Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 213

In his interview published Tuesday (November 17) in “Trud,” ex-Central Bank Director Sergei Dubinin went on the offensive, claiming that while he headed the Central Bank, he sent the Prosecutor General’s Office information involving the funneling abroad of US$125 million from the now-defunct National Credit Bank. Dubinin said he had also informed prosecutors about the embezzlement from Moscow National Bank (also now defunct) of hundreds of millions of dollars belonging to the finance ministry, Rosvooruzhenie (the state arms export agency) and Russia’s space agency. In both cases, Dubinin charged, the Prosecutor General’s Office failed to act. Interestingly, Dubinin said the money from Moscow National Bank wound up in a bank on the island of Nauru, in the South Pacific. Dubinin said he could mention “other suspicious deals” involving the transfer of funds to Cyprus, Barbados and “other exotic places,” about which he had informed the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The current scandal is not the first time Dubinin has figured in corruption charges and countercharges. Last year, while still head of the Central Bank, he announced publicly that he knew of two cases in which banks had embezzled government funds, costing the state over US$500 million. Simultaneously, a letter Dubinin had written to then Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin appeared in the press, accusing MFK, an affiliate of Uneximbank, and one other bank of embezzling US$237 million earmarked for supplying MiG fighters to India. A criminal case was announced, after which Andrei Vavilov, a former deputy finance minister who then headed MFK, publicly denied the charges, adding that he had evidence of questionable deals involving state-controlled banks closely tied to the Central Bank. Although several individuals were later arrested in the MiG case, the issue of MFK’s alleged involvement was dropped.

In his press conference last week, Prosecutor General Skuratov said he would question Artem Borovik, the publisher and editor of the tabloid monthly “Sovershenno sekretno” (Top Secret), about his allegations that a ministerial portfolio in the government of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov was purchased for US$13 million (Moscow Times, November 11). In its November issue, “Sovershenno sekretno” features a piece alleging that Sergei Adamov, minister of atomic energy, has had business links with companies controlled by the Solntsevo organized crime group and Semyon Mogilevich, an alleged major Russia crime kingpin operating in Western Europe, among others. The tabloid and other media have reported that Adamov is allied with Boris Berezovsky, the financier and CIS executive secretary (Sovershenno sekretno, No. 11, 1998).