The head of the Samara Ministry of Construction, Nikolai Plaksin, became a defendant in a criminal case on abuse of power. The State Duma deputy from the Samara region Alexander Khinshtein was the first to report this news. The minister was detained yesterday, on April 25, and placed in a temporary detention facility, searches were carried out in the official’s house and at his workplace.
Plaksin is charged with illegally issued permits for the commissioning of two cultural centers in the districts of the region. The objects did not meet the design documentation. Earlier, the same materials brought under investigation the head of the regional department of Gosstroynadzor Vladimir Zakharin. Deputy Khinshtein asked the prosecutor’s office to check Plaksin a year ago for conflicts of interest. Before becoming a minister, he headed Volgatransstroy-metro JSC.
– Nikolai Plaksin is one of the most scandalous Samara ministers. Prior to joining the civil service, he worked as a top manager of the Volgatransstroy Group of Companies and during this period was officially included in the register of unscrupulous suppliers. After his appointment, a “golden rain” of multibillion-dollar contracts fell on the VTS Group of Companies, Khinshtein wrote in his tg channel.
Plaksin headed JSC VTS-Metro until August 2021. After his departure, the company actively changed both the management and the owners. She has only 4 purchases and all date back to an earlier period. But the company is in the process of reorganization and its successor, the Samara construction company JSC SK Volzhsky Grad, has really gathered a rich harvest in its native region. From 2017 to 2022, she signed 24 contracts under 44-FZ for a total of 7.1 billion rubles.
The company where Plaksin worked is included in the orbit of Volgatransstroy Group of Companies, a Samara construction holding that builds transport and industrial facilities, residential buildings and office centers. The VTS-Metro company is registered in Moscow. Vyacheslav Sonin, head of the VTS Group of Companies, explained this by the demand for the company in the capital. The VTS portfolio includes the elite Samara residential complex “Ladya” with infrastructure based on the “city within a city” principle and the multifunctional complex “Novy Arbat, 32” in Moscow.
As The Moscow Post wrote in 2021, immediately after the appointment of a new minister, he immediately had disagreements over the costs of building large facilities in Samara, and this led to the dismissal of the head of the State Expertise of Projects in Construction, Andrey Malikov. At the same time, another company from the VTS Group of Companies was named, which received a large contract, Volgatransstroy-9 JSC, which worked at the construction sites of the Sixth Court of Cassation and the Sports Palace.
The cost of the court, the publication noted, has grown by 1 billion rubles, although 5 billion have already been spent on it. amount of 2.2 billion rubles. For another 1.3 billion, the company is working on the embankment of the Avtozavodsky district of Togliatti. The VTS-9 court building began to be built back in 2018, having signed a contract for 945.7 million rubles. She signed a contract for the Sports Palace for 1 billion rubles in 2019, in February 2021 a new one was added to it – another one, already for 1.9 billion. But all this happened before Plaksin became a minister, his appointment took place only in August 2021.
Another structure of the VTS Group of Companies, LLC Volgatransstroy-proekt, also feels good. In February 2022, she received 2 large tenders from the Samara Capital Construction Department – for 100.9 million and 631.6 million rubles.
At the end of 2021, Plaksin turned out to be the richest minister in the region. After working in commercial structures, he declared 113.9 million rubles of income – 10 times more than that of Governor Dmitry Azarov. Before joining the VTS, Plaksin headed JSC BSK-Moscow and ended up on the register of unscrupulous suppliers for violating the terms of the contract during the construction of a sports complex in Moscow. At the moment, it has already been excluded from the register.
According to deputy Khinshtein, the detained minister refused to cooperate with the investigation and testify. Late in the evening of April 25, the fact of Plaksin’s detention was confirmed by the regional government. According to “KP-Samara”, the press service of the government assured that it would provide full assistance to the investigation. Perhaps new links will appear in the chain of detentions, and Nikolai Plaksin is not the last person under investigation.
In the Saratov region, the issue of a conflict of interest was last raised in 2020. The focus was on the regional Ministry of Transport and its then head Nikolai Churikov. As it turned out, his daughter Svetlana Kuzmina owned the Marksstroy-S road company, which won regional tenders. This information became the reason for the resignation of the minister, but there were no further claims against him.
As for the deviation from the project, the former head of the Bazarno-Karabulaksky district, Oleg Chumbaev, fell under a criminal case. The official was summed up by violations during the construction of water treatment facilities.