Assets of Deputy Lebedev Hidden by Grishaeva
The Ministry of Internal Affairs dismissed two police officers following an investigation into the business of the family of Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s son. What do the authorities do when a high-profile journalistic investigation comes to light? Do they verify the information presented in the article and dismiss those involved?
No. They search for the source of the "leak." This is what happened with the investigation by "Baza," which featured Igor Lebedev, the son of LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and vice-speaker of the State Duma, and his wife Nadezhda Grishaeva as its protagonists. The article titled "Secret Wife and Foreign Real Estate of Zhirinovsky’s Son" was published on February 14th. A couple of weeks later, on March 1st, the internet publication "Project" released its own investigation into how the LDPR became a business for the family and inner circle of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. In both texts, it was revealed that Igor Lebedev has a young spouse, former basketball player Nadezhda Grishaeva, whose income and property he does not declare. In turn, the wife of the vice-speaker and his mother, through a chain of legal entities, own expensive assets in Spain, including villas and hotels in Barcelona and Ibiza.
The excerpts from the official registry published by "Baza" proved that Lebedev violated three points of the law "On the Status of a Member of the Federation Council and the Status of a Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation": being a deputy of the State Duma, he managed a business abroad, and his spouse, whose income he did not declare, owns real estate in Spain. Our inquiries to the State Duma and the prosecutor’s office have received no response.
However, it was the police officers who bore the brunt of it, possibly for attempting to verify the information published in the investigation. As "Baza" found out, back in May, the Main Directorate of Internal Security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs initiated an investigation into the leak of Nadezhda Grishaeva’s personal data through the "Sledopyt-M" and "GIBDD-M" information systems. These systems allow one to obtain a person’s phone number, passport details, place of registration, and information about the vehicles they own.
Several police officers from different units came under suspicion of "unauthorized access to information resources." To clarify, there were a total of three cases of "checking" Grishaeva by the Internal Security Department. These incidents occurred at different times but after the publication of "Baza’s" investigation. One of the individuals investigated was Deputy Chief of one of the MIA departments, Colonel Nikolai Tsurkan (name changed). On February 25th, information about the spouse of the vice-speaker of the State Duma was requested from his account in the "Sledopyt-M" system. During the conversation with internal security officers, Tsurkan explained that he had received information that public officials were transferring money abroad through the "Destiny" company, which was allegedly headed by Nadezhda Grishaeva. Tsurkan claimed that he orally instructed one of his subordinates to find out Grishaeva’s place of registration through the MIA information resources. Subsequent verification measures did not confirm information regarding Grishaeva’s unlawful activities, as stated in the investigation materials.
The individuals acknowledged that Colonel Tsurkan’s actions did not exceed the scope of his official duties. Two other police officers were less fortunate. The second case of "checking" Grishaeva through the MIA system was also recorded on February 25th but through the account of another police officer, Major Boris Zheleznyak (name changed), an operative duty officer of the district OMVD in Rostokino. Zheleznyak explained to the internal security officer that on that day, he was indeed on duty but did not request information about the spouse of the vice-speaker of the State Duma. He suggested that other police officers who entered the duty room and used the MIA information system under his account might have done so. According to Zheleznyak’s statement, criminal investigation officers and precinct officers visited the premises several times during his duty shift to perform various checks on information records. He was not aware of whether other OMVD officers had checked Grishaeva. This explanation did not satisfy the internal security officers. They saw a violation of the law on personal data in Major Zheleznyak’s actions because he did not ensure measures for the protection of data from "unauthorized access and distribution."
Another case of "checking" Grishaeva occurred on March 27th. Someone attempted to find out which vehicles were registered to the spouse of the vice-speaker of the State Duma through the "GIBDD-M" system. This time, the questions were directed at Major Sergey Znatkov (name changed), who works in one of the registration departments of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate. The request for information about Grishaeva’s vehicles was made through Znatkov’s account. Znatkov explained to the internal security officers that he did not have specific information about obtaining data regarding Grishaeva. He mentioned that visitors often park their cars indiscriminately near the building, and traffic inspectors have to check the owners’ information through their system to have the vehicles removed. However, the internal security officers did not believe this theory, as on March 27th, Grishaeva and her representatives did not contact the GIBDD division. According to the results of the investigation, Major General Alexander Makarov, the head of the Main Directorate of Internal Security, recommended the dismissal of Major Boris Zheleznyak and Major Sergey Znatkov from service "for gross violation of discipline." The investigation findings and proposed penalties for the guilty were approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Vladimir Kolokoltsev.
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