Ex-president of Transneft Semyon Weinstock and current first vice-president Yury Lisin may become defendants in a high-profile criminal case, which intensity of intrigue equals to the famous "Yukos case". The Tagansky district court called the actions of Economic Crime Department officers to be illegal, as they tried to "hush" investigation of accidents of unprecedented generosity revealed by "Transneft": in 2005-2008 state-owned corporation allegedly spent 15 billion rubles to a charity. In addition, former leaders of "Transneft" are suspected of stealing 3 billion 500 million rubles from the budget during the construction of the pipeline system "Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean» (TC ESPO), the chairman of the Audit Chamber Sergey Stepashin announced it as early as March.
The sensation occurred after the first of May holidays. Prosecutor General's Office admitted a leak of information in the media - perhaps deliberately - that Semyon Weinstock and his former deputy Yury Lisin have become defendants in the criminal case of theft of the state money during the construction of TC ESPO. News agencies presented this news as "due to sources in the Prosecutor General's Office». And the sensation consisted of not the fact that the state lacked 3.5 billion rubles at the "construction of the century". This information was announced back in March by Chairman of the Audit Chamber Sergei Stepashin. The fact was that law enforcement authorities still decided to disturb the peace of an "honorable pensioner" Weinstock, and current first vice-president of Transneft. It is noteworthy that just two weeks before Yury Lisin had received Order of Merit for the Father's name "- for his personal contribution to the construction of TC ESPO from the hands of first deputy prime minister Igor Sechin.
Astronomical amounts of the thefts were found by the Audit Chamber yet in late 2008, but the scandalous report by auditor Mikhail Beshmelnitsyn was published much later. Most likely, this was due to the fact that Weinstock at the time headed the State Corporation «Olimpstroy», and such a turn of events could cause substantial damage to Russia's reputation as an organizer of the Winter Olympic Games in 2014. The second reason for the long silence about the unpleasant facts is called a long-standing warm relationship between Weinstock and Vladimir Putin, which “warmth” incidentally, might be greatly exaggerated. In any case, it became clear in March of this year, when Sergey Stepashin - from the rostrum of the State Duma! - announced the identified amount of abuse made by the top management of Transneft at the time of Weinstock: neither Putin nor anyone else is going to cover these abuses. The third reason for reluctance to "rake over the dust and ashes of the past" was probably due to the Prosecutor's office had to string itself up to bring Yury Lisin to justice. Under Weinstock, and even now, Lisin oversees the construction and operation of pipelines in Transneft, so it is impossible to bypass him during the investigation of such large-scale theft. However, Lisin, unlike Weinstock, is not the former, but the current top-manager of the giant state corporation. To bring him means to admit in the face of the whole world the existence of corruption in the very summit of the Russian government and economy.
Meanwhile, the Audit Chamber has been admitted and published the fact. According to the findings of its auditors, the bulk of the thefts made by managers of Transneft "in the middle of the "zero' years was carried out through involvement of firms-intermediaries as the key contractors on the construction of ESPO. The whole "building" activity of those firms amounted to a search of subcontractors who performed work at far lower rates than those appearing in the treaties of "Transneft" with its contractors; and in accordance to which the state funding of the construction project was carried out .
The reply to an obvious question — where did all the money go? -was as obvious. The beneficiaries of the firms - general contractors in most cases turned out to be the companies registered in offshore: from Switzerland and Cyprus to the Bahamas. No wonder that, Semyon Weinstock does no longer appear in Russia after his resignation from the post of the head of "Olimpstroy". The Western media has gained information that he was among the largest shareholders of the Norwegian Oil Industry Holding Aker Solutions. So, the money stolen in Russia continues to work on the ex-president of Transneft. And the first vice-president of the company, apparently does not live in misery.