16 January 2018, Tuesday, 14:29

KGB starts new “hunt” case


Zhlobin officials and managers of the Belarusian Metallurgical Plant (BMP) are reported to be involved in a corruption scandal.

The first criminal case has been opened, Yezhednevnik writes.

The KGB carried out an inquiry into the denationalisation and privatisation of the company Zhlobin Hunting Entity. Many interesting details were revealed. After the first hunt scandal, top officials of the Zhlobin district decided to privatise Zhlobin Hunting Entity to hunt without control from the KGB and the ruler.

The German company VGH Viktoria Garten Huttenindustriebedarf AG became the new owner (50% plus one share). It is not just a tour operator or an outside company, but one of BMP's main partner. The company is one of the leading exporters of refractory materials and equipment for steel making industry. It's interesting to note that the company hasn't dealt with tourism and hunting business before acquiring the non-core asset.

The deal was in line with the law at the first glance. There was a tender among potential investors and the German company won it. But the KGB found personal interest of officials and procedural violations that gave grounds to open a criminal case.

The case was opened against Viachaslau Khadarenka, a former deputy head of the Zhlobin district executive committee, who is charged with violating part 3 of article 424 of the Criminal Code (abuse of power by a high-ranking official, abuse of power in the process of denationalisation or privatisation of state property, or abuse of power causing grave consequences). The article provides for up to 10 years of imprisonment.

The case has been sent to the Belarusian Investigation Committee for preliminary investigation. The KGB tries to understand why the German company, which has never dealt with hunting business, bought the non-core asset in violation of procedural rules. The company's representatives cannot be accused of procedural violations, but the KGB is convinced someone close to both the local authorities and BMP stands behind the actions of the German company.

We remind that the security agencies used the previous “hunt case” to persecute the independent media. The police organised a raid on independent journalists. Flats of journalists of charter97.org, the newspapers Narodnaya Volia and Novaya Gazeta were searched. The journalists were questioned. The office of our website was raided, editor-in-chief Natallia Radzina was beaten and office equipment was seized.