Procurement: September 20, 2002

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Following up on the recent cases of illegally stored military equipment in Russia, the police have uncovered even more incidents of government stores theft. A T-72 Main Battle Tank was found on the Metallist company's grounds in Pavlovsky Posad (Moscow region) on 4 September. The Moscow police opened of an illegal arms storage case, since the company's management failed to produce documents explaining the presence of the tank. While the tank's 125mm main gun was mothballed, all of the systems were operational and one fuel tank was full. However, it's two machine guns and active armor had disappeared.

Meanwhile, Moscow NTV reported that Siberian detectives discovered T-72 spare parts and wheels at a private warehouse in Minusinsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory) on 1 September. The equipment was brand new, straight from the factory. Apparently, there parts were meant to be smuggled to China via Mongolia and were just the tip of a 100 ton, multi-million dollar smuggling iceberg. The detectives also confiscated eight tank and one armored personnel carrier engine, a powerful compressor, an Uragan truck and "enough ammunition for a whole battalion".

The police detained merchants and three senior officers from one of the Abakan armored units, after one warehouse owner tried to convince the police that he did not know what goods had arrived at his warehouse for storage. The military prosecutor's office and Federal Security Service investigators will probably charge some military officers with mass theft of state property. The unit command would write off the equipment, then it would be taken to the warehouse in Minusinsk and then taken abroad for sale. Minusinsk detectives, Krasnoyarsk Kray organized crime investigators and the Federal Security Service were still trying to determine the identities of the Chinese and Mongolian buyers. - Adam Geibel


 


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