Head of Kuznya on Rybalsky plant denies selling armored vehicles to State Border Service at inflated price
Board Chairman of the Kyiv-based OJSC Kuznya on Rybalsky (Kyiv, earlier Leninska Kuznia (Lenin's Smithy) Valeriy Shandra has refuted reports about the purchase of armored vehicles by the State Border Guard Service at an inflated price.
"The information that is being spread about the allegedly inflated price of supplies is not true. We have never supplied the combat modules, which appear in the reports, to the State Border Service. We supplied Triton complexes that include both combat modules, information and communication systems, and reconnaissance systems," he told reporters in Bortnychi, Kyiv region, on Monday.
Answering the question on why the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) launched an investigation into such reports, Shandra said: "I think that they just confused the name of the combat module and the Triton combat system, which includes these modules."
He explained that the State Border Service purchased combat complexes for visual and technical surveillance based on the Triton armored vehicles, which the State Border Service purchased for UAH 14.876 million each, while the price of a combat module installed on these vehicles (light 12-mm caliber machine-gun installation) is UAH 3.4 million, which is included in this amount.
NABU Director Artem Sytnyk said on November 3, an investigation into a criminal case related to purchase of armored vehicles at high price by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine from the Kuznya on Rybalsky is at an initial stage. The openness of the court ruling register does not help to make the investigation unbiased, he added.
"I cannot explain what is going on there, as the investigation is underway. It is at the initial stage. One cannot make conclusions until the investigation is completed," he said.
Earlier, Kyiv's Solomiansky District Court permitted NABU detectives to have temporary access to documents of OJSC Kuznya on Rybalsky to investigate into a case on purchase of armored vehicles at high price by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.
The court decided to provide temporary access to a group of NABU detectives to items and documents in the possession of the Leninska Kuznia plant, located at 26, Elektrykiv St. in Kyiv, with an opportunity to study them and make copies of them.
In particular, this is design documentation of the developer and manufacturer on the armored vehicle Triton-0103, documents on repair of this equipment; documents in which the production cost and the price of one unit of Triton are reflected, estimates for production of one unit of this equipment; information about suppliers, documents for the acquisition of units, aggregates, parts for the Triton armored vehicle.
The NABU is investigating the purchase four Triton vehicles with armament for UAH 59.5 million by of the State Border Guard Service in 2015.
As the detectives calculated, the cost of the equipment was overestimated, as in 2015 UAH 161.5 million was allocated for the needs of the Kharkiv border detachment - the recipient of these vehicles - to purchase 34 combat distance modules, which, in particular, are part of the armament of the Triton armored vehicles.
The cost of one combat remote module was to be UAH 4.75 million, but in fact the cost of one unit purchased was UAH 14.876 million.
According to the NABU, following the audit of the State Border Guard Service, these vehicles were purchased before putting them into operation - in violation of the government's decision on the rules of supplying weapons, military and special equipment.
Kuznya on Rybalsky was renamed after the Ukrainian parliament passed a decommunization package of laws in April 2015. The key shareholder in the plant privatized in 1995 is the non-diversified corporate investment fund Prime Assets Capital (earlier Petro Poroshenko fund, Kyiv).