughout the country: from Moscow to Grozny. Among her clients are oil companies, chemical industries, airports, defense enterprises. It is almost impossible to estimate the amount of waste taken for disposal. It is only clear that we are talking about thousands, if not tens of thousands of tons annually.

80 tons of waste containing PCBs were lost in Roshal, Moscow Region, at the beginning of 2018. The contract for the disposal of hazardous substances was carried out by Progress. The companies associated with it were already catching on the fact that they organized illegal dumps of chemical waste at abandoned plants in the Kaluga Region and poured tons of spent sulfuric acid in the Ugra National Park.

Chemical AIDS for the Moscow Region

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are waste from the first, highest hazard class. After entering the ecosystem - forests, rivers, fields, lakes - they destroy it so badly that nature is unable to recover. For humans, these substances are dangerous primarily because they destroy immunity. When ingested, PCBs cause cancer, damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. For pregnant women, biphenyls are also dangerous because they can cause congenital malformations and developmental delays in the fetus.

“I know that they were taken somewhere to the Noginsky district (Moscow region. - Note. Daily Storm), but we can’t find the exact place,” an operative who told us about 80 tons of PCB waste was told to our correspondent. It was the end of August 2018.

The peculiarity of criminal cases involving the discharge of chemical wastes - they can be oil products, acid, and PCBs - is that the investigation cannot be started if it is not known where the imaginary utilizers sent the cargo. People associated with “Progress” were caught on environmental pollution only in those cases when they could not cover their tracks: in 2014, an abandoned factory in Maloyaroslavets began to emit such a stench that the townspeople complained to the prosecutor’s office, and in 2016- In the Ugra National Park, residents of nearby villages unexpectedly discovered black lakes that did not exist before.

Polychlorobiphenyls disappeared without a trace.

“The system is built so that as few people as possible know where the drain will take place. Waste is first brought to the disposal company base. From there they are picked up by the cars of the hired contractor. And the customer does not know where exactly this waste will be taken. Even the contractor’s foreman may not know, only the driver is aware. These experienced ones - they remember all the paths in the forests. And when they merge, they simply give a signal to the top: “Done,” a person who worked for many years in the field of waste management told the Daily Storm.

Name change

After the story of the loss of 80 tons of especially hazardous waste and the release of the Daily Storm investigation, Progress continued to work and, judging by the number of state contracts, did not slow down. Only the names of legal entities have changed.

The beneficiaries of Progress renamed it the Star. Prior to this, they began to attract almost unlit “NOC” (“National Waste Processing Company”), and to hire new people through the company “Logistics”.

Progress problems appeared only in October 2019. In the middle of the month, the environmental prosecutor's office of the Moscow Region organized an on-site inspection of waste disposal work in Roshal, Moscow Region. Together with them, prosecutors took two employees of Ekoenergotech, the only manufacturer of PCB plants in Russia.

Model for presentation

On October 17, two employees of the manufacturer received the opportunity to look at “their” installation personally. It turned out to be a dummy.

“According to them, the installation looked like a real one. If you focus only on appearance, then you could easily be deceived, but it is impossible to work on it, ”a source in the prosecutor's office told Daily Storm.

As the source of the publication explained, the Zvezda site in Roshal looked like a presentation: the installation, located on the territory of the former chemical plant with huge empty vats, could make a serious impression on potential customers, convincing them that everything was serious.

This also worked with inspectors from the regional Ministry of Ecology. When they came to Roshal a year ago, they confidently claimed that the installation at Progress was real. Although even then the manufacturers openly declared that they hadn’t delivered anything to Progress.

Materials from the environmental prosecutor’s office at the end of October were sent to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Moscow Region to initiate criminal proceedings.

“So far it is only a matter of fraud,” the source explained.

According to the Daily Storm, there are no defendants in the criminal case yet - only unidentified persons. And, judging by the previous experience of Progress’s interaction with law enforcement agencies, there are few chances that the real owners of the company will be brought to justice. Although on one of the ships their names were already spoken aloud.

Drain system

When the Daily Storm was preparing Poison Progress in August 2018, we knew about Maxim Belyakov, who received 2.5 years for draining sulfuric acid mixed with fuel oil. We wrote about this story and about the punishment for the contractor Progress, but we did not have detailed testimonies from the defendants in this case: the Kaluga Regional Court did not manage to digitize the sentence and put it on the Web.

Now the court decision is already available for everyone to familiarize.

Some of the names there are hidden, so we give explanations for those who want to study the sentence on their own.

“Witness No. 15” is Alexander Bugrov. In 2016, when sulfuric acid was discharged, she held the position of Deputy General Director of TsUOPP (so-called Progress). This woman and her brother Alexei Bugrov are the real beneficiaries of Progress.

The brother in the sentence also passes as ... "witness No. 15".

It is possible that a technical error occurred due to the same surnames and initials of the brother and sister. Despite two “witnesses No. 15,” from the context of the verdict one can understand who exactly from the Bugrovs are at what moment.

Maxim Belyakov told the court that he began working with Alexandra Bugrova from 2009-2010.

“Around the end of 2014, I agreed with Alexandra Bugrova that I will pump sulfuric acid waste from railway tanks that go to a railway dead end in the village of Malkino into trucks -“ carpenters ”. Information about the arrival of wagons with sulfuric acid waste at the railway station came to me, as a rule, from Alexei Bugrov, brother of Alexandra Bugrova, less often from Alexandra Bugrova herself. After that, I organized the delivery of my equipment and upon the arrival of the “carpenters” I began pumping, which until July 2016 was carried out at night.

As a rule, my worker climbed onto the railway tank, knocked the seal and lowered the hose from their car into the tank, after which another of my workers turned on the pump and sulfuric acid was pumped into his car. To fill the barrel, the hose was removed, the car drove off to the standing “filler”, after which my first worker lowered the hose there and using a vacuum pump, sulfuric acid was pumped into the “filler” tank. After work, my cars [which were used for pumping] left empty at the base, and my worker and I either left home or on other matters. I don’t know who owned the “carpenters” and where they took the sulfuric acid waste.

I worked in this mode until May 2016, ”said Maxim Belyakov in his testimony.

Alexandra Bugrova blamed all the plums on Maxim Belyakov. According to the woman, she has collaborated with him since 2011. After 2014, Belyakov allegedly told her that he had the opportunity to transport waste sulfuric acid waste for incineration at a TPP in one of the regions. Bugrova agreed, since the cost of recycling sulfuric acid waste on its own (about 600 thousand rubles for one tank car) was higher than the price that Belyakov called - 200 thousand rubles for one tank car.

“In 2015 and until mid-2016, Belyakov pumped and removed sulfuric acid waste from the railway site at his discretion. I don’t know where exactly this waste was exported and whether it was actually disposed of. Belyakov reported on the performance of the work, including photographs of the car and its contents, ”said Alexandra Bugrova in court.

The court accepted its version and convicted Belyakov, but ignored the events that occurred when the preliminary investigation was ongoing.

Victim among his

The case file contains the testimony of a person who at some point agreed to voluntarily go to the dock instead of Maxim Belyakov or the employees of TsUOPP. In the verdict, he is called "witness No. 11". It was not possible to identify it Daily Storm.

“In search of work, I called the phone number indicated in the newspaper ad, - a driver with an open category“ C ”was required. I agreed with a representative of the organization to meet near the metro station, having previously transmitted my personal and passport data to draw up an employment contract. On the spot, this man gave a ready-made employment contract to be signed and asked for a fee to inform law enforcement authorities that I, transporting waste sulfuric acid, dumped it in the wrong place. At first I agreed. The day before I went to Kaluga to testify, that person took me to a meeting with a man whom I later identified as Maxim Belyakov. He introduced him as the director of an organization that exports sulfuric acid. The director asked me to inform law enforcement authorities that I allegedly pumped out sulfuric acid waste from railway tanks and illegally drained it in 2015 and 2016. They explained to me that for such a crime they would not imprison me.

The next day I wrote a confession, and also testified that I allegedly drained the waste of sulfuric acid. After that, I never received a cash reward. After some time, the police again brought me for interrogation, and I, fearing the consequences, decided to confess everything and gave truthful testimony that I was not involved in the commission of crimes, ”said“ witness No. 11 ”.
At the same time, the verdict contains an indication that the “witness No. 11” signed an employment contract with a certain company “Avtovoz”. And the investigators removed from the “TsUOPP” contracts with “AvtoVAZ” for the transportation of waste, acts of delivery and acceptance of waste and work performed to provide transport services. Alexandra Bugrova in the initial testimony stated that it was AvtoVAZ that transported sulfuric acid.

However, then something happened and she abandoned this version, calling "Avtovoz" a dummy company without staff and property, which was used as a technical person. The former voluntary scapegoat - “witness No. 11” - also changed his testimony (his interests were represented by lawyers of the same college as the interests of Bugrova) and Maxim Belyakov remained the only suitable candidate for the role of criminal.

The investigation and the court, of course, could suggest that all participants in the story with the discharge of sulfuric acid, which lasted several years, acted in collusion, but decided not to. And even a change in the testimony of Bugrova was left without due attention.

Game in two settings

In the case of a false installation for the disposal of PCBs in Roshal near Moscow, your own “Maxim Belyakov” may also appear, because formally Bugrov’s brother and sister, as well as the number three person in “Progress” Ales Komarova (she was involved in the development of the installation for disposal) the management of the Zvezda, NOC and Logistics companies have no relationship.

But this is not the only common feature of these criminal cases. If in the Kaluga region those responsible for the discharge of sulfuric acid tried, as the police say, to “get along” with the help of “witness No. 11”, who was offered to go to prison, then in Roshal they decided to use a scheme with a second installation for the disposal of PCBs.

Last year, while preparing the Poison Progress material, we were able to speak with a representative of the Ekoenergotech company manufacturing these devices. According to him, in Russia there are only two installations - in Tomsk and in Krasnoyarsk.

“On Wednesday, October 30, when the police arrived in Roshal, they saw that on the territory of Zvezda there were already not one, but two installations: a dummy and another one, which the experts identified as real,” the source told the prosecutor’s office.

According to him, the video from the surveillance cameras got how the boxes with the new installation are brought in and unloaded several hours before the police visit.
The source of the Daily Storm, engaged in the field of waste management, suggested that the device was brought to Roshal from Krasnoyarsk. From the company "Green City". Its CEO Elena Chernyavskaya confirmed to Daily Storm that their installation had indeed left for Moscow Region.

“They have both their own and my setup. They never had a dummy. They are the first to start doing this. Plus, our installation [came] to them when there were large orders. We are with them on this subject. I don’t know who is there now, “Star” or not “Star”, but we worked very often with “Progress”, ”said Elena Chernyavskaya.

The general director of “Clean City” suggested leaving the investigation of criminal cases to supervisory authorities, and journalists should not create problems for “Progress”.

“They are normal guys, sane. I know their founders and can’t say anything bad. The Bugrovs came to me, looked at our object, and I know Komarov well. The installation is mobile, and Komarova periodically uses it. Let the environmental prosecutor's office write me a request - I am ready to answer their questions. I do not know how many installations they have. Maybe 22. And the fact that they have our installation under a lease is true. I believe that it’s not quite beautiful to engage in running over a company that deals with ecology, ”said Chernyavskaya.

Ales Komarova did not pick up after the call of the Daily Storm correspondent.

From Moscow region to Australia

The Australian number of Alexandra Bugrova was not available. Australian - because for a long time brother and sister live on the east coast of this mainland in the city of Gold Coast (Sanctuary Cove complex).

Back in 2015, on the forum “My Way and My Life in Australia”, Bugrova posted an advertisement for finding a housekeeper (spelling preserved):

“An urgently needed Russian-speaking housekeeper!

Location of the sanctuary cove, Gold Coast.

1-2 times a week

Negotiable payment

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0476791674


One of the ex-employees of Progress, in a conversation with a Daily Storm correspondent, talked about what was common practice in the company in 2018, that the Bugrovs held meetings using a webcam, communicating from Australia.

Such remote management did not affect the results of activities related to the brother and sister companies. The total turnover of Zvezda, NOC and Logistics companies exceeded 750 million rubles. Only through procedures in the goszakupki system (a significant part of the contracts was concluded with oil companies, including state participation, but data on them are not published) in 2018 did these companies enter into agreements for almost 100 million rubles, including trichlorodiphenyl utilization (similar PCB substance).

The largest customer requiring such services was FGC UES. First, it sent 100 tons of capacitors with TCD to Zvezda, then another 149 tons.

The press service of FGC UES Daily Storm reported that these contracts were concluded in accordance with federal law, the main requirement of which in this case was that the contractor has a license.

“Upon the removal of waste from the territory of the power facility, an act of acceptance is drawn up, after which they become the property of the contractor selected at the end of the tender. Further, an official report on the measures taken for the disposal / storage of capacitors with trichlorodiphenyl is submitted to the FGC UES. At the same time, FGC UES does not have the authority to additionally check the current operating activities of such companies, ”the FGC UES press service said.

It is impossible to obtain a license without providing the Ministry of Ecology with a facility where hazardous waste is disposed of. Or her dummy.