Russia’s Pension Fund Official Admits Bribery

A senior official of the Russian Federation’s national pension fund (PFR) admitted to a Moscow court on Friday that he accepted a bribe in return for rigging a tender in favor of an IT company, the Russian news agency TASS reported on Friday.

The court ordered a two-months detention for Alexei Ivanov, deputy chairman of the PFR, Russian Kommersant newspaper reported.

Ivanov,  reportedly admitted taking nearly US$70.000, possibly few dozens thousands more, to act in favor of the Russian IT integrator Technoserv Management LLC.

He was detained late Wednesday and was taken for questioning to the Russian Investigative Committee, an agency that in 2011 replaced the Russian Prosecutor General’s Investigative Committee and has been operating as the country’s anti-corruption agency ever since.

A Technoserv’s top manager, as Vedomesti business newspaper reported, who allegedly brokered the bribe in favor of his company, was also detained. Both were nabbed just ahead of the PFR’s $23.8 million data system tender announcement.

Following the arrest, according to media reports, Ivanov admitted his guilt and resigned from the PFR post and is facing up to 15 years in prison as well as a fine.

Russian law enforcement officers also seized documents from the Fund’s offices, as well as from two contractor companies.

Ivanov’s arrest, as TAdviser news reported, did not disrupt the work of the PFR, which has said it had been cooperating with prosecutors.

OCCRP | July 15, 2019