Murmansk energy company stole one billion, says corruption watchdog
Russian anti-corruption authorities suspect that the leaders of the Kolenergosbyt company in Murmansk has stolen more than one billion rubles. The company says the allegations are "without common sense".
According to the anti-corruption unit, an entity under the Interior Ministry, the company leaders over a three-year period from 2007-2010 deliberately bought less electricity than needed, while it at the same time charged its customers for electricity which they had not used. Meanwhile, the profits were picked up by the company’s owners and shareholders, Lenta.ru reports.
The sums illegitimately acquired amount to more than one billion RUB (€25,5 million), the investiators say.
The Interior Ministry in its press release does not mention the name of the company, only saying it is ”a major supplyer of electricity” in the region. However, it soon became clear that the allegations are directed against Kolenergosbyt, the company which provides electricity to practically the whole regional population.
Kolenergosbyt itself strongly rebuffs the allegations, saying that they are "not based on common sense". The electricity distributed to the customers is closely monitored and the tariff level is set by regional authorities based on data provided by the grid company, the company highlights.
In a press release, the company indicates that the allegations are part of an attempt to discredit the company. "Who is trying to attack the legitimate commercial activity of the biggest power supplier in Murmansk Oblast?" the company asks.