Russian MVD Colonel Slams Gazprom

by Roman Kupchinsky

Russian police Colonel Oleg Mansurov worked for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) for 28 years. He was a graduate of the MVD Academy, and had been assigned to the headquarters of the ministry since 2001 where he worked at the Main Directorate combating serious economic crimes as a senior investigator.

On July 31, Mansurov shared with the Russian internet publication, Novaya Gazeta, a sensational letter he had sent to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Mansurov claimed that in February 2003, when he worked in the Department of Criminal Investigation of the energy and power sectors, he conducted an investigation into the legality of a contract signed between Gazprom and a Hungarian company, Eural Trans Gas (ETG). The company had been linked in the media to Semyon Mogilevich, a Russian mobster, wanted by the FBI for fraud and money laundering.

Mansurov writes that in April 2003 he participated in a meeting of officials from the MVD Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime with U.S. FBI agents who informed their Russian colleagues that Semyon Mogilevich was indicted for fraud and money laundering and was on their most wanted list.

During the meeting Mansurov asked the FBI to provide any information they might have about Mogilevich.

“That same day” Mansurov wrote Putin, “I was summoned by one of the deputy heads of the department and was told to end all investigations [about Mogilevich] and turn over to him all my reports relating to his case.

Mansurov wrote that he complied with the order and turned over his Mogilevich case file to a different unit where the investigation was discontinued.

On July 1, 2003 the colonel was told that he must leave his unit due to a reduction of staff, but could ask for a transfer to a different department. On June 5, 2008 he was fired.

Mansurov took his case to a court which ruled in his favor and ordered that he be reinstated in his job, but the court order was ignored by the MVD.

“I believe that this persecution is due to my initiative in investigating the legality of the Gazprom (ETG) deal. Had they allowed me to conclude my investigation, then we would have rejected the use of intermediary companies as far back as 2003 and possibly the New Year’s gas conflict (with Ukraine) would not have taken place and Gazprom’s, as well as Russia’s reputation would not have suffered” Mansurov wrote.