MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – A developer that builds border checkpoints and other facilities for the Russian government dismissed rumors of mass sackings on Wednesday amid a scandal over mismanagement of state funds.
“All the employees of Rosgranstroi are at their workplaces except for those who are on sick leave, on business trips or on vacation,” the company’s official spokesperson said.
Russia’s Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday that five employees of the Federal Border Development Agency (Rosgranitsa) and its development company (Rosgranstroi) had been detained on suspicion of misspending state funds.
The head of Rosgranitsa, Dmitry Bezdelov, who had led the agency since 2008, was reportedly fired on Tuesday after police checks revealed that 1 billion rubles ($31 million) was placed into accounts at the bank Agrosoyuz, whose main beneficiary is his father.
The checks were launched in October 2012 after Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin criticized the work of the state agency, saying it used shady financing schemes when constructing facilities for last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Far East and for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Rogozin said seven border checkpoints were supposed to be ready in time for the APEC summit in Vladivostok, but only one was put into operation. He also criticized the agency for disproportionate financing of border facilities across Russia.
For instance, some 50 million rubles ($1.6 million) was allocated for the Khabarovsk Territory, in the Far East, which has 35 checkpoints, while Makhachkala, the capital of Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan, which has 14 checkpoints, received about 180 million rubles ($5.7 million), he said.