Russian official charged with selling MiG jets for $5


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Russian official charged with selling MiG jets for $5

A former Russian state official has been charged with illegally selling MiG-31 Foxhound aircraft hulls at a price of 153 rubles ($5) each instead of $3.7 million in 2007, investigators said.

"In March 2010, while probing the criminal case on fraudulent activities performed at the time when four state-owned MiG-31 planes were sold, a former employee of [state reserves agency] Rosrezerv was charged with large-scale fraud," investigators said.

The criminal case was launched in summer 2009. The sale came to light after an anti-corruption check was carried out to see whether regulations were followed during the sale of items from the Sokol Aircraft Construction plant located in the Russian Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod.

The employee, who has not admitted his guilt, faces five to ten years in jail if found guilty.

According to prosecutors, in October 2006 - July 2007, unidentified officials from the local department of the Agency for State Reserves unlawfully included four MiG-31 hulls (without engines and weapons) into a list of sale items.

As a result, long-range supersonic interceptor aircraft that were not for sale were purchased by a dummy firm, Metalsnab, which was not entitled to trade in arms and military hardware.

The asking price of the MiG-31 hulls was significantly undervalued by a local valuation company.

According to the valuation report one hull was valued at 153 rubles ($5) - this initial price was accepted during bidding and the MiGs were sold at this price. However, one hull actually costs around 116 million rubles ($3.9 million at current rates).

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