Friday, May 17, 2013

Russian Company CEOs Arrested in Glonass Embezzlement Case

The previous and current general directors of high-tech company Synertech have been arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds from the federal program for the Glonass satellite navigation system, the Interior Ministry's Moscow Department said on Friday. The current chief executive officer was taken into custody, and the former CEO was placed under house arrest after Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court granted the investigators' warrant request on May 16, the same day that Moscow police reported another major embezzlement from Glonass, saying that Synertech management has stolen at least 85 million rubles ($2.7 million) “supposedly as payment” for conducting a research project. Synertech is a joint venture between Russian Space Systems with two European companies: EADS Astrium and Tesat Spacecom. It was set up in 2005 to promote the mutually beneficial cooperation of space industry enterprises in the creation and use of innovation technology for the manufacturing of space equipment. The Interior Ministry earlier reported the embezzlement of over 565 million rubles ($18 million) of federal budget funds allocated for the Glonass program, and initiated criminal proceedings. The ministry suspected Russian Space Systems’ management of concluding research contracts with commercial organizations that had neither the equipment nor the qualified personnel to implement the stipulated work. GLONASS, Russia’s GPS counterpart The commercial companies involved are the Space Instrument Making research and production association and Synertech. The Global Navigation Satellite System (Glonass), which was officially launched in 1993, is Russia’s answer to the US Global Positioning System (GPS).

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